Gotcha: Grifex 437.480 MHz around 1110 UTC. 9k6, so Direwolf could handle it.
Went tomb sweeping this morning in my wife's hometown in Miaoli. Pity I didn't bring my camera, so had to use my phone to capture this gorgeous swallow giving us an impromptu concert from above a Buddha image.
Bummer: my Jumbospot's 0.96" OLED display is EOL after only a month of use. The hot spot itself is still usable like nothing happened. Of course, I can use the Pi-Star's dashboard, but it was handy to look at the display while working at my desk.
Falconsat-3/71881/FM --> I guess I had my first digipeat QSO (or whaddayacallit) with JA6PL just now. We exchanged a couple of messages and then the bird disappeared for me. Used UISS, but still a lot of things to learn, like when use F5 and when F7? Still...good fun!!
CAS-4B/14815/CW Difficult pass tonight with lots of power line noise and weak signals from this bird. Still.....worked BH4PVP (1st QSO), BD5EUA and JR6DI.
EO-88/16742/CW --> Despite the huge amount of pain in my foot & leg I was able to get myself to the shack. I hardly work over EO-88, but it was flying over and I called CQ. The only other station around was.........JR6DI, our satellite beacon in East Asia. Always nice to work him. The video of the QSO is here.
Just back from the ER: beginning case of cellulitis. Two IV drips later I was well enough to go home. Added bonus: I tested negative for the Wuhan corona virus.
Total cost: US$17 and that's it. You have to love Taiwan because of this.
CAS-4B still has CW beacon problems.
CAS-4A/14751/CW local QRM and signals were not strong for this pass. Worked @JR1UIU/1 and thank for this OMs patience, because I simply couldn't get his call easily.
BTW, why is FO-29 not active when I have a Sunday off?
SO-50/92272/FM Difficult pass, but worked BD9BU, DU1AU (both for the 1st time) and JR6DI. Also heard JR3LNG, UA0SUN and an HL1 station which was drowned out.
CAS-4B seems to have some trouble as the CW beacon was only putting out a continuous carrier. The digital telemetry was also weaker than normal. Linear working as usual.
Luckily CAS-4A/14740/CW a few minutes later was trouble free. Tnx to JM1CAX and JH1JBP for the CW QSOs.
Who says space communication doesn't suffer from lousy conditions: two passes of Falconsat-3 tonight and only 25 frames received. Signals would just not come in at all, so very frustrating not to be able to fill holes and download messages.
After three days of satellite QSOs time for some good old CW on HF. Worked JS2AHG which is the 2nd call sign for JE1TRV who is SKCC member 561T. Pity I already had his number in the log. I still need 9 contacts with SKCC member for my Centurion. Who can help me?
Another busy day for the postman. Luckly E21EJC's mail came in today. He had forgotten to write the address on the envelope, but since I informed the post office about it they traced it down and were able to deliver it.
The two straight keys in use at the moment: a flame-proof CBJ26003A hooked up to my IC820H and a Chinese D117 army key hooked up to my IC7200.
SO-50/92037/FM --> Nice pass tonight with all the regulars around: JS6DRQ, JR6DI, JA3FWT, JR6RMK and new to me JR6UEK. Arigatō OM, nice to meet you.
CAS-4B/14513/CW --> "It's Friday night and the workweek's through, the boys get together for a round or two........" Non-stop CW with JA6UMJ, JH4MPR, JR6RMK, JR6DI and JA2MYA at only 5 degrees. Used 7 Watts for most of the pass, except before LOS when I really needed 40W.
CAS-4A/14513/CW --> This pass was a bit more difficult and there were some guys doing high-speed CW. Count me out, but thanks to JR6RMK and JR6DI for the slow-speed QSOs.
The postman had it busy on his first delivery after Chinese New Year: four QSL cards in the mail.
The sun is out and the bands are clean. No need for the ANC-4 today. But only 13°C and it's cold in the shack. Who said the subtropics always have warm weather. 20m is active with lots of CW. Worked BG7XWF whom I worked on AO-91 and SO-50 before. Also worked BG8TFN.
Short clip of the ANC-4 cleaning up power line noise. Little dip in the signal, but better s/n ratio. Tried a 1m vert. noise pick-up ant close to power lines, but didn't do anything.
In amateur radio you make friends for life!!!! Just had a QSO with JA1RZD, Ken from Tokyo, the first one in 2.5 yrs!!!!! As if nothing happened we went on 14107.5 kHz in Olivia 32/1000 and chatted for more than an hour, like we used to. The ANC-4 helped mitigate local QRN.
Taking a break from satellites, but not from CW. Just made a QSO with YU1XA on 40 meters. I'm in the dark, he's still in day light, but coming in a true 599. That's almost 9000 km!! Feeling the magic of HF tonight. Haven't felt that in a long time.
Always funny when people hear my name is Hans and automatically assume I speak German. But it doesn't matter, being from the Netherlands I do but not well. Thank you Frank SP6JZL for the German SSB QSO on 40m just now. 100W into a wire is not much, but it did bring us together.
I'm back on DMR! Bought a Jumbo Spot from BI7JTA (awesome service) and now using PiStar instead of the DV4mini. Works great! I programmed in TG98006 (AMSAT) and TG2045 (Technoronde in Dutch), so I'll be hanging out there for now.
IO-86/23395/FM --> Forgot to record this pass, so I'm a bit sketchy about the stations I contacted. It was only a 3.3 degree pass with sudden LOS, so no time to take notes. Worked YF3BNG, YC8FXI YC8NYJ and YG3EMH.
IO-86/23379/FM --> Always fun to work this satellite. Only a 5 degree pass, so a mere three minutes to work some stations. Thanks to: YF3BNG, YC8FXI, YC8VFB and YG3FEO (the last two being new contacts).
NOS, only US$10 a piece. Change the M-type connectors for BNC and you got yourself a nice diplexer.
They are not easy to open; quality of the hardware is mediocre. Once you get in you'll find a Diamond branded PCB.
A quick search and it seems this is the same as the Diamond MX-72D, retailing at US$ 39.95 (https://gigaparts.com/diamond-antenna-mx72d.html)
Haven't used gEDA for a long time, but you never forget, it seems. This quick schematic of the diplexer took me less than 45 minutes to make. Not sure about the values of the capacitors, just copied them from the cases. Does anybody know what values 4C, 2CO, 9C and 18J are?
Boxed up now, ready to go up the tower in line with my 2m beam.
Diplexer: USD 10
Enclosure: USD 7
Connectors: USD 3
USD 20 spent and hopefully now the few desensing problems I still had will be gone.
Some time to get on the birds today:
SO50: worked JR6DI, JS6DRQ and JA4GVA
CAS-4B: worked new one JS6TMW and JA4FVC
CAS-4A: worked JS6TMW again.
First Taiwanese sat QSO confirmed with a card.
Not much telemetry, but strong signals from Strand-1. Gotcha!
Two new ones for the Gotcha! list: 1Kuns-FP and Innosat-2.
New one for the Gotcha! list: CP-7 (DAVE).
Found the reason why the SWR of the new LFA 2 meter yagi was so bad....
Made in China and it didn't last a year. Will have to buy from RS next time.
But everything is fine now. SWR up in the mast 1:1.1, down in the shack 1:1.2. Tried EO-88 at night, but nobody around. Still good signals until almost the horizon. Worked AO-92 at around 10 at night and heard and worked BU2EP and JR6DI. Signals peaked at 30 dB over noise and got 56 DUV frames in, so the new antenna is definitely working better than the old one. I already detect an itch to build a 70 cm version as well.
Sunny and not too warm, but most important: no wind. So I put the newly build 2 meter LFA yagi in the tower today, which didn't go smoothly at all. Will have to rething how I mount the cross boom, because it doesn't slide well in the U-bolts. On top of that when I tried the new antenna in the shack I got an SWR of 1:2.4. I suspect a loose N-socket, so will have to investigate tomorrow. Luckily I have an easy week and lots of time to experiment.