Merry Christmas!

Here at Chez KY6R we wish you and yours the best of the Holidays, whatever holiday you do or don’t celebrate.

And all the best in health and happiness in the New Year!

Can FT8 Get Me to DXCC on Top Band?

This is a QSO where my 2 element 20M home brewed yagi is retracted and pointing towards LU – off the back for JA

I had FT8 set up with my KX3 and KXPA100 combo, but have wanted to get it set up with my K3 + SPE 1.3K amplifier – main station. I figured out what was needed (now that I had the time and energy while on holiday break), and it all works and its excellent.

I do believe that FT8 might help get me from 92 to 100 – I have seen several easy entities (i.e 9Y4) that I need and they have only been on FT8, so today was a good day – I wrapped up my antenna project and got FT8 working on my main station.

Lets see if I can get closer to the goal in the last 10 days of the year!

80M LC Circuit Added

The 80M circuit is now in Position 1, 30M is Position 2, and 160M is Position 3.

I no longer need the Palstar AT2K – the SPE ATU can now handle 160, 80, 40, 30, 20M with the Inverted L. However, I’ll leave it inline just in case – I might want to use the Inverted L on another band when 3Y0Z fires up – the higher bands would need a tuner. But my 17M Extended Double Zepp will be a better antenna for the high bands.

The biggest lesson learned is that a 160M antenna can easily become a great 30M antenna, but 80M is a much different story. As it is, I have to work at reduced power on 80M – because while it does work at full power, I can see that its a struggle. 500 watts is no problem, and since I only ever use it for a nightly net, it will be just fine. I should add a separate wire at the top of the vertical in the future like the Battle Creek Special does – so I will have more bandwidth on 75 and 80M.

 

2017 Wrap Up: DXCC Most Wanted

Clublog’s Most Wanted List for December, 2017 and End of the Year

I was very pleased to see Heard Island drop all the way down to #29 now – I have been hoping it dropped to somewhere in the 30’s, and it looks like that will happen soon.

I only need #2 – Bouvet, and hope in about 1 months time that I can say I only have one last one to go – Glorioso, which is #12.

Its really funny, but the Top 10 Most Wanted list all of a sudden looks boring to me – it used to be a source of excitement and motivation. Lucky me – I have new interests and paths in this vast hobby of Amateur Radio – I am by no means bored nor do I feel I will ever get to the point where there is nothing left to do.

It will always depend on how far out of my “comfort zone” I want to go.

Samuel F.B Morse and Parallels With Today in the US

The times that Morse lived in had some parallels with our modern times, specifically regarding new technology development, religion and politics.

There was an endless line of shysters who were ready to take advantage of his trusting nature, and while he “marketed” his work as his own, he did have lots of input and like all technologies, leveraged others work. Some I feel he did not give enough  credit to, like Alfred Vail. However, he did come up with the basic ideas and design for the telegraph – meaning his implementation. There were plenty of competing designs. His was the simplest and arguably most elegant in its simplicity, which meant it was also most robust.

Patent Law was very new in the US, and there were many fights technically and what would have been “Technical Marketing”. Lots of scams and lots of shysters. Morse had to repeatedly prove his ideas and fight off law suits right and left.

Morse was a religious zealot and I did not know that at one time, Catholics in the US were treated the way Muslims are now being treated – as a pariah of sorts.

There was plenty of chicanery and corruption – our republic was new and fragile – there were Nativist’s, and a split in the country leading to turmoil and the Civil War. There was interference from other countries as what we have had with Russia today. There were recessions as well – even depressions. There were fights and issues with immigration. Small wars broke out.

I’ve been surprised to see so many parallels with what we have been going through in 2016 and 2017.

The Zig Zag

I have a 36′ vertical just laying on the ground, and I could easily bolt it to a fence post 36′ away from the 41′ vertical and have it line up with Bouvet nicely.

It does look like  phased array on a few bands . . .

And EZNec says it might be better on Top Band.

Just something to think about . . .

The > 12 Days of Christmas

A few years back, Kat and I visited the Lost Abbey and Port Brewing brewery in San Marcos, California. This is the home to RF Parts, a company I have purchased many radio goodies from, mostly tubes. 807’s?

A year ago, we rode our bikes past the hop fields in the gorgeous Willamette Valley in Oregon, and when we reached Eugene, we ended our trek at Ninkasi Brewing. I just love the humorous port and stout beers that come out at Christmas time.

The labels are hilarious.

Bikes and beer – and radio – and computers – and photography – and electronics – and family – and wildlife and geography and maps and yes, gardening, these are but a few favorite things. I’m sure there are way more than 12 things to sing about and be thankful for.

Oh, and DXing, and living history – going to art and history museums and trains and reading biographies of inventors, and music, (both listening to our favorites as well as playing it). Kat’s cooking is to die for. She makes most restaurants pale in comparison. Not SAD!

Ok, that’s more than 12 favorite things, and more than 12 days of Christmas.