Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Some solutions...

Sorry for not updating the blog for a few weeks. Other things besides the hobby occupied my time. Not that I was completely absent from the hobby. I removed the 10m HB9CV again and it was replaced with the Watson W2000 6/2/70 antenna for 6m mainly. Unfortanely so far I did not see much sporadic E coming this way. Although I was spotted in the Ukraine when the band seems to be closed! I've also been on MSK144 but only spotted a German and a English station. I probabely expect too much from this mode or I have to wait for ES or meteors.

Some solutions came up for the problems I encountered when operating portable in Denmark. First of all one of my colleagues on the job modified my tripod to mount the MP-1 directly on top just like the tripods superantenna is selling. Normally a tripod is provided with a plastic mount on which you can screw your camera, you can turn your camera then in several angles. Nice, but not strong enough to hold a long antenna in the wind. Now I just have a single 1/4" bolt on top of the tripod...

Another problem was how to handle a QSO on JT65/JT9 digimode with a extra prefix? The software is limited to just your call and when you're in another country you have a problem in handling a complete QSO as it just ignores for example OZ/. The solution came last week in a QSO with 5Z4/DL2RMC from Kenya. As you can see in the picture I tried to send 5Z4/DL2RMC TNX 73 but the software/mode is limited, confused as I was I clicked the wrong report message and quickly changed that to DL2RMC PE4BAS RR73. DL2RMC came back with his full call. So I assume not completely correct but when abroad you better send CQ OZ/PE4BAS (no locator as that is too long), in response there is no other possebility to send only your call without the extra prefix. For the opposite station it is important to finish with the full call like DE OZ/PE4BAS 73. Will think of that next time...

At the 4th day we were in Denmark the laptop lost his internet connection and since the internal clock from this old laptop has a 10 sec. delay every 5 minutes it completely lost it's time resulting in no decodes on WSPR anymore. I've thinking about this and this is also a problem when you want to do WSPR or JT modes in the field without a internet connection. As known these modes need exact timing from a highly accurate clock. So I was thinking about a small USB or bluetooth GPS receiver for this task. Together with IZ2BKT's BktTimeSync it should work. I will order a cheap keyring GPS receiver to test if it does and report about this later.


I finally combined PSK, JT and SSB logs and come till a total of 10 QSO from Denmark. That doesn't sound much but considering the setup and my holiday style operating I think it is well done.


Sunday, 30 April 2017

While we were away...

While we were in Denmark last week this huge windmill was build en visible from our Garden. So we went out to take a look nearby. This windmill is 200m high and supposed to be the largest one in our country. Several of these will be build in the Eemshaven near my QTH. This one can make 4,5MW of energy and produce for 5000 households.

Imagine in the last century and even before the highest building in our province was the Martinitower in Groningen city. It is (only) 100m high. This windmill is twice the height of the tower.

Look at the size of the large crane and truck at the feet of the mill. They look like tiny toys...




A view from the back of our garden...in the center you see the windmill...

Friday, 28 April 2017

We have a winner...

We finally have a winner. It is PE1BVQ Hans who came with the final location. Was it hard to find me? It seems so because there were no other right answers. Actually not many seem to have a interest in a book about DX? Hans, you will get the book and it is interesting for shure. Well, to find me was not that hard. Even without a radio it would be possible. Just check the activity list at wsprnet.org and find me. Then it is just a matter of writing my call in the database to find the locator. The hard part was the exact name of the location. If you think logical the best guess was somewhere on a vacation park which is as far as I know the only one in this square. 3 options were right. The exact location was Selkaer Molle but Selkaer or Glesborg would be right also.

Well I ended transmissions, the whole station is packed again. We will go home tomorrow and leave early. It was a great vacation. Hobby wise I learned a lot again. The superantenna MP-1 tripped over by the wind again and I really find another way to connect the antenna to the tripod as it cracked again. I know the tripod is made for a camera and not for a (heavy) antenna. I've been active on 20,30 and 40m and made some QSOs in SSB, JT65 and JT9. Only one QSO with the homeland.PD0ME Margienus was the lucky one. PB7Z and PA4GB almost made it but were unable to pick my weak signal out of the noise.


At a certain time on 40m I had a small pile-up ;-)....
Well, look at the picture. JTDX still is amazing. 2 decodes on the same (722Hz) frequency. I worked M0PXS by the way...