Home Brew Straight Key

I am not much of a straight key user, but I am building one anyway to be a park of my novice station. The hinge is brass, the arm brass, the knob is a a button i found in the wifes sewing collection and the spring is one i picked up from the hardware store and the base is red gum.

img_20161017_195437

 

img_20161019_180514

A little progress, using the cnc, routed down the board, retaining a plinth at the rear to mount the arm to. Need to drill out a recess to house the spring, and also another for the contacts at the front. I have some Copper rivets on the way to use as the contacts and some longer brass bolts for other side of the contact, with tapping the bar and a lock nut, the contact gap will be adjustable.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

CW: The Mode For Low Power Stations

So I was doing some log maintenance and uploading logs to all the essential services, LOTW, EQSL, Club Log and while i was looking at club log, I noticed that as far as the DX i work goes, it is predominately using CW. I figure that due to the inherent efficiency of the mode, those of us with low power stations and less than ideal antenna situations, have a better chance of working DX than if we are using Phone only.

And when i look over some of those Pacific Island DXpeditions that have taken place over the last month or so, I have not heard them on Phone and they have been weakish even on CW, but I have still managed to get in the log even when they have had substantial pileups going, just by listening and working out where the operators are listening to the pileup. In this instance, with CW skill over brute force wins every time. And in a phone pileup I get swamped, but in a CW pileup, i can spend 20 mins finding just the right frequency to call on and be heard over the bigger stations calling either side of it.

club_log

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

4 Park Multi Activation Weekend

So the final installment of all this activation activity was The Great Sandy. We were camped on Lake Cootharabra and I used this as my base camp for the activation’s of Tuchekoi, Tewantin and Woondum. I did not put a full activation of this park on as I have done it a number of times already. But rather just chased the other activators for park to park contacts.

I worked VK5PAS, VK5KLV, VK4AAC and VK7DW all park to park in and around my other activation’s. 13680776_1372117056135334_7119651812965572710_n

We had this pair of ducks decide that our campsite was going to be their campsite for the whole weekend. They slept under the table, chased away any other birds and pretty much took ownership of everything. Pretty funny.

Tewantin National Park

Tuchekoi National Park

Woodum National Park

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

Woodum National Park

Woondum is also another new park. It is also a SOTA peak and i did a dual activation for both programs. I am not much of a SOTA person, this was my first SOTA activation ever. SOTA in vk4 is a lot of work for little reward, most peaks are low value, this one was 1 point, and most require a lot of effort to climb to the summit.

Anyway, this summit was also a drive up and a short walk. I made 56 contacts from VK1,2,3,4,5,7,8 and ZL. As well as park to park contacts with VK4AAC and VK3ANL. It was also nice to have Sid and Adelle ZS5AYC and ZS5APT call in, who are both back in VK4 again visiting with family. Both are very keen on SOTA and will be out and about doing activation in the not to distant future.

Activating Position APPROX -26.262834, 152.813716 using google maps, need to use SOTAMAPS to get the exact summit co-ords.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

Checking Footprints

Sometimes when laying out a board you have to create your own footprints. Out comes the digital calipers and you start making measurements, but, what if you make a mistake, the board becomes a waste of time. So, i like to print out the board layout at 1:1 resolution and then overlay my parts and where possible push the pins through the page to check everything lines up right. Saves in the long run 🙂

IMG_20160715_203811

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

My Workshop

On thing i manage to do well, is make a mess. Not so great on the cleaning up or being tidy and organized. But i got a little excited the other day and started to sort out all my stuff and make it into some sort of organized mess, where i can at least find things.

13475159_1338493019497738_4905931146256535371_o

Starting with my component trays, I have them all stacked together now in the one location, the only thing i need to do is to add front lables so i know what is in each tray. Each tray has its own theme so its just a one word label that is needed, resistors, transistors, IC’s, Arduino etc.

13458680_1338545019492538_9074801215391798218_o

So after getting all my componentry away and tidy, i had some bench space left over, and do i cleaned up and organized my work and test area of my bench. Things are nice and clean for now, I just need to find a place for my current project, the 3 boxes on the upper shelf and fill that gap with something nice like a spectrum analyser. HIHI.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

12v 0.5A Solar Panel part 2

So we got some nice winter sun today and I was able to test them out in typical sun conditions and we are making pretty much close to the theoretical maximum they can make, peaking at 550mah and averaging about 440, all in all this is rather good and well suited to the purpose i have in mind for them, keeping a portable rig running longer on a 7ah deepcycle.

13483098_1335406263139747_7339984006455885588_o

13475163_1335406276473079_8981693519490684147_o

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin