Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Cumbria DSP

All bits for Ron's DSP boards have arrived... sorting now. (I have not ordered the jumpers or some of the discrete C and R I expect builder to either have their own or easy access to them).

If anyone was interested please get in touch. Should have 20 sets (minus mine so 19!) some are spoken for.

Looks like quite a bit of saving on the oneses and twoses prices.

I will contact Ron and see if he has spare boards.

Monday, 29 October 2012

No comments with links to dodgy sites

Please note any comments to dodgy sites will get dropped as spam no exceptions.

Just had a dozen anonymous comments and they have all gone the same way.

Please do not include links to anything non amateur radio or I will not publish it. I cannot edit part of a comment so even though the rest might be useful information I'll still not publish it and report it as spam.
I really would prefer it if you do have a comment or link tag with your own blog and callsign (assuming you are a radio amateur).


DSP from Cumbria Designs

Any considering trying to build one of Ron's DSP projects


His Rishworth presentation is:
I picked up a PCB from Ron at Rishworth and want to do a group buy? He isn't doing kits at moment... you will have to get PCB from him.

There would not be huge savings as there are not that many components
but I have Farnell account so easy to add a few extras so if 10 were
interested would save maybe £4-£6 or so on the cost of the Voltage
regulators, DSP PIC, Audio chip TLV320AIC23BPW and MAX3221CAE.

I just ordered these:

1st number is Farnell Component ID
40MIPS £3.24
TSSOP28 £4.92
3221, SSOP16 £1.52
1842205  TXC 9B-12.288MAAJ-B XTAL, 12.288MHZ, 18PF, HC-49S £0.36
1842224  10      TXC 9B-20.000MAAJ-B     XTAL, 20.000MHZ, 18PF, HC-49S £0.36

1663356 LT1117 3v3 regulator £2.23
1759361RL 100nF 1210 cap £0.015
1833901 470nf 1210 cap £0.45 I only bought 5 of these for myself.

I have 10 sets of them.

The price is what they will cost me so I'll pass them on for same.

If interested let me know.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Stuff I am selling at Rishworth.

A list of all the goodies I'll have on my table (up on the stage):

A lot went.... those through lined.

Most if not all are built projects.

Item Asking (GBP )
23cm ATV TX 30
23cm ATV RX 30
G6ALU ATV Controller 30
Superdrug Radios 2.5
Howes 2m and 6m RX Converter 10
Fuchs Antenna Tuner 17.5
ADC-40 15
Mono Headset 2
Wood pieces Donation (10p)
Wires etc Donation (10p)
Wall warts 20p each
Laptop Power Supply 1
Printer power supply 1
Softrock 20m SDR RX 5
10MHz frequency counter 10
RX , TX PCB VK3XU 40m SSB CW - M1KTA Version 15
Notch Filter 10
Velleman Water Alarm 2.5
Velleman PMK125 light switch 5
Discrete AF AMP 3
SA 612 Detector 3
Frequency Standard V1.1 3
MC1349 IF Amp 3
500Hz Xtal Filter (5.0688MHz & 430pF) 4
RF Amp 3
SA612 HM Mixer Kit 3
Universal VFO 10
Softrock 160m RX 5
Softrock V6.2 RXTX 160m 20
Softrock V6.2 RXTX 20/30m 20
Softrock 30m RX 5
MKARS-80 CW Kit (Built) 30
MKARS-80 (Built) 50
ARDF-80 RX 40
ARDF-80 TX (x2) 5
Softrock V6.2 RXTX 40/80m 20
SnapPaddle 15
Softrock V4.0 40m ORIGINAL 20
Softrock V6 RX Various 5
FDIM2008 RF PA 5
KitsandParts 10W PA 30
SLT Tuner 20
Digital Dial 20
Tenna Dipper kit 20
Tenna Dipper Built 25
Miniboots 5W PA 15
Marker Generator 5
Softrock Ensemble RXTX 40/80 45
Norcal W6JJZ BLT Tuner 15
DDS Si570 28
DDS Si570 PCB 5
PFR-3 150
Frequency Standard (kits and parts) 8
Small wonder labs SW20+, Norcal Keyer, 10T 50K and AB13 box 60
DDS-60 (2 of) 10 each
BITX20A 90
JUMA Keyer 20
Softrock V6.2 RXTX 80m 20
433.9MHz RX and TX (2 of) 5ea pair
Norcal-2030 Part kit 45
VNA V1 70
BW Camera 5
Colour Camera 5

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

KX3 Headset

Asked over and over what am I using...

Logitech  PC Headset 860
P/N 981-000094

This has a small boom mic and the leads are mic 3.5mm and audio 3.5mm The headset has an inline volume control and a mic mute. The mic is noise cancelling too!

The cost was £6.80 from ebay including P&P :-)

Did a search and there are similar headset on ebay


Now I didn't want something that looked like a 'tank commander' / ear defender type over the ears and wanted something light weight and fitting for use.

The lead is plenty long enough.

I carry one for use with the PC (older P/N 881-000033 no noise cancelling mic) for skype and I found on 6W or KH8 easiest way to let someone hear what I was up to is connect a Y adapter and the second headset and let them listen themselves.

A LOT cheaper than the Heil one that can be bought and whilst not in the same category I found perfectly usable.

W5/M1KTA QRV from AE5X shack

Ran a short pile in the QRP-ARCI contest from John (AE5X) shack. He collected me from the gate at Houston, breakfast and then operated (I setup the station as I had run it in KH8) plugged into his antennas and operated.

Great fun.

Note the large FT240-61 ferrite on the leads for the K1EL usbwinkeyer... doesn't matter what I do I keep getting RF even at qrp back into laptop from rig from this. I had to restart wintest and other laptop bits from time to time, most annoying.

Yes in contest/pile up I use cwget to help with the cw tune (last image). I do not use a hand key when running win-test either and send everything through the keyboard so you will not see a key n the picture, although I do have a palm paddle plugged in usually.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

First direct QSL beat me home!

Got home at 11:00 UTC today 14th October and first direct QSL beat me home :-)

W6SDM... Not created QSL cards yet !

All qso in the log with KH8/M1KTA uploaded to LoTW.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Where to next?

Anyone got an interesting DXpedition coming up and need an op?

KH8/M1KTA sounded like this

So what does a QRP station sound like working EU from the other side of the globe?

These are not mine but




So I ask is a qro station is really essential for those DXpeditions, if so why ?

I do think some things are needed though...

1. Mains power not essential but makes life a lot easier all around.
2. Very well guyed antennas, if I had one major weakness it was this. WX was reported at Force 7 so winds gusting >35mph and I had two antenna supports snap in the winds.
3. Everyone said take a PA, not 100% sure needed after listening to many contacts, a PA would not have helped me hear the pile up stations any better and there were not many places I couldn't work... A PA might help me sound louder... not convinced of value except added other to the pile up. I took a pa (Homebrew ARRL design but it didn't last long, one FET blew as the bias resistor had popped and the PA current went high, zapped the car battery I had obtained for the North East shore site (no mains).
4. Do not believe the doomsayers or propagation predictions most are pure rubbish and I worked lots of stations when everything says I should not have... Why? Because the propagation predictions are just that predictions. The most time the low predictions is often due to the fact there just are not 1,000's of stations from that DXCC, I think I was it for KH8 when I was there, so if someone listened somewhere where I wasn't they have said no propagation... that said posting op freqs and sticking to them and then being asked for schedules and reverse beacon and dx cluster meant most just set alarms on the call appearing... I've done a bit of cross reference log to dx spots and there is a direct correlation.
5. More time? I went for the time I did as that was what was available never planned to set records etc, happy to work plenty of qrp stations from KH8.

Friday, 12 October 2012


Might be qrv from Texas as W5/M1KTA as I have a 5 hour stop over. 08:10 to 2:55pm local time.

If I am expect will be qrv cw on 21.015, 14.015 or 18.075

KH6/M1KTA Mini pile

Landed in KH6 and rented a car and went up on NE shore, mini pile on 17m (W3EDP) qrp and worked stations from West to East Coast US for couple hours. Tried other bands but heard nothing. reverse cluster heard me on the other frequencies...


On another flight so back to airport now.

KH8 permissions

Came from the Sa'ilele talking village chief who is second to ...

The actual village chief... in case you don't recognise him...(T.T.A. Tulafono) he is American Samoa's Governor has been for last 16 years and is about to stand down in November. He is also the president of the local Rugby Union and sepnt some of the flight talking about the chances at the upcoming Oceanic championships, there was a kiwi coach on same flight.

I sat next to him on flight back to Hawaii I think he arranged that as my ticket should not have warranted the seat and wanted to understand more about radio as he had met a couple Swains Guys but was not really sure what they were up to and his family had briefed him on what I was doing. I had spent some time taking to the kids after I set up the first night and showed them the world map (on the PC) with the sun/grey line and where the stations I could hear were from.

Tnx fer contacts kh8/m1kta now qrt

qrt from kh8/m1kta

Wind snapped antennas support again guys were ripped out.

Hastily tapped up 'spare' also broken and put back up again, the broken one rested it against a palm tree.

Photo for possible qsl card

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Me recorded elsewhere whilst KH8

This is the antennas site:

The 15m antenna morning after 1st night's operating.

QRV 21.015 UP1

Sunrise view.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

8th October eventful day

Well it started off pretty interesting. It is an ill wind that blows no good.

Unusually high winds succeeded in snapping both antennas so was qrt at 4:30am local time and collected everything in.

The Parks meeting had been put off until today... arrive to find it is Columbus day and the Parks office is closed... feels like a Monty Python sketch or a game of snakes and ladders... so not to be put off I'll try and hire a car and drive anyway. The fact there are only two flights a week seems to mean all hire cars are out until the next flight so have to wait until pm :-) Finally manage to secure one through Dollar and it is a 4x4.

By time car arrived it is almost 4pm local time and sun set is within couple hours... so grabbed all the kit and drove up to the North East of the island... was not going to try an all nighters this time just wanted to see what the locations were. By the time I get to Aua which is where the road goes over the mountain ridge down the centre of American Samoa, it is dark... ho hum continued onto Sa'ilele and right at the end of the beach (compass out) it is pointing due north. So first find land owner and ask for permission to operate (this is ESSENTIAL HERE!) granted, so setup KX3, no PA and 15m vertical dipole using repaired pole. I ran the KX3 off the car battery (I carry a set of car battery croc clips, miniature versions).... one cq and instant pile up JA and couple Russian stations... lasted as long as the car battery did! Bit of a surprise then I read that the car was literally brand new and the battery was probably the one from the factory as it was driven off the boat so no surprise it went flat. I had just worked several dozen JA and thought try EU and cq'd... two attempts and SV9COL comes through seriously 599+20dB. Roger Western 100% correct location location location made all the difference. Anyway... qrt so pack everything away, I had remembered Petzl head torch so put that on.... now how to get the car going...  fortunately one of the locals walked over and asked if I was having a problem 5 minutes later brother arrived with his truck and gives me a jump start. Funds for a beer donation my way of saying thanks. On way back took a wrong turn and ended up at Masefau.... stopped and met by a local prince and his wife, they own the hills behind the village... yes not a problem operating.... the beach location, better than Sa'ilele and the direction due north nothing until get to Russia.... ideal. I think they said they will provide mains power (I have to provide lead) for PSu and PA otherwise will be qrp again.

Back at hotel now (no internet at locations above).

Goiung to be QRV runrise tomorrow and every night all night until come home. 15/17/20m and will look at 40m IF it looks like an option.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Change in 15m and 20m frequency.

Will be qsy down the bands 15m and 20m to between 21 or 14.015-035 after suggestion as dx chasers likely to be ignoring me higher on 21 or 14.055.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Just worked through the night here in kh8, so UK day time

Total qso count 60 for the night pretty poor really, mostly JA's!

It rained hard for maybe 2 hours but the bands seem almost dead, 15m seems to be only one with any stations on it I can hear. Tweaked everything and still no joy. I have a couple UK stations in log so I know I am getting back to UK and some emails saying that when I was c50W report should be 539 but I really am not hearing anyone...

I have some strange log anomalies too. One F station 4 el at 100ft and 1KW, and a GM 10W and a dipole, whereas I have a reported 3el 400W in UK said I was very strong but I hear nothing! No I do not have the attenuators on I checked!

I have recorded all my on air time and I have ll the pre amps on and the filters wide open but I cannot hear anything and if you cannot hear them you cannot work them ;-)

The KX3 RX has proven itself to be pretty good so cannot be that. I will put it down to Long Path problems maybe?

It is Sunday day time here now... Parks service are shut until Monday (were not open as hoped on 6th) so I will visit them in Morning (8th) about going to North Shore, will need to find a portable power source though  unless go qrp and on KX3 batteries only. I have a garage prepared to lend me a fully charged car battery but that is a lot to carry.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Propagation LONG PATH

This is what it looks like for KH8 to UK.. so try me on 15m morning or evening UK time.

This is run with me using a 1/4 wave and 50W you a dipole at 10m so realistic

This is the map for the best RX.

Some others you can play with voacap yourself at http://www.voacap.com/prediction.html

From KH8 I can see where I am getting out to.


30m qrss beacon running

I have a 400mW beacon running on 30m 10.140.408 (ish) I am alternating (manual change over) between qrss3 and 12 or 25wpm kh8/m1kta/ah45pr 

AH45pr is my location.

I have a couple reports that the cw signal could be heard in UK!

20m vertical dipole up next to the 15m vertical

I ran a 30m beacon in cw 12 wpm mode from the 20m dipole last night.

So what does a DX station look like....

This the DX station setup.

Going around clockwise:

start with KX3 needs no introduction really.
next is an LDG Z11-Pro II Auto atu, bit pointless really as antenna tuned.
On top of the tuner sits the homebrew VSWr (finished last Friday!)
Next is the KL-500 case with the ARRL homebrew built 50W Dual IRFZ24N MOSFET linear (see earlier blog post)
Fan on top to keep cool.
Beneath the amplifier is a Palm Paddle
Next is a K1EL Winkey sitting on the PSU
lastly the laptop running win-test

Not in the picture are the three qrss beacons with me... Hans and Steve simple QRSS beacon, The Hans and Steve Ultimate beacon and the NT7S QRSS beacon. I have the latter on 30m doing a cw ident at 12wpm 10.140.408 KH8/m1KTA/AP45pr The other two will be qrss 3 and WSPR also 30m tomorrow.

Didn't bring them this trip but kinda wish I had now... I have four 6m telescoping masts that collapse to just 33cm!

All this fits in the carry on luggage, yes often asked lots of questions but a few photos, copy of licence, SPRAT and RadCom usually handles most things... and KX3 picks up BBC world service wonderfully too!

QRV in KH8

Hastily thrown up 15m dipole. 10m pole at edge of beach right in front of hotel room.

 I am in 1st floor

The coax balun unwound a bit.

Worked couple US, Brazil, Venezuela, Malaysia, New Zealand.

The vertical dipoles are also the driven elements of the vertical moxons I made up... so to switch from dipole to moxon should not take too long.

I have a second pole and another similar length of coax so I might put up a 20m dipole as well.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Arrived in KH8

Will be qrv at some point in next 12 hours. It is 03.47am local time... very delayed arrival which also means noone checked out from where I am staying either!

It is 3:47PM in UK right now (14:47 UTC) so I am 12 hour BEHIND the UK time or local reads as 11 hours BEHIND UTC.



Breakfast with the DX members at sizzler:

The guy on far right is John Peters K1ER who was one of those that activated Swains Island in 2006 I think... the guy behind the camera is Tets Tanaka AH7C and was also part of that original trip. Interesting conversations over waffles. To my right is Will (forget call right now), far left is Bill KH6OO who arranged KH6BB stuff for me.

Then a tour of USS Missouri

 The antenna, basically a number of GP's

Had fun and operated for an hour or so.


ADIF Export from Logger32 Ver [3.41]
Copyright 2001-2012  Robert C. Furzer.
Logs generated on 04 Oct 2012 at 20:08 UTC by : KH6BB.
File output restricted to QSOs by : All Operators - All Bands - All Modes

5350 CHEROKEE WAY, ANTIOCH, CA  94531 15M K6KCC NA 3 291 21.260000 6 SSB Kit KH6BB K6 20121004 59 59 184226 184226 16493

2916 LANCASTER RD, CARLSBAD, CA  92008 15M WB8YQJ NA 4 291 21.288000 8 SSB Don KH6BB WB8 20121004 59 5 185840 185840 16494

1104 WAKEFIELD DRIVE, HEYWORTH, IL  617459669 15M W8SM NA 4 291 21.288000 8 SSB Barry KH6BB W8 20121004 59 59 190724 190724 16495

NORTH WINDBRECK, DEERNESS ORKNEY, KW172QL KW17 2QL 15M GM3POI EU 14 279 21.288000 27 SSB Mr KH6BB GM3 20121004 59 59 190847 190847 16496

CALLE PACO SANDOVAL , 20 BAJO, ALJUCER MURCIA, MU  30152 15M EA5HJV EU 14 281 21.288000 37 SSB Frank KH6BB EA5 20121004 59 59 191116 191116 16497

124 DEER SPRINGS CIRCLE, WESTCLIFFE, CO  81252 15M KF0VR NA 4 291 21.288000 7 SSB Terry KH6BB KF0 20121004 59 59 191231 191231 16498

13612 SHERWOOD FOREST DR, SILVER SPRING, MD  20904 15M WB2ZAB NA 5 291 21.288000 8 SSB Todd R. Ruby KH6BB WB2 20121004 59 59 191340 191340 16499

C/ ANGEL GIMERA 2, E-43760 EL MORELL (TARRAGONA) 15M EA3FQ EU 14 281 21.288000 37 SSB Josep KH6BB EA3 20121004 59 59 191629 191629 16500

WALDDORFER RING 16, 08428 TRUENZIG 15M DG1CMZ EU 14 230 21.288000 28 SSB Michael KH6BB DG1 20121004 59 59 192135 192135 16501

LAUBISTRASSE 9, 8193 EGLISAU ZH 15M HB9ELV EU 14 287 21.288000 28 SSB Christoph KH6BB HB9 20121004 59 59 192313 192313 16502

C/ PADRE FULLANA 8 - 2~ - PTA 4, 46870 - ONTINYENT (VALENCIA) 15M EA5GUD EU 14 281 21.288000 37 SSB Baldo KH6BB EA5 20121004 59 59 192515 192515 16503

541 E. CHERRY AVE, ARROYO GRANDE, CA  93420 15M KR6ZY NA 3 291 21.288000 6 SSB Mark KH6BB KR6 20121004 59 59 192549 192549 16504

15M AB7ZU NA 3 291 21.288000 6 SSB Mike KH6BB AB7 20121004 59 59 192630 192630 16505

15M CU2AF EU 14 149 21.288000 36 SSB KH6BB CU2 20121004 59 59 192916 192916 16506

34 CULZEAN CRESCENT,, KILMARNOCK KA3 7DT 15M GM4SQM EU 14 279 21.288000 27 SSB David KH6BB GM4 20121004 59 59 193816 193816 16507

407 HARLOW DR, ANTIOCH, CA  94509 15M AB6XG NA 3 291 21.288000 6 SSB Richard KH6BB AB6 20121004 59 59 193946 193946 16508

DROSSELSTRASSE 16, BOTTMINGEN 4103 15M HB9DCO EU 14 287 21.288000 28 SSB Art KH6BB HB9 20121004 59 59 194217 194217 16509

PLEASE QSL, VIA F5VU 15M FM5CD NA 8 84 21.288000 11 SSB Michel KH6BB FM5 20121004 59 59 194425 194425 16510

PO BOX 537, DUGGER, IN  47848 15M KC9LDK NA 4 291 21.288000 8 SSB Bert KH6BB KC9 20121004 59 59 194549 194549 16511

204 OLD DUNHAM BRIDGE RD, GREENVILLE, SC  29611 15M KK4FTW NA 5 291 21.288000 8 SSB Greg KH6BB KK4 20121004 59 59 194722 194722 16512

995 N HANEY AVE, REEDLY, CA  93654 15M N6RBO NA 3 291 21.288000 6 SSB Robert KH6BB N6 20121004 59 59 194906 194906 16513

1545 BOWMAN RD, LIMA, OH  45804 15M W8ICU NA 4 291 21.288000 8 SSB Charles KH6BB W8 20121004 59 59 195055 195055 16514

Thursday, 4 October 2012

KH6BB QRV after 19:00 UTC 4th October

I will be on KH6BB and QRV for an hour (there will be others in party) I expect to be on SSB bands 12/15/17 until have to go to the airport.

Arrived in KH6 07:00 UTC 4th October and QRV

27 hours after leaving home I just arrived, I am in the Waikiki Sand Villa Hotel

They have put me on top floor corner as asked.

I'll rig up an antenna shortly and may operate WSPR overnight.

QRV now calling 7.188MHz

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Yipee the PA works

Another yippee... the homebrew amp works... 160 through to 10m :-) I started off with the http://m1kta-qrp.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/m1kta-version-of-arrl-50w-pa.html but I updated the PA's and restarted as I found I had a set of the beefier FETs. For between 2-5w drive cw or ssb I can get between 25-90W out, the current draw peaks at 11Amps. I just built a qro swr (G6ALU) so I can measure it too. I hope that should be enough from the DX location if conditions not great  ;-)

And it works with the portable (big for me anyway) 25 amp psu I have, and I could run of a car battery too (belt and braces again I tested that!)

I pulled the board out of the CB Amp (RM KL-500 amp) and used the chassis heat sink, switches etc... No low pass filtering through... I'll may use a 'general attenuate everything above 30MHz LPF' or I might build something specific for the 80m and 40m bands.

Best of all it comes in under weight too! 

Now to make up the 17/12 moxon and RG174 feeders.

DX location KH8

I fly tomorrow morning.

I'll be travelling vis San Francisco then Honolulu onto Pago Pago (Amerian Samoa).
I'll be QRV from 5th October (evening UK time) probably on 20m initially.

Hope to work you.

I'll be looking for qrp stations especially so if you are qrp please say so.