Sunday 31 August 2014

Telford Rally Weekend

This weekend was the annual Telford Radio Rally that is held at the The Enginuity museum at the Ironbridge Gorge. This area also has a lot of interesting museums so it was decided to make a weekend of it. We drove up Saturday morning, following the Tom Tom route that was an alternate to the motorways which visited lots of back roads and no towns! First we went to the Coalport China museum, then the Tar tunnel and finally the Jackfield Tile museum before retiring.
Sunday morning we followed the very noticeable Fluorescent road signs to the rally and parked in the adjacent AGA works (of stove fame)  to the Enginuity complex.
M0FRE at the entrance to the Rally

There were a selection of stands outside in the courtyard and more in an inside hall. I bought a 12v 7AH SLAB to power the KX3, guy rope, an EF183 (for my PW 6AF11 RX) and an 8W 6cm amplifier (from the G3OHM club stand). I did resist the British Tube tester for 250 pounds! I spoke with Gordon, G8PNN who I had not seen since staying overnight at his place on the way back from the GB2YS/GB2ZR expedition in Aug 1986...he still remembered the car I had at that time!

After the rally we walked uphill to the Darby House museum which were also very interesting. On the way back to the car we noticed the date the Rally building was built, you never see such age at USA hamfests! 

When we got back to the Rally car park we were the last car there:-

Tuesday 26 August 2014

August 50MHz UKAC

As GW5NF was having trouble with his TS2000 FMing on 2m and 6m(as reported by TF3ML/P!)  Meg offered to loan him her Elecraft K3 while it was in for repair.   Looking at the calendar a 6m UKAC was impending so we decided to take it and install it that day and see how it worked under the GW0FRE call. It took just a few minutes to install the K3 along with the matching KPA500 and interface it to his computer. We had a listen on 6m and heard a few signals so tried calling them Worked were IK5ACO(JN52),  ISOCDR(JN40) and ISOBSR/P (JM49) Next we hooked up the Microwave modules 70MHz transverter for a listen and heard CS5BALG/B (IM67) and CT1HZE (IM57) calling CQ on SSB who came back first call with our 7W! After a meal break,  6m produced EA5GLN (IM98)and EA7/G4GCP (IM76) then it was time for the contest.
Deciding to live dangerously we installed the N1MM software 20 minutes before the contest began!  The contest started with stations in Scandinavia. The best was OH2TP(KP20) at 1920km, but it was nice to work SM4IVE other than via the moon. Conditions then died. The contest ended with a burst of Italian stations giving the best DX,  IW8PQU (JM88) at 2078km. 60 stations were worked. The complete spread geographically is as follows: 
Looking at the UK stations worked it is noticeable the lack of Northern Stations, due to the large mountain less than a mile north of the QTH blocking takeoff that way:-

Saturday 9 August 2014

KX3-2M KX3 144MHz Internal Transverter

The KX3-2m module is lower left
I ordered this during Dayton and it arrived this week after a 3 month wait. It took about 20 minutes to fit into the KX3. Measurements showed 2.5W output off 13.8V and the W5HN/B beacon was audible on a whip attached to the SMA antenna connector, so sensitivity seems ok.

I originally also ordered a 4m transverter module, but after seeing warnings about the limited number of times the two RF cables interconnecting the modules to the KX3 could be plugged/unplugged, I gave up on the idea cancelled the order and reverted to the external 70MHz DEMI Transverter
Closeup of KX3-2m module