VHF Contesting with the ICOM 9700 (with video) 2

VHF Contesting with the ICOM 9700 (with video)
Each year me and Phil M0NVS get involved with the RSGB 2m Backpackers series of contests. 2019 is no exception and while we don’t have any chance of winning it, we do always enjoy it! We like to do as well as we can, but are limited by the relatively small hills here in IO91. ...

Activating Mallorca’s Second Highest Mountain (with video) 8

Activating Mallorca's Second Highest Mountain (with video)
While on a hiking holiday recently I was able to activate a number of SOTA summits on the Balearic island of Mallorca (IOTA EU-004). I was there with my YL (Christina) and we had set our sights on Mallorca’s second highest mountain (Massanella – EA6/MA-002). All activations were secondary to the actual hiking, so no ...

Californian SOTA Activation – Mount Davidson (W6/NC-423) 1

Californian SOTA Activation - Mount Davidson (W6/NC-423)
Work recently took me back to California, and specifically to San Francisco, which I’d not visited before. Naturally enough I checked the nearby SOTA summits to see if I could sneak in an activation. Mount Davidson (W6/NC-423) seemed to fit the bill nicely, it’s easy to get to with public transport, not too much of ...

VHF Tropo Opening (November 2018) 4

VHF Tropo Opening (November 2018)
I’d been watching the tropo forecast with anticipation for the 17th-18th of November 2018 and had planned to go out portable to see what I could work on 2m VHF. In the morning I’d had a scan on 2m from home (using a Diamond V2000 colinear) and I could see conditions were up, as I ...

Worked All Britain Awards so far 2

Worked All Britain Awards so far
Of late I’ve been focussing on working stations across the UK for the various Worked All Britain (WAB) awards, for me this adds some incentive to work local stations on both HF and VHF. It’s especially convenient as I spend more time working with NVIS and ground-wave propagation than I do regular F layer DX. I’ve ...

Icom 7300 Contest Keyer 1

Icom 7300 Contest Keyer
I’ve recently been building out my contesting capabilities at home and I’ve just added the SOTABEAMS ContestConsole to my shack. I’m also going to receive the K1EL K44 CW Keyer & Reader, for use in CW contests. But here I will focus on the ContestConsole.  SOTABEAMS have continued to impress me with their innovations. I’ve been ...

Building the DX Commander Lite multi-band vertical 5

Building the DX Commander Lite multi-band vertical
The other week I was casually researching how to make a multi-band vertical for the HF bands, initially I was thinking of a single length of wire, with traps, to separate the bands. My primary reason for wanting a vertical was to work a bit more DX, taking advantage of the low angle takeoff offered ...

FT8 – A personal critique 23

FT8 - A personal critique
FT8 (or Franke-Taylor design, 8-FSK modulation) has taken the amateur bands by storm and for better or for worse, it’s changed the profile of activity since it launched in 2017. It doesn’t garner universal love from the amateur community, in fact it seems to polarise us; you either love it or you hate it. I ...

Applying for data mode awards (the easy way) 2

Applying for data mode awards (the easy way)
Recently I discovered a really easy way of applying for the various Digital operating awards, and I thought I’d share it with you all. If you’ve done any PSK or FT8 operating, you may have already earned quite a few, but not even realised it. There are a number of Digital operating clubs that run ...

Activating Southern Britain’s Highest Mountain on Top Band (Pen Y Fan) 4

Activating Southern Britain's Highest Mountain on Top Band (Pen Y Fan)
Having activated Pen Y Fan (GW/SW-001 – 886m ASL – 8 points) four times previously, I was looking for something new to do. My wife was taking part in a Mountain Midnight Marathon again, which runs up southern Britains highest mountain (and then back down), so I’d have a few hours up at the summit ...
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