02 November 2015

Connecting the rig to the computer

I decided to try out grig on my little ASUS EeePC 900 that I am using temporarily until I get another computer.  I have Slackware 14.1 installed.  It's actually very, very easy to do!  Read on for more.

23 October 2015

Lotsa DX

The bands have been good for me lately.  Worked a station in St. Lucia and heard Benin again but didn't try to work him.  I've partially constructed the new G5RV Junior but now I just have to get my dad to cut out a piece of polycarbonate for me to use for the center piece.  I forgot how easy it was to build the antenna.  Once I get that done, I'll wind up putting the G5RV Junior where the 20 meter dipole is.  At least I'll be able to work 40 meter on it now.  I've heard you can't tune a G5RV Jr. to work on 30 meter but it doesn't bother me since I don't do data anyhow.

19 October 2015

Bands open today

I've been trying to work TY2CD in Benin and D4D in Cape Verde but unfortunately, due to the boorish behavior by amateur radio operators with amplifiers and people shouting their callsign four times in a row, I decided to go do something else.  I did, however, work VK2015TDF in Perth, Australia, Friday evening which was 10,125 miles away from me.  That was a new personal record for a QSO for me.  I'm kinda tickled about it.  Now to get a job so I can afford to start sending off all of these QSL cards!

More follows...

18 October 2015

Keeping busy

The bands are terrible today.  I heard a station from Chile calling on 12 meters so I called him back.  He heard me, but between the lousy conditions, the new S9+ line noise that recently popped up, and some seriously strong QSB (signal fading), we both gave up.  I was kinda irritated because that would have been my first Chilean contact!

Just the same, I've kept busy in the shack...

16 October 2015

Antenna buildin' time again

So it looks like it's a go to build that G5RV Junior.  I discovered I had enough 450-ohm ladder line to build the antenna.  Dad is letting me get about 52' of his 16-gauge wire to create the dipole part of the antenna.  He's checking to see if he has a silver-plated board-mount SO-239 for me to use with the coax.

15 October 2015

A little more housecleaning

I decided to update and clean up my ham radio website.  In order to keep maintenance between my profiles on QRZ.com, QRZCQ.com, and HamQTH.com simple, I put everything back on my ham radio website and pointed visitors to my various profiles to check out the website.  You can check out the website yourself at http://www.qth.net/kd5col/.  I also put up pictures of my shack and my antenna, however, they're of dubious quality, so I'll dig out my actual digital camera sometime this weekend and take some nicer pictures.

14 October 2015

Back on the air

I've moved to the little town (that no longer exists) of Limestone, Tennessee, with my parents.  I'm staying in their motorhome while I get back on my feet with another job.  They've allowed me to set up a handmade 20 meter dipole as a sloper with the high end about 20 feet in the air.  I've been able to get the dipole to "tune" on 10-20 meters quite nicely at 100 watts.  Checking the power meter on my 706, I'm really putting about 80-90 watts out but that's good enough for me.

I have discovered that I have enough stuff to build myself another G5RV Junior, so that's in the works too.  I'm hesitant to spend money on supports, such as thick PVC pipe, to put up the antenna here (there's only about three small trees on the property and all of them are in the back).  We'll see what happens on that.

I've been working some DX even with the rotten conditions lately.  I've worked Aruba, Wales, Venezuela, and Guantanamo Bay (Cuba).  I heard a station from the Dominican Republic last night and he was booming in here with a very strong and clear signal.  He was using a hexbeam antenna; Dad and I both want one.

So I hope I'll keep this blog updated a lot more often. :)

05 July 2015

Quiet on the air

I don't post on the blog as much as I want to.  I haven't been on the air for quite some time due to physical issues around the house, such as nowhere to put up an antenna safely and the now-unstable housing situation I find myself in due to no fault of my own.  So there's no ham radio activity on my end right now, but hopefully soon, I'll be able to get into a place where I can put up my shack and get back on the air again.

I did build another 20-meter dipole yesterday.  It's not fully complete yet but I hope to have it fixed soon.  I still can't find my original 20-meter dipole I built but it will show up eventually.  I might get around to building another G5RV Junior and carry that around with me.

So for now, not much hamming from me but I'm hoping to be back on the air soon!

07 April 2015

Been a while...

It's been a long time since I've posted on the blog because I haven't done much in ham radio.  I recently moved into my own place: a second-story room in an old house with two south-facing windows.  Unfortunately, I can't put up any of my wire dipole antennas due to the lot being too narrow and not enough room between trees.  I was looking at putting my Mosley up but it needs a new base mount, having broken the original one when mounted on my parents' home rooftop.

I've decided to try one of those "hamstick dipoles" using two 40-meter "hamsticks" and a special mount, sold by MFJ.  It will be very easy for me to crawl out of one of my windows onto the porch roof to set up this antenna.  For now, I'm going to get a strong piece of PVC pipe to mount the antenna on and attach it directly to the dormer frame.  The antenna, while providing fairly limited bandwidth, will be what I'll use for now.  It's better than not being on the air, right?


So I have found that there is some sort of new RFI bleeding into my receive signal.  I'm not sure what it is exactly but it sounds like ...