Tag: 2015

CQ WW SSB 2015

This weekend saw a casual entry into the CQ WW SSB contest, taking part with George M1GEO, Dave M0YOL, Dave G7UVW and Chris G8OCV.

I used my TS990, 4e homebrew beam on 21 MHz and HAL 1200 solid state amplifier delivering 400w. 28 MHz was a vertical @ 12m and 1.9, 3.5 and 7 MHz was a doublet antenna at 25m. We set up on Friday afternoon, meaning we was ready to play radio for the 1AM start on Saturday morning. The evening provided good conditions on 7 and 3.5 MHz, and through the day 21 and 28 MHz remained open.  Power was provided by 2x 2KW EU20 a silent run generators.

Room with a view


3.5MHz looking busy

22418778476_a5be9ac774_kThankfully Dave M0YOL allowed us to use his caravan awning, this provided welcome relief from the rain on Saturday. We complete some operating on Saturday and Sunday, closing the station just after 3PM. This allowed us to pack down and head home before it got dark.


Over the weekend I managed to work 551 QSO in 79 countries.

QSO per Band – (DXCC) 22281497689_620db97656_k

  • 1.9 MHz – 5 (4)
  • 3.5 MHz – 46 (17)
  • 7 MHz – 134 (39)
  • 21 MHz – 279 (57)
  • 28 MHz – 87 (28)

The 4e beam on 21 MHz worked really well, i’ve used this for a few contests now and always been very pleased with its performance. A blog on its construction can be found here.


All together a very enjoyable weekend, with good band conditions.

QSO maps showing EU, Asia and JA
Thanks to everyone we worked 73 Dave M0TAZcq_ww_ssb_EU cq_ww_ssb_USA cq_ww_ssb_JA

National Hamfest 2015

Its been a while since I ventured out to an amateur radio rally, having been to a few at Pickets Lock Enfield and  Canvey over the years, today saw a trip to the National Hamfest at Newark Showground.

21732946465_acbf088b53_k The highlight for me was the launch of Pinky, a high altitude balloon The SSDV payload callsign PINKY transmitted on 434.575MHz USB RTTY 300 baud 880Hz shift ASCII-8 no parity 2 stop bits. The data stream could be tracked either by direct reception of via the internet. Pinky climbed to around 25KM above the earth before retuning. The payload was recovered by the chase car, some 15 miles South near Grantham. You can read the full report on Andrews blog M0NRD with pictures on how the team put together this successful HAB launch.


It was really nice to meet up with some of the exhibitors, and I spent quite some time chatting to the Linear Amp team about their new 1KW solid state amplifier, and their range of 300w solid state VHF and UHF amplifiers.

21111906023_c7cbf2c259_kRoger Banks the MD for Linear Amp UK and Chris Bartram (Design Engineer) demonstrated the new 1KW HF amp and also spoke about the design behind the 100% duty cycle VHF amplifiers.

I also spotted some items that I could afford, less than the £2,000 amplifier… I purchased a drive on mast clamp that would hold a roach pole, and also some mast guy rings that would be helpful in the field. 21110230994_6585798bb3_k

Other exhibitors included Icom, Kenwood and the big suppliers W&S and Martin Lynch. I was looking for the new Icom 7300, but this wasn’t available for display. The outdoor area was  quite poor, with just a few stalls and despite a very large area and unbroken sunshine not many people had decided to private sell.


It was nice to see the Camb Hams putting on a special event callsign and working a few in Flossie for the weekend.  Flossie (left with the pump up mast) I understand has reached the end of her life, and is soon to go to the big scrapyard in the sky so this could be one of the last few outings.

21707624136_32e67af03b_z        21112672903_6b5ac59202_z

A rally wouldn’t be complete without a burger and some chips, here you can see George M1GEO and his dad Chris G8OCV (right) eating some of the delightful cuisine.

21707664096_800a57a94c_zOne last thought, I noticed the new super gainer DX 21546093659_6059c9cb49_k

penetrator antenna called the CHAV1…

Works from 3.5 MHz to 440 MHz …






A joke, well at £149 I would think so…


73 Dave M0TAZ