Sunday, 15 May 2016

A cold and windy day......

The VE3CLQ mobile showing the great weather!
Today was the activation of Simcoe Island, ON-022 and despite the weather is was a roaring success.

It was very cold and windy, temperature was 4C with a west wind of 40 kph gusting to 50 kph. The low temperature coupled with the heavy driving rain made for a very cold and uncomfortable day

We managed to put 41 contacts in the log between 40m and 20m.  Radios were a FT-897D and a FT-857D.  Antennas were a 20m Buddipole set up as a vertical, and a 33' Chillicon Special.  Both did very well given the poor band conditions we had.

The numbers were:  SFI=102, SN=88, A Index=10, and K Index=2 as of 1500 UTC.  We had very deep QSB on 20m that did make life a bit difficult at times.

Contacts were mainly Canadian and American, but the 20m station did make contact with NP2/NE6V in the US Virgin Islands and with EI9JU in Ireland.  Unfortunately the Irish contact wasn't completed because of the QSB.

I am happy to report that my portable station worked as advertised after spending the past 6 months in the shack closet, but my 82ah deep cycle battery needs a few good workouts as it faded in about three hours.

All in all a great day, even if it was supposed to be spring.........

Dave VE3DZE operating 40m in his van.

A rainy & windy ferry trip.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Simcoe Island

The Wolfe Island ferry passing the Royal Military College.
Coming up next Sunday, May 15th.......... The Frontenac Radio Group will be activating Simcoe Island, ON-022.  This is our groups first activation of the year.

The Group has invited the students from the local ham course to come along and operate on HF under their supervision.

Timings will be from 1400 UTC to 1800 UTC.

Frequencies will be:

14.250 - 14.260

The operators will be operating from the Nine Mile Point Lighthouse, CAN-578, so you can get two for one with this activation.

Monday, 2 May 2016

More WSPRing...

While the propagation doesn't seem to be getting any better, and given the place we are in this solar cycle, I doubt it will, the bands were not too bad yesterday.

I had a few good PSK31 contacts into Europe yesterday afternoon which did surprise me, but their signals were pretty solid on the waterfall.   Once I had worked everyone I could I switched over and tried WSPR for a while.

Here's the results....

This was 20m at 1430 UTC.  500Mw using my 148' inverted L longwire antenna.

This was 17m at 1638 UTC - using the same antenna and power setting as above.

Given our position in this dying solar cycle, I think it's going to be very interesting to watch on WSPR - and see just what we can do with low power communications when we get to the solar minimum.   I believe this will be the first one that WSPR will be available for.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Lonely Tonight......

I thought I would do a bit of 20m WSPR tonight before supper.  So, I set things up and went off to eat.  I came back about 40 minutes later and here's what I found....

Yep, that's it.  One very lonely contact.  I have never seen 20m so empty as tonight.   Oh well, there's always tomorrow....

Monday, 18 April 2016

Monday....and WSPR

It's no secret that band conditions have not been very good for the past couple of weeks.  This seems to be a combination of the decline of Solar Cycle 24, and solar storms causing poor propagation across the board.

So, after doing pretty poorly over the weekend on the Ontario QSO Party, I decided to see just how bad the conditions were today using WSPR.

Below you can see the results of my efforts.  This was done at 500mw and using my 148' inverted L long wire which is up at 50'.

Things don't look too bad today......

40m at 0046 UTC, April 18th.

20m at 1336 UTC, April 18th.

It was great to see VY0ERC on the air from Eureka, Nunavut.  I was at Eureka for three summers while I was flying on Chinooks with 450 Squadron back in the 1980's.  Lot's of good memories from up there at "Fort Eureka"....

VY0ERC is the station call of the Eureka Amateur Radio Club, now proudly claiming to be the most northerly ham club in the world.