ARRL Field Day 2011

I was busy during the weekend and was able to monitor 15m & 20m from my QTH on Saturday’s night during 22:00-23:00 UTC only. I used my HF portable receiver and an outdoor wire antenna stretched along the fence.

I noticed an extremely high level of static noise (some sort of impulse noise across the band and strong AM modulation on certain frequencies; plasma TVs?). As a result I had to discard the external antenna and use the telescopic one at the receiver. The CW reception was quite decent but the SSB reception was very poor. I did not try digital modes this time due to lack of time.

Due to the strong noise and attenuation, I could only receive the strongest signals (the ‘kilowatters’):

20m:
VE3ZM
A2MW
KB2BSA – there was a big pile up but I could not hear most of the
other parties well

15m:
K9SH – big pile up

The contacts were very short (well, it was a contest after all, right?) and a bit boring because I could not hear other parties well neither I could jump on the band wagon. The signal was fading very often thus making reception even more difficult.

After I moved on to VHF/UHF bands, I came across an active VHF echolink repeater (441.950MHz @ VA3XFT ?) which was re-transmitting a field day ham net from beautiful California which I then monitored for some time. The net was operated by Suzi WA6DKS and had many operators connecting from many different states using either VHF/UHF echolink repeaters or just plain echolink.

SoftRock Lite II Receiver Kit availability

The SoftRock Lite II Receiver Kit (Combined) unexpectedly became available on http://www.kb9yig.com yesterday. In a matter of few hours it was sold out completely. Luckily, I got one ordered.

UPDATED: If you like me have no time checking the kb9yig’s website for updates – here what you can do. Register your email at the following page http://www.changedetection.com/log/kb9yig/index_log.html so once KB9YIG updates kits availability on his site – you get an email about it!

Alternatively, just write an email to Tony with your order details. He usually responds fairly quick 🙂

TAFL licencees on Google Maps

Was looking for a way to put TAFL information on Google Maps. Surprisingly, this has been perfectly done already!

Here we go: http://tafl.jonathanmorgan.net/

P.S. The TAFL data is updated once a month.

SoftRock SDR kits

Thanks to VE3RER/VE3SB, learned about SoftRock RXTX Ensemble Transceiver affordable SDR (Software Defined Radio) kits yesterday: https://www.kb9yig.com/
Surprisingly, in a matter of two hours, all items on the website gone sold out..

This guy has built a simple but effective amplifier for his Softrock TXRX: http://sivantoledotech.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/a-16w-linear-amplifier/

Some useful software: