Thursday, April 2, 2015

CQ World Wide WPX SSB - QRP Style

Nick KE0ATH Spinnin' the dial!
It has been way to long since I have posted here on the blog, and really I have done very little operating!

This past weekend was the CQ World Wide WPX SSB contest.  My son Nick, KE0ATH has been trying off and on to make some contacts on 10 meters since he is a Tech.  I thought this contest would be great for him, so we carved out about 45 minutes on Sunday to get on the air.

Tuning around 10 meters we heard some stations calling CQ without many takers, it was late in the contest.  Some of the stations we worked had like 3,000 contacts, and were handing out #001! :)

We ended up working exclusively into South America.  Nick would give them a call, and when he was successful I would give them a call.  Great fun!

We have the KX3 set at 12 watts into my 66" dipole fed with ladder line.  Tunes up great.

If you look at the picture of the rig, you can see the stand that Nick 3D printed for me to hold the KX3.  He designed it in Autodesk Inventor and printed it - it also has my call sign inlayed into it in the lower right hand corner.  It works perfectly!

We worked everyone that we called as well.

We worked just 6 stations, but it was fun.  Here is who we worked:

PY3KN Brazil
NR6O California USA
PJ2T Cuaraco
CE3CT Chile
HK3C Columbia
8P5A Barbados

It was great fun, and Nick had a blast working his first HF contacts!  Plus I picked up several new DXCC entities for myself!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

CW Op's Mini-CWT Contest - Results!

Map of Stations Worked in the Mini-CWT
Every Wednesday the CW Operators Club has a mini contest called the MINI-CWT.  It runs for one hour - 10:00 pm to 11:00 pm local time here in Kansas.  This time works great for me - kids are in bed, and house chores are complete!

This is the second time I have operated this contest and I had a blast.  Conditions on 20 meters were awful here - I didn't hear one signal on the band except some digital signals.  So I immediately went to 40 meters and stayed there for the duration.

All told I worked 20 stations, for a score of 400 points- all stateside with one except being Canada.  I was really happy with this result!

When I worked the June contest I only worked 6 stations for a total score of 36 points, so I greatly improved tonight!

You can see a map of the locations of the stations I worked during the contest last night.  I created this using a site that I found that is really cool.  It is - and it lets you upload an ADIF file and it maps the locations.

I really enjoy working contests.  Running QRP it gives you the opportunity to work some really good operators that also have excellent antennas.  Everyone I called last night, I worked!

Thanks to all the ops that pulled my signal out - you made it a fun night!

Also be sure and check out my N0HYD YouTube Channel!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Nick Builds a 2 Meter Copper J-Pole (portable & collapsible)

Nick KE0ATH working 2 meters 
Now that my son Nick (KE0ATH) has his ticket, he is putting together a 2 meter "Go Box".  First on the agenda was a nice J-Pole antenna.

He did some searching and found a J-Pole design that collapses down to about 20" long.  The 1/2" copper pipe segments are held together with a bungee cord run internally.

Nick found a couple different designs and combined them to meet his needs.  He plans to use this while camping, etc.

When you watch the video, check out his smile at about the 4:00 minute mark when he makes the first contact on his new antenna - priceless!

(if it doesn't play just click here:

We had a blast building this together, and Nick learned several new skills - so it was a great success!

If you have any questions, be sure and give me a shout.  You can also see my other videos on YouTube here:  N0HYD YouTube Channel

73 - Burke

Friday, August 22, 2014

Getting My Radio Fix - QRP Portable Today!

I was finally able to sneak off at lunch time for some quick portable QRP op's with the KX3 and my Portable QRP Antenna from the local park.

I did a quick scan of the bands when I got there, and made one quick contact with a mobile station...

N7IV/M 14.056 599 both ways.  I am not exactly sure where he was, but had a little pileup going. (UPDATE: I found him on APRS - I appears he was in Wisconsin)

Then I decided to just plant myself on a frequency and call CQ to see what happened.  I spotted myself on Twitter hoping to maybe make contact with a Twitter follower.  VA3QV sent me a Tweet and said he was listening but could not hear me.

But I did manage to get some replies to my CQ on 14.057!

W4FO Pat in Florida
KD3CA Don in Pennsylvania
W9DCQ Doug in Wisconsin
WD9DWE Dennis in Indiana

Thanks for the QSO's guys!

I then decided to spin the dial a bit.  I heard W1AW/0 in ND, but could not break the pileup.  It sounded like he was working some DX but I could not hear the DX.

Then I went to 17 meters and worked...

W1AW/8 in Ohio - it took a bit to bust the pileup, but I finally made it!

So a fun lunch hour on the radio today!  Thanks to everyone that worked me, and to those on Twitter that tried to work me.  It was a fun adventure.

Here is where I was spotted by RBN:

One strange thing did happen today at the park.  A car pulled into a parking spot about 6 spots away from me.  There were a couple guys in the car.  On the trunk was mounted a large antenna with a wide spaced coil.  I suspect it was a CB radio antenna.  The problem was that they were talking on it!  Every time the talked I got a loud static noise on my rig.  I wonder if they were hearing my 5 watts also??

Eventually they left, but gave me a long slow look as they drove past - pretty funny - but I was glad they left because they kept messing up my QSO's!

The list of projects is huge!

I have been having serious radio withdrawal - I am really itching to get on the air and operate!  Unfortunately, life is happening and I have had zero time to operate.

When this happens I usually watch a lot of videos and read blogs.  This then leads a big list of "I wanna do that" type projects.

So I thought I would list the top 3 or 4 here and set a goal of getting them done by Christmas:

1.  Get a long wire inverted L 9:1 UNUN antenna installed at the house.  I have the UNUN built and I have the small gauge "stealthy" wire from the Wire Man - just need to get it up in the trees!

2.  Rockmite 40 - I have had this kit along with the Mitybox for several years - just need to get it built.

3. DIY Powerpole Distribution Block - There are some great plans for this here:

4. Magnetic loop antenna with automatic controller.  I have the board, just need some components to get the board built up and working - I really want to get this going early this fall!

The list is much longer - but this is the top four I want to get done right now.

What is on your project list?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Pelican 1200 for Elecraft KX3 Case

After I published my video of my portable operation, I have received several questions about the case that I use for my Elecraft KX3.

I did a bunch of research before I landed on what I use - which is the Pelican 1200.  I bought this based on my specific needs - mostly it is used in my car to get from work to the park.  But I have also taken it on numerous camping trips, etc.

As usual, let me know if you have any questions - I am happy to help!

My 5 Minutes of Fame!

I like listening to the podcast of Ham Nation - which is both in video format and audio format - during my commute to the office.  Every other week they have a segment with user supplied videos.

So I submitted my video of my lunchtime operation to Dale (K0HYD).  

As a side note, I met Dale on the local repeater within the last couple of months.  He lives near my QTH.  My 9 year old daughter wanted to see me talk to to someone, so I put a call out and Dale came back.  Our call signs are very similar which was neat.  He also talked to my daughter which he actually remembered, and you will see him mention in the episode.

Anyway, my video was played on Ham Nation last night.  Kindof a thrill for me!

Here is the link to Ham Nation on YouTube:

I have several more videos about ready to publish to my YouTube channel.  Be sure and subscribe to my channel so you don't miss anything.....

N0HYD on YouTube <= Visit NOW!