Friday, June 24, 2022

Norwegian trip by SP7VC - 10yrs of 70MHz in Poland

For those unaware, yes, 2012 was the start Year of our 4m activity in Poland. After first fixed QSO's, we decided to keep 4m alive, and started to travel across Poland. Goal was to make whole SP grids active. And I can tell, mission accomplished. There's no grid left in SP to activate on 4m ;-O

During next Years, lot's of grid dxpeditioning across EU took place, to remind just first Balkan trip, or two Scandinavian trips by Mek and Kate. 

This time trip will take place around Norway - On behalf of Mek SP7VC I have a pleasure to present his another square dxpedition:

Welcome recent supporters : DK2GOX, DK8NE 

Squares planned : JP61, JP63, JP74, JP75, JP76, JP87, JP88, JP98, JP79, and on the way back home  JP78, JP77, JP66, JP55, JP54, and JP22.

" Hi Hams

To commemorate 10 Years of 70MHz allocation in Poland I will travel again with Kate SQ7OYL in our camper. General plan is to activate at least 15 different squares, mainly on 4m but also 6m. 

I will take my IC-7300, with spare FT-847 just in case, PA for both bands and two set of antennas. Awesome design of YU7EF 5+5el duoband Yagi 50/70MHz, and separate spare 4el YU7EF 70MHz Yagi. All antennas will be mounted on heavy duty Clark mast, with rotator. If mains will be not available, we will have power from Honda EM-30 generator. 

This will be long trip, during second half of July, starting July 15th and will end first half of August, around August 15th after we estimated distance ~8500km.

As You know, gasoline and Diesel prices in EU gone mad, and any trip is at least 50% more expensive. Our caravan using approx 11l per 100km, so with the LA/SM prices around € 2,60 per liter, fuel will cost around € 2200, not to mention additional cost for power generator gasoline.

So, if You will help with reducing overall costs of this trip, You can use Paypal as usual. Thanks in advance. Additionally because of some health issues last Year e.t.c I am down with all QSL's, I will send them together after this expedition. Please, just a bit more patience.     

From 2020 we are travelling with our camper, prepared mainly to be well equipped home and radio shack with many possibilities. You can see some pics below.  


  Usual setup for HF/6/4m

No exact dates at this moment, this depends on traveling speed, place availability and WX.Stay tuned for more info.   
If You need any specific grid square please mail me on SP7VC@WP.PL 

CU on the bands! 
73 Mek "

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Suprise of the Es season 2022

I think we all were suprised today seeing Yemen on the band :-O 

Not judging is it legal or it's not, David is known from his previous one man hardcore operations from mountains in 4L - Georgia in 2016 #LN01 2017, 2019 and 2021 #LN11. 

Here's a brief story of his brave dxp in 2021, a must read! 


Almost fell of the chair when red line apperared on  the screen, I was lucky to get probably one of his first QSO's on 6m, and probably first from SP-7O.  

As always, WFWL. 

Fingers crossed he will update his "papers" to ARRL. 

By the way,  for those unfamiliar with his operating style, it's absolutely normal he is qsy'ing to CW in the middle of FT8 operation. Happened before in 4L - watch out for info "LOW POWER" etc. 

If his setup is similar to the one used in 4L, he is powered by flexible solar panels and car batteries.. CW need less power than full carrier FT8. 

Amazing flora "Dragon tree" on Socotra Isl. Source

Location of the Island Pic source :

Not determined yet, but loc should be - LK72xx. 


GL all.   

Finally :-)

Well, when started in 1998 with 1,5WQRP and 3ele Yagi, never supposed to reach such results. 

But 6m need lot's of addiction, perserverance and many hours spent listening to white noises... and sometimes just the right time, and right place..

 Current status 236/235 and it's not my last word ;-)



Friday, April 8, 2022

ISS SSTV event, April 7-8 2022

Just few minutes a go, had the last pass of this SSTV event, some of the results below.

Always a fun catching #ISS with simple setup - this time FT-817 no preamp, and 3x5/8L professional Vertical, for 149MHz band, feed with 20m of RG213. Because of bad WX antenna mounted on the ground, for sure causing pattern changes, but worked FB anyway 

April 7th , 09:26UTC :

 April 8th, 10:14UTC

 Almost end of pass, 10:21UTC - ISS gone below the horizon

April 8th, 11:54UTC  ISS overhead, high elevation, but bad timing for all pictures... 


April 8th, 13:30UTC

 April 8th, 15:06UTC

Monday, March 21, 2022

Long distance Es-TEP event, March 20.2022

 As the TEP season is already pending in South EU and Olive belt countries, here in "Northern" part of EU we can only watch for QSO's taking place and envy. Although sometimes we can work ZS or V5 with piece of luck, longer DX are rare events.

But sometimes 6m can be lucky for us, just confirming the 6m phrase "right time, right place"

That was the case yesturday, when in the middle of TEP opening beetwen South Europe and South America, Chris SP5AOZ in KO02LI worked VP8NO in GD18BH with Sporadic E +TEP over Atlantic Ocean at 17:27UTC.

The distance was almost 13770km.

Congrats for both, pretty unusual conditions, bearing in mind that SFI was only 98 at this time with A=4 and K=1. 

Hope for more luck for us, as the Es season is coming closer. 

Friday, March 11, 2022

ICOM IC-756PRO Bad VFO encoder repair

Below You can see my approach to replace failed COPAL encoder used as main VFO in IC756PRO and few next of Icom 756 family.

Few days a go Kris SQ6ODB asked for help with repair his RIG, with jumping frequency, tuning only up or self changing frequency. Apparently it was a sign that encoder is failed, probably because of age, or just previous owner broke it, with improper knob handling.

As You can see, somebody tried to (?) restore proper functioning, by applying some grease or other stuff to release the axle inside. But the main problem wasn't there. The bushing with the axle was just worn out, lead the axle to be eccentric and thus giving bad impulses.         

Because original used in 756PRO - COPAL RMS-20-250-201-1P encoder is almost impossible to find, I had to go other way, and find something that can replace it. Sure, we have a few on e-bay, but no one was brand new, and there's no reason to spend $130 for the same piece of not working crap. 

Happily found something similar in our electrionic shop, but another problem appear. Original axle is very "long", as You can see above, and those RMS20-250-201-1 found here looks different. 

So only solution was to make small rigid clutch and add another piece of axle, to get close to original lenght.

So, here we are - first I had to make original hole in the front cover a little bigger (~13mm max) , to accomodate prepared clutch. 

Be very gentle, down below the plastic, we have CFFL PCB - easy to destroy when not handle with care. Now the clutch will fit the hole with some margin. 

Thanks to Peter SP2DMB for help with this clutch job. His very old, but still good lathe handled small piece of brass easy and gently. Later, two holes were drilled with M3 thread, and two small sinking screws to get the stuff solid and rigid.  

Now it's time to dig in the junk box for old potentiometer - something that will fit into the clutch hole and add some lenght. And voila! 

Some final height measurements with caliper, and time to reassembly the rig and test it..  

Front cover in place, looking good.


Now the sliding brake in place

And finally rest of the axle added. 

Lower part, and upper added piece was carefully set to be as coaxial as possible, and secured with small drop of fast epoxy resin. 

Now the RIG operates as good as before for less than $30




Sunday, November 28, 2021

OZ9KY #JO57GG LOG and PIC's update

 On behalf of Henrik OZ8ZS, here's the log of worked stations during activity (dupes not included) :


# shack and operating position
# 4m antenna

#BIRD 43 collection :-)and  2m 2x1kW EME PA