As the long night’s start to draw in I have started to move onto my low band projects. My intention was to have all low band antenna’s up before the clocks changed, and well… you can guess what’s happened. I have made some progress albeit baby steps at the moment. I have reconstructed my 40m antenna. This is a simple quarter wave vertical with 2x elevated radials. There is always an argument about which is best; elevated or ground radials. Both have their pros and cons, however I find that elevated radials suit my QTH where the vertical is located in a “high traffic” area and ground radials would get destroyed. I get some noise on 40m, I’ll admit not as bad as some but still much higher than I’d like. Up to S7 when operating SSB and Up to S3 in CW. Luckily I favor CW more these days.
I want to get on all low bands. 160, 80, 40 & 30m. This in it’s self is a challenge. 160 & 80m will share the same 18m spider pole. I hope that in the next couple of weeks I can get up a T – Vertical for 160 (with buried ground radials). Getting the 160m Radials underground is the most time consuming task here. Each one will have to be “dug” in with a spade along the entire length of each radial, there are approximately 21 radials of varying lengths. I will also attach a quarter wave vertical for 80m to the same pole. This will have 2 elevated radials, about 3m above the ground, well above head height. A 30m antenna is something to think about later…
I have a 6 way switch by SJ2W and a home-brew control unit ready to be wired up, Just awaiting delivery of some control cable. I also hope to get up my new G1000 SDX rotator so I don’t have to use the “Armstrong” method of turning the hex beam through the winter.
But what about RX?
As I mentioned before, my noise level on 40m is up to S7. Not as high as some, but still high enough to drown out any DX. A little while ago I purchased a PCB kit from George M1GEO for his “Well good loop” antenna. His own take on the classic Well brook loop. George’s kit has some good reviews and actually sounds great when listening through some of the SDR’s on his website. I will build this I hope pretty soon and find somewhere to shove it out of the way.
Goals and Pursuits
At the moment, VP6R are just a few days into their DXpedition. Hopefully I will be able to make at least 1 low band QSO on 40m. Looking further ahead, December YOTA Months is also approaching where I have some scheduled time to use GB19YOTA. This is an annual event aimed at getting young operators on the air. (Not that I needed an excuse). For this reason alone I want to have a full functional, all band station to use whilst using this call sign. And looking even further ahead into the new year, I am excited to be QRV again in CQ 160 CW.. But there’s a lot to do before then. Stay tuned for updates as I progress!
This week Many Youngsters from around the IARU region 1 will be heading down to South Africa for a week of Radio fun!
There will be 80 Participants from over 30 countries attending this Annual event. The Camp is intended to bring many of the worlds young radio hams together in one place where they can learn, have fun and make friendships lasting a lifetime. The Week long camp brings many opportunities to the attendees, weather it be making QSO’s on air as ZS9YOTA, Teaching or being taught a new skill and even getting to know those around you with an intercultural evening.
The event will last from 8th August – 15th August inclusive. The Youngsters hope to hear from you on the air, so don’t be shy and give them a shout. QSL is Via M0SDV. For SWL’s Click the link
With the December YOTA Month QSL cards almost done it is time to start looking forward to this years YOTA camp in South Africa. As This years camp is being held in the Southern Hemisphere it will actually be YOTA Winter camp despite being in the middle of July.
Work for this event started in November 2017 by a small working team of young people in South Africa in association with SARL and IARU Region 1. As QSL Manager for the IARU R1 YOTA program I am happy to see the progress of this event growing as time goes on.
I wish the organizing team and participants all the best for the event, and I hope it is as successful if a bigger success than past YOTA camps.
With December YOTA month now well behind us, focus turns to the QSL requirements for so many stations and such a big activation. Working as a sole QSL Manager within United Radio means that I am responsible for handling all YOTA QSL requests. This includes Bureau, Direct and SWL reports.
I hope to send these QSL cards to all world IARU Bureaux on the second first weekend of February, which leaves little time between requests slowing down to getting the cards sent out. And with 3-5000 QSL cards for up to 40 call signs to process is a difficult task, but a task that instills faith that Young Operators are still progressing through this hobby. With that said, please Consider donating to help fund the bureau. No bureau operates free of charge and there are many costs involved in getting your QSL card from A to B. So any donations are gratefully received (Link at the bottom of this post).
Moving on into the future now, With the recent announcement of YOTA summer camp 2018 being held in South Africa (ZS) I am really excited to begin work with a new group of youngsters to give the best, one of a kind QSL design for their activity week. I will work closely with the team to ensure that logs are uploaded online at regular intervals throughout the week and that all QSO’s are safely stored for the world to collect their confirmations.
As most of you know Youngsters on the air holds a big event in December every year. I am the QSL manager for this event and I wanted to come up with a method to include SWL’s within an OQRS system. So I got to thinking, What if I made an online form.
This form was designed with the intention to take all the required details to confirm an SWL report. Such as; SWL call, Email address, Station heard, QSO details and 3 QSO’s heard with another station. So far this has been a success with well over 150 SWL requests. Well up on the 30 Requests from last year.
And don’t forget, It’s Not too late. If you haven’t requested your SWL QSL card for December YOTA month Click HERE