POTA Happenings: May 25, 2022

Activation of VE-1688 Ward McKenna Conservation Area

First time activation of this conservation area tucked into the south end of Aylmer, ON, made 42 contacts, best contact of the day was with EA1GIB in Spain, 7 park to park stations.

POTA Happenings: May 23, 2022

Activation of VE-5541 EM Warwick Conservation Area:

First POTA activation of VE-5541 EM Warwick Conservation Area, made 13 contacts, on 20m and 40m

POTA Activation of VE-4888 and VE-5082

Brian VE3KLT and I (VE3GAM) activated the Southwold Earthworks VE-4888 and the Trans-Canada Trail VE-5082 on October 7th. We set up our station just inside the fence, so that we would be no more than 100 feet from the road along which the Trans-Canada Trails runs. Thus, we set up for a 2-fer, activate 2 parks for one contact.

Our station setup was a Yaesu FT891 running 90 watts, powered by a 20 ah Bioenno battery, and feeding a Wolf River Coils vertical. We managed to make 22 contacts, 2 on 20m and 20 on 40m, these we shared as contacts. Our logs were submitted to POTA later that day. This was my first activation for POTA, Brian’s second. Really good results, we do plan to do this again sometime.

For more information about the Parks on the Air program, check out this link to the Parks on the Air website.

KM4ACK 49:1 End Fed Antenna Kit

KM4ACK produces a 49:1 EFHW antenna kit available at his website, for a price of $39 US plus shipping. He has done an assembly video available on Youtube.

I purchased one of the kits and the images below show the completed product.

Ham Pi

Donated an old laptop to the Steam Centre here in St Thomas today, and mentioned that I was interested in looking at a distribution called “Ham Pi” by W3DJS Dave Slotter for the Raspberry Pi. I knew that the Steam Centre had done some work with the Raspberry Pi, and I first saw this distro mentioned in one of the videos on youtube by “Kevin Loughin” Ham Radio – HamPI, possibly the best general ham radio image for the raspberry pi.. When it was suggested that I could take one of the units home to play with, then I immediately accepted the offer. I was given a Raspberry Pi 3 model B, a display monitor, a mouse and keyboard. It was easy to set up and get running at home. Once that happened, I did have to get out to Walmart and pick up a 32 GB SD micro card, on which the Ham Pi distro was to be loaded. This has now been loaded and booted successfully. Now it is time to play with the new toy…


Note: Audio output from Pulseaudio is muted. Unmute this setting if you want to hear audio from youtube videos, etc.

Field Day Report

Always look for a field day report from this guy on Youtube, this is a video of his field day station this year:

Neophyte Receiver

Working on this receiver:

Neophyte Two Chip Direct Conversion Receiver – VE3OT Version

The original Neophyte Receiver was published in OST, February 1988, and used the new Signetics Si602 oscillator-mixer chip to directly convert radio frequency signals to DSB audio and the National Semiconductor LM386 audio amplifier chip to provide sufficient signal gain to drive headphones or even a small speaker. This receiver uses an improved mixer chip, NE612, which is a direct substitution.

Mitch Powell, VE3OT, modified the Neophyte using parts on hand so that his Fanshawe students could build a simple receiver, gaining circuit building skills while being exposed to the hobby of Ham Radio.

Two 10.7MHz IF transformers are used as an RF pre-selector, tuned down into the 40m ham band by placing about 100pF of capacitance across the main coil winding. A third IF transformer is used as the Local Oscillator coil, suitably tuned by additional capacitance and a variable capacitance diode, or Varicap, biased by a DC voltage from the 10kW tuning potentiometer. Mitch used two common power rectifier diodes, 1N4005, in parallel as a varicap. Audio from the NE612 is bandwidth limited by a simple C-R-C low pass filter, fed into the 50kW volume control, and then applied to the inverting input of the LM386N audio amplifier. The original Neophyte design used both outputs of the mixer and both inputs of the audio amplifier for improved dynamic range and lower noise, but lacked a volume control.

Component Side Printed Circuit Board View with component layout.

Note that a 0.1uF cap has been added to the LM386 power pin (6) for improved stability. The Tuning Potentiometer can be a 50K linear for slightly reduced power draw.

Dave, VE3EI

Link to original document.

CQ WW 2016 SSB Contest

2016 CQ WW SSB Contest

We moved in 2013 and I had not set up any kind of station at the new place since. Before the 2016 CQ WW SSB Contest, I decided to try to make some contacts during the contest so I needed to set up a station with some kind of antenna. I dug the TS50 out of the dust bin and used it. I resurrected 2 20M mobile whips, stuck them up on a pole in a dipole configuration and was on the air. As you can see in the log, I did make some interesting contacts on Sunday afternoon. I did not realize that TM4L was in France until I looked up the call after I shutdown. Nice one, considering there were no signals to be heard on Friday night at the beginning of the contest. Nice restart to a hobby I have enjoyed since 1965.



SolderSmoke Podcast 147 is available for downloading:


October 29/30 2012
Hurricane Sandy on the way
Thanks for birthday wishes
Einstein — a very nice fellow with a bit of the Knack
Rocket project update
808 key chain cameras (thanks for the Amazon support!)
Audio output transformer for Barbados Barebones RX
Mighty Midget RX — breaking it, fixing it (with help from friends)
Freq counter connection to Tek scope
Halli S-38E — How to avoid electrocution?
The HQ-100’s anti-drift alarm clock
Book Review: “Instruments of Amplification” by H.P. Friedrichs (5 Soldering Irons!)
BANDSWEEP: 20 meter SSB via DC receiver on hurricane day
Report on outcome of the hurricane — inverter saves the day (really the night)
MAILBAG (a big one).

CY9M St Paul Island

cy9m logo

CY9M July 26 – Aug 1, 2012

DXpedition to St Paul Island is slated for July 26-Aug 1 this year, Here is a link to their website for all of the information about this venture.

St Paul Island CY9M

cy9m team

CY9M Team



Bon voyage guys!