A fellow ham out in the wild west state of Colorado has drafted 2 goats to use as his travelling companions and as pack animals for his adventures in the mountains of Colorado. Often times, Steve will go out on an adventure, video his adventure and then post the video of it on his blog site. If you want to see some spectacular mountain scenery and cheer on the 3 old goats as they show us the adventures they are up to, check out the link at The Adventures Rooster and Peanut with Steve/WG0AT. I have also added a link on the right sidebar to this site.

73, Al

Radio St Helena Day 2010

RSH << RSD 2010 Cancelled >> 10 September 2010

Radio St. Helena sincerely regrets to have to inform radio listeners everywhere that

>> Radio St. Helena Day 2010 has been cancelled << . This very difficult decision was necessary, due to severe technical problems with the shortwave antenna tower. RSH is quite confident that RSD will be able to continue in 2011. 73, Al Radio St Helena is a shortwave station that brodcasts only one day a year from the remote island of St Helena in the south Atlantic Ocean. Here’s your chance to hear this station again in 2010 and get one of their QSLs. This is a notice just posted on the ODXA (Ontario DX Association) list:

The following just came in from the Ardic DX Club. Saturday October 9th is Canadian Thanksgiving and American Columbus Day long weekends.

Radio St. Helena Day 2010 : Date, Times, and Targets

RSD 2010 will be on Saturday, 09. October 2010

Target Region       Times  (UTC )              Beam Heading
=============       ================           ============
EUROPE              1900 - 2030 UTC            10 degrees

INDIA               2030 - 2130 UTC            70 degrees

JAPAN               2130 - 2300 UTC            50 degrees

North America       2300 - 0030 UTC            310 degrees

Transmission frequency 11092.5 khz USB

Gary Walters, Station Manager of Radio St. Helena, has just confirmed the above information, and, as usual, Derek Richards will operate the RSD shortwave transmitting facility.

There will be a special email-address exclusively for the evening of RSD 2010. As soon as Gary sets up this special email account, we will publish the account name.

The RSD 2010 QSL cards are being sponsored by the Danish ShortWave Club International. Reception reports for RSD 2010 should be sent with sufficient return postage to RSH using the special Airmail address via Ascension and the United Kingdom — exactly the same procedure as for the RSD 2009 reception reports. ALL mail to RSH should use this procedure.

ALL 266 QSLs for RSD 2009 have been mailed and should now be arriving around the world.

The sunspot minimum between sunspot cycles 23 and 24 is the longest in history — much to the dismay of shortwave listeners everywhere. This minimum has lasted since 2007 and is still ongoing. There are not very many sunspots to “help” propagation, and there is no real sign of significant change. The UTC-times for broadcasting to the various target area have been very carefully selected to have the very best chance of good reception in each area. Also, we need to have the RSD broadcasts one after the other. After RSD 2009, it was decided to change the times somewhat and to move RSD from November to October (as was the case back in the late 1990’s — Thanks, John). RSH hopes that everyone around the world has excellent reception conditions during RSD 2010 and is looking forward to your emails and also, if possible, to your telephone calls.

Gary Walters , Station Manager of Radio St. Helena via Robert Kipp (Jaisakthivel, Ardic DX Club, India)

Mark Coady
Editor Shortwave Loggings
Shadow Lake Camp Convenor
Ontario DX Association

Friday the 13th

Today is Friday the 13th. I have never been there on the 13th but there is always a big event at Port Dover, Ontario on any Friday the 13th. Always a big crowd I hear. If you are interested, check out their website.

Stealth Antennas

As a han radio operator, you only dream about the perfect location to operate from and where you can have the best antennas in the world, but most of us live in the real world with all of its restrictions. Here are articles about a couple of what I call stealth antennas, antennas disguised so that you would not think of them as an “ugly” ham anteena. Of course, to a ham, no antenna is ugly!

flowerpot antennaflagpole antennaHere is a link to an antenna system that you can hide in your front flower garden. Built using a flower pot, this antenna system can be deployed almost anywhere in the garden allowing you to operate some of your favourite bands.

Another stealth system used is to hide your antenna inside what looks like a flagpole. You can be patriotic at the same time as you will be able to work the ham radio bands that this antenna covers. The neighbours will be none the wiser!

Ohm’s Law

One of the first things you are taught in learning to become an amateur radio operator is Ohm’s Law. Here is Make magazine’s version of Ohm’s Law.

A fun way to learn about the fundamental equation in electronics.

Sudden Receiver – FDIM 2009 Buildathon

The annual event hosted by the QRPARCI organization called FDIM (Four Days In May) at the Dayton, Ohio Hamvention usually gives attending hams an opportunity to build a small project during an afternoon period. In 2009, the project built was a Manhattan style version of the Sudden Receiver, with a circuit designed by G3RJV, George Dobbs, and kitted by Rex Harper, W1REX. Here is a link to a copy of the buildathon instructions, circuit diagram and pictures of the completed project, courtesy of QRPME. Check out the rest of his site, there is lots of interest there.

FDIM2009 sudden receiver

manhattan layout

The Tinear Receiver

The AMQRP group put out a DC receiver kit called the Tinear Receiver. I bought the kit at the time and have yet to get it built. Here’s the manual and also some build notes. Looks like an interesting project and I should get it completed sooner rather than later.

tinear receiver

Keys and Paddles

This is the type of key most hams would start out using. The action of the key is up and down, when down, the contact is made and the transmitter turns on and transmits a CW signal. Your wrist (fist) gets tired fairly quickly when you use this key so other more user friendly devices were created to send the dots and dashes.

I find this device called a keyer paddle much easier to use once you are used to it. Pressing the left side will send dots and pressing the right side will send dashes. A keyer is an electronic device which is in between the keyer paddle as shown and your transmitter and produces a dot when you press the left side of the paddle and a dash when you press the right side of the paddle. One advantage of the keyer paddle is that the keyer will produce either dots or dashes as long as you press the left/right side of the paddle. This is a commercial keyer paddle from American Morse, a small portable keyer paddle. This keyer paddle has been designed for use in portable operations, it is small and light. I bought one a couple of years ago at Dayton.

If you want to save money, then you can build your own keyer paddles out of common paperclips. Here is a link to an article giving you more information about paperclip keyer paddles.

My Radio Interests

I have had my ham license since 1965, a period of 45 years (in 2010). In that time, my interests within ham radio have varied. In the beginning, you concentrate on learning the code so that you can get your license, then study some more so that you can get the Advanced license. Once you have accomplished these, then exam writing is over and you can do what you wish to do within the limits of the license.

One of my biggest interests in ham radio is DX. DX is looking for and working stations far away from you around the world. When I lived in London, Ontario, I put up a 48 foot tower, with a tri-band beam and tried to work the world. I made many contacts with this setup in the years that it was up. My first DX contact with this setup was into the Canal Zone. i have worked (i.e. had a contact with) over 100 countries as well, and well remember one afternoon working many stations on 15 meters when sunspot conditions were better. That was a great afternoon!. One other great memory from my DX days is going to Antigua on vacation in 1981 and operating from there. I borrowed a radio and 2-element beam from a fellow ham there and made many contacts during that week. What an eye-opener to be on the other end of a pile up!

SW-20+ from SWLOne of my other interests now later in my ham life is QRP. With QRP, you use whatever receiver you like, but, to be considered a QRP contact, you must use 5 watts or less in transmit power. When you do this, your overall antenna system becomes much more important than if you are using more power. A lot has been and can be accomplished with QRP but you must realize that is not quite as easy as using more power.

More later…

73, Al