środa, 15 lipca 2015

That was disaster... At least...

The preparations as every year. Maybe easier because everything nearly ready. Year by year created some kind of procedure - month before visit my friend farmer (Herr Muller) where in language I dont speak we agree all the details.

It looks more or less like that:

- "Guete Morge Herr Müller" :) (big smile, good morning)
- "Guete Morge" (big smile too). "May day may day ?" (means more or less: "Would you like to use my field for your strange antenna activities again?"
- "Ja!" (means yes)
- "Wenn?" ("When would you like to do it again?")
Here I try to explain in my very bad Züri-Deutch when this is going to happen.
- Then we usually finish with universal:
- "Ok?" - big smile
- "Ok!" - big smile

I have to add that I don't have to pay for this and the only profit Herr Muller has from my "antenna activities" is nice cake (made by my wife) and some bottle which came from Poland (I'm Polish) - usually some special polish one...

So as every year I came by car fully loaded of our "stuff". Spiderbeam (20-10m), vertical (18m pole with radials) used on 160-40m. Radios: K3 and KX3 however never learned working SO2R so 99% of time use K3.

After assembling all the antennas, radios, food corner etc the contest starts. At the beginning everything was fine maybe except lower activity than expected. Late evening I noticed that something is wrong with the antenna - I have rotator mounted on the ground and rotating all the mast with Spiderbeam. Due to ropes which hold mast in possibly vertical position on the top there is free loop of cable that lets the mast rotate. And this loop was too tight, too small or whatever. I saw that whole mast behaves strangely when rotating and realised that something is seriously wrong. And that was in the best "activity" time when still there is many stations from Europe/East and already there are some stations from Americas.

I decided to put the mast down and fix the cable loop. Unfortunately 1. I'm always alone, 2. mast is 18m high and quite heavy, 3. all operations I have to do standing on the 1.5m ladder, 4. I need to use wrench to fix the mast, 5. there was quite strong wind that day

I released screws holding the mast (while standing on the ladder) and then ... the wrench went to the ground... So I was standing on the ladder holding the mast (I could not go down more than 20..40 cm because the wind was dangerously bending whole mast) and the wrench was laying on the ground 1.5m below.
I was waiting 5..7 minutes hoping that someone will pass but nobody did. I realised that I'm not able to hold the mast any more... was too heavy. So I lowered mast around 1.2m down not even looking up, went down, took a wrench, went up, lifted mast, fixed it and then finally look up. Uff - was still there.

The whole exercise with lowering the mast and lifting it up again took around 2..3 hours (please try to do it yourself - you will understand) and I lost probably the best time of that evening.

The rest of the contest was also far from fantastic. The only absolutely fantastic thing was QSO with Australia on QRP  SSB - 5W. That was my first Australia ever and after the contest I emailed the operator to ensure that that was not a dream. Was not !! I didn't think it is possible at all (I mean QRP SSB). The signal was quite strong and he didn't have very big problem to copy my callsign. That was a great surprise.

Finally I finished with around 26.000 points (previous year around 60.000) so I have no chance to be a member of "Top Ten" for this year. Ok, next time I will be better prepared and maybe finally learn how to use two radios in the same time (which I promise myself every year since I have two radios, hehe).

Picts and films will come later.

niedziela, 5 kwietnia 2015

I made it !!!

I made it !!!

After XX years of "theoretical preparations" I did my first CW contacts :)))

Wasn't so bad, did many mistakes and honestly had assistance in computer but finally I have made several CW contacts. I have chosen this contest for two reasons - SP DX contest is organized by PZK - Polish Amateur Radio Union where I had been a member for many years (I'm Polish). And second - the report in this contest is very simple - 599X where X is one character and means the region of Poland where station is located.

This is not regular CW contact but I hope this is just beginning.

I was working up to 100w from home with magnetic loop antenna (MFJ). Usually tried 20w first but sometimes had to go up to 100w. My loop antenna on the first floor and between buildings has not the best position for contacting Poland.

My log:

NAME: Marcin Korona HB9EGA
QSO:  7019 CW 2015-04-04 1632 HB9EGA        599 1      SP5AUY        599 R
QSO:  7018 CW 2015-04-04 1642 HB9EGA        599 2      SP5MNJ        599 R
QSO:  7029 CW 2015-04-04 1650 HB9EGA        599 3      SP3FHV        599 B
QSO:  7033 CW 2015-04-04 1659 HB9EGA        599 4      SP9A          599 M
QSO:  7013 CW 2015-04-04 1716 HB9EGA        599 5      SP5ES         599 R
QSO:  7016 CW 2015-04-04 1719 HB9EGA        599 6      SP4GL         599 J
QSO:  7028 CW 2015-04-04 1726 HB9EGA        599 7      SP6PWW        599 D
QSO:  7031 CW 2015-04-04 1755 HB9EGA        599 8      SP2MHD        599 F
QSO:  7034 CW 2015-04-04 1800 HB9EGA        599 9      SO6C          599 U
QSO:  7033 CW 2015-04-04 1839 HB9EGA        599 10     SN6A          599 D
QSO:  7030 CW 2015-04-04 1845 HB9EGA        599 11     SP9DTH        599 M
QSO:  7030 CW 2015-04-04 1847 HB9EGA        599 12     SP2GUC        599 F
QSO:  7026 CW 2015-04-04 1851 HB9EGA        599 13     SP2QG         599 P
QSO:  7022 CW 2015-04-04 1900 HB9EGA        599 14     SP1AEN        599 F
QSO:  7020 CW 2015-04-04 1908 HB9EGA        599 15     sp2CQF        599 F
QSO:  7019 CW 2015-04-04 1914 HB9EGA        599 16     SP9KDA        599 U
QSO:  7015 CW 2015-04-04 1922 HB9EGA        599 17     SP3MEP        599 W
QSO:  7013 CW 2015-04-04 1926 HB9EGA        599 18     SP7Q          599 C
QSO:  7012 CW 2015-04-04 1927 HB9EGA        599 19     SP6ZC         599 W
QSO:  7010 CW 2015-04-04 2035 HB9EGA        599 20     SP2FOV        599 F
QSO:  7012 CW 2015-04-04 2106 HB9EGA        599 21     SN9K          599 g
QSO:  7025 CW 2015-04-04 2119 HB9EGA        599 22     sp3jia        599 w
QSO:  7032 CW 2015-04-04 2124 HB9EGA        599 23     sp3fxg        599 b
QSO:  7013 CW 2015-04-04 2132 HB9EGA        599 24     sp6oje        599 u
QSO:  7016 CW 2015-04-04 2136 HB9EGA        599 26     SP3BJK        599 W
QSO:  7019 CW 2015-04-04 2140 HB9EGA        599 27     SP5ELA        599 R
QSO:  7018 CW 2015-04-04 2243 HB9EGA        599 28     SO9Q          599 G
QSO:  7016 CW 2015-04-04 2248 HB9EGA        599 29     sp7iwa        599 R
QSO:  7014 CW 2015-04-04 2250 HB9EGA        599 30     sp4d          599 o
QSO:  7009 CW 2015-04-04 2257 HB9EGA        599 31     SQ3MVC        599 W
QSO:  7008 CW 2015-04-04 2314 HB9EGA        599 32     sp3fyx        599 W
QSO:  7017 CW 2015-04-04 2323 HB9EGA        599 33     sq9caq        599 M
QSO:  7020 CW 2015-04-04 2326 HB9EGA        599 34     3Z85PZK       599 P
QSO: 14038 CW 2015-04-05 0901 HB9EGA        599 35     SP5GDY        599 R
QSO: 14016 CW 2015-04-05 0919 HB9EGA        599 36     SP5ELA        599 R
QSO: 14041 CW 2015-04-05 0922 HB9EGA        599 37     SN8T          599 L

piątek, 3 kwietnia 2015

CW finally ???

My history of learning telegraphy deserves a book... The title would be "how not to learn CW" or something like this.

Someone in some wise book claimed that for the average person it should be enough to practice for several weeks to be able to start. Im learning ... XX years... I'm probably the best example how to NOT learn telegraphy. The biggest sin is doing it in irregular periods with a few months between. Many times I was almost ready to start but wanted to improve it a little bit before the very first QSO and... postponed for next months... Everyone says the most important is regular training.

This is where I'm today again. Last weeks of trainings (not really regular)  and started to copy some transmissions - maybe not in 100% but I hope enough to make my first CW contact.

I like this mode. This is how all this begun - first was wired telegraph which later move into the air as electromagnetic wave. Phone was later invention. For me this is this a magic of amateur radio.

Telegraphy lets to use power of the transmitter more efficiently and allows to make contacts to longer distances than phone. It is also more suitable for QRP operations.

Tomorrow is a SP DX contest - Polish annual national contest. Im going to start in CW category!

Fingers crossed..

picnic hill with ...insects

trying the mobile app for blogspot... currently on picnic hill (abt 500 meters from my qth.. Instead of hunting DXs I try to kill all insects before they will kill me....  

Now trying to insert a picture...