Ham Radio

Saturday, September 02, 2017
PWRcheck - Performance Review

I have been using the PWRcheck analyser for a couple of months now and decided to share my views regarding the findings. The device is manufactured by West Mountain Radio and is constructed well in a cool case that's nice and neat with simple enough connections and controls.

The device is definitely a handy tool that can be used in the shack, portable or mobile with any radio as well as other uses. For example, I measured how much power my motorcycle batteries held and how long my van battery would power my FT-857 whilst camping.

The feature I like the best is the wattage reading which has been very useful. I have a cheaper type of HF amplifier made by RM. The PWRcheck allows me to monitor the power output of the amp and hopefully avoid blowing outputs. The digital display can be navigated through easily enough using the front panel mounted switches. It also has backlit on or off option to keep any portable battery drain to a minimum.

I tend to use the PWRcheck in the shack the most as pictured in this post and have found it to be a useful add-on to my everyday radio operations, unlike some of the other superb kit that we hams sometimes buy and never really use it very often. This device is permanently in line and powered up, in use every time I am on the air and I seriously like it a lot!

The PWRcheck comes with the software for the pc and usb connectivity which basically mirrors the data that is displayed on the built in screen of the unit. I have used the software but don't need it for general operating. The software would be beneficial to a rig doctor to monitor any fluctuation in any readings during testing/tech work. For myself and most amateurs the unit does everything I could hope to do and more.

If you like the sound of it and are considering getting one I would say that you won't be disappointed.

Thanks for taking time to read the review and catch mine working as I make some qso in a not to distant video that I shall be on with shortly. 73 have a good weekend.
posted by Simon Davison @ 2:13 pm   0 comments
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Back to it

Well that was all over a bit too quickly was what I thought as I returned to the workplace after my summer break.
We enjoyed our time on the isle of Anglesey and had lots of good wx. I also made a few nice qso using my DX machine on 2 meters and 40 meters which was something a little bit different as I nearly always operate 20 meters from the mobile.

The island is a great location for radio and holidays as it is very quiet and peaceful with excellent radio reception due to zero noise and qrn.

M3TLL - Louise also enjoyed the location as she gazes across at Pen mon Lighthouse and Puffin Island with the assistance of my grandfather's binoculars.

At the present moment I am at work staying back a couple of hours as it is a brand new college year next week and I have to be here incase we receive more enquiries regarding enrolling onto one of my engineering courses. I will be out in the car park into the DX machine straight after I'm done and will be tuning my radio into the 40 meter band somewhere around 7.125 MHz as I make my way home back to Baildon. The DX machine seems to be working well on 40 m using the FT-857 and Maldol HFC40 antenna. 73 for now thanks for the visit.

posted by Simon Davison @ 5:26 pm   0 comments
Saturday, August 19, 2017

It's 8 years since I constructed the IO - 10 El Sat antenna that is still holding up well in the moor top winds and winters. It just goes to show how well homebrew projects can work as well as the comercial ones that cost an arm and a leg.
I have been working a few lighthouse stations that are currently on the air and managed to catch a couple of nice DX station last night from the cabin.
I also had some good contacts on VHF using my old YAESU FT-2600m where I made contact with a special event station, a new operator practising from a radio club as well as some local stations that I haven't made a qso with for a couple of years. The WX up here on Baildon Moor is sunny with showers and plenty of wind as our summer holidays continue for another week or so.

I will be active as MW0YKS mobile from the beach next week. 73
posted by Simon Davison @ 1:45 pm   3 comments
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Getting the 20m Delta Loop back up the tree tops

Back at the home QTH.
The homemade loop has been down a while after a storm took it from it's tree supports. I jumped over the garden wall into the woodland at the back and managed to get the wire delta loop up into the trees nice and high. After a couple of goes I ended up with a very good triangle with equal leg proportions which I secured well. The SWR reads 1:5 so I'll leave it at that and give it a blast. The delta loop antenna is used with my old FT-890 which I have on when I'm hanging out I in the dining room which just so happens to be a lot. Maybe I should bring the main shack Into the dinning room but to keep the peace I better not! I already have a nice corner filled with hifi amplifiers, turntables big speakers and a neat second station. 73

posted by Simon Davison @ 7:45 pm   0 comments
Summer holidays for M0YKS

I'm entering week two of my summer holidays and so far it's been great.

We made it to GM Scotland last week and enjoyed excellent weather whilst camping in the Mk7 DX machine.

I worked a few stations on 20m and enjoyed the zero noise levels whilst listening to some nice DX.

I'm up at my cabin on the Yorkshire moor this evening and have worked into Canada earlier having a nice qso with VE3YJ,  I heard VK3MO and LU3MCJ as well as CO8NDZ coming in loud and clear on my favourite band 20m.

Listen out and keep an eye on my blog for the next outing. I'll be on air from Baildon Moor tomorrow morning. Best 73. Thanks M0YKS

posted by Simon Davison @ 1:02 am   0 comments
Wednesday, August 02, 2017
My Latest Mobile Amateur Radio Station In Action

Here is a video of my latest mobile amateur radio station in action!

posted by Simon Davison @ 3:30 pm   0 comments
Monday, July 31, 2017
Homebrew head mount

I made a better head mount for my mobile YAESU FT-857. The unit is much more secure with my new improved version which is once again made from aluminium sheet.

I shall get around to making a much better detailed post regarding the ham radio install but here is a quick preview of how I installed the main unit.

Listen out for M0YKS /mobile over the next few weeks as I start my summer holidays. 73
posted by Simon Davison @ 1:43 pm   0 comments
Saturday, July 22, 2017
New DX Mobile - MK7 Ford Transit SWB

Some of you may have noticed on the post about MX0KSC the vehicle used to support the antenna mast was a different ford transit. It just so happens to be my latest DX machine.

The old mobile served me so well I decided to get another to convert into a DX Mobile and family day van/camper.
Next week I will have rear Windows installed and today I installed my FT-857 & maldol HF antenna. I just have a bit of tidying up to complete and decide where I want to mount the head unit. I will be making a video of the new DX machine in the very near future which will include a demonstration of the radio equipment in operation. 73
posted by Simon Davison @ 8:18 pm   0 comments

The SA Sprint Contest.

This is a new contest organized by several South American amateur radio clubs and groups.

The rules are really straightforward and we have included the QSO/QSY rule to make it really fun.

You can see the full rules at: www.sa-sprint.com/rules

Several logging programs have included support for our contest: sa-sprint.com/software

The contest will take place on July 22nd, 2017. From 2000 to 2359 UTC, on SSB and CW  (40 and 20 meters).

There are entry categories for CW only, SSB Only, Mixed Mode, Low and High Power, Single Op and Multi Single.
Everyone can contact everyone for QSO points credit. Mults are SA prefixes and DXCC entities.

Please feel free to tell your friends about the SA Sprint.

There is a Club/Group competition too.

We look forward to seeing you on the bands.

Vy 73,

SA Sprint Contest

posted by Simon Davison @ 12:32 am   0 comments
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