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Messages - gil

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Morse Code / Re: Rock-Mite success!
« on: September 28, 2012, 02:29:01 AM »
Hello Ray,

I love the Rock-Mite. It's unbelievable what such a small radio can do. It does have it's limitations mind you: No RIT or VFO (can be added). There is the button to switch sides, sort of like a channelized RIT. The bandwidth is 3kHz, so when it's busy around 7030, forget it. Though, I'm sure if you sent a legitimate SOS, you'd have the 3kHz for yourself! Mine has a 2SC799 for 1W+ output (depending on DC voltage). I will probably build another RM40 soon, maybe with some add-ons, like a RIT and built-in tuner plus SWR indicator. But I like the small size, so I might go for a box of Altoids.

That is the DCP paddle from American Morse you see on it. It is screwed to the lid of the Mity-Box.

Get one, you won't regret it! At $29, it's not much of a risk..
And if you don't like it, just send it to me then  ;)


Licensing / Re: What is a W5YI?
« on: September 27, 2012, 10:29:12 PM »
I'll try that on my iPod, thanks.


Tactical Corner / Re: Setup for post-collapse communication with family?
« on: September 27, 2012, 04:33:23 PM »
I have my K2 for that! Though I can't reply, since I haven't built the SSB board yet...


Morse Code / Rock-Mite success!
« on: September 27, 2012, 04:12:53 PM »

It doesn't take much power to make contact...

Yesterday I added a few inches of wire to my PAR End-Fed antenna, which got it centered on 7040kHz. This is ideal for my Rock-Mite, which is somewhere between 7029 and 7030. So I plugged in the little guy, which incidentally is my paddle base!

I am thus never without a backup radio. I started callind CQ but the keyer was lagging and ignoring some dits and dahs. That was the Pico Keyer chip. I replaced it with the original provided by Dave Benson in the kit and all was well. A few minutes later I was in a short QSO with a station 625 miles away, with 1W of power! My signal wasn't great, but he heard me.

Operating QRP (low power) isn't some kind of black art. It is about reducing losses. Most people who run 100W are not radiating 100W, 30 or 50 maybe, or even less.
In my opinion, 5W for CW and 10W for SSB is all one needs, assuming the antenna system is well designed and losses kept to a minimum.

Why would anyone want 100W, or even 1500, for heaven's sake, I don't know...


Tactical Corner / Re: Setup for post-collapse communication with family?
« on: September 27, 2012, 03:57:15 PM »
Pretty well explained Tim. NVIS definitely for 500miles. Anything below 60miles, a cheap VHF mobile like the Yaesu FT-2900R (75W) and a Yagi-Uda antenna will do it. You're looking at $250 top, for both items. The issue here is also to get someone in each household to get a license. Technician, they might get, easy enough; General, for someone who is not into radio is a bit more of a hassle..

As to the dipole for NVIS, 7-8 ft. in my opinion is a bit low. You want to reduce ground losses as much as possible. But maybe I'm wrong. I know 8ft. works fine, the difference might not be worth the effort. It doesn't take much power to make contact. I had a short 625 miles QSO yesterday on 1W using CW!

You can find all-mode 2m radios on Ebay for $200. 2m SSB can get you pretty far, 200 miles...
I just got this one for $305:

Not sure if I'll ever use it, I'm not a phone guy, but you never know..
I do like to listen to people make fools of themselves on VHF FM though  ::)

There is also ground wave propagation, more on 80 and 160m, but that requires a very long dipole!


Morse Code / Re: My first QSO ever!
« on: September 26, 2012, 11:58:27 PM »
Tim, you might want to download Fldigi, it decodes most digital modes including Morse; very easy to "plug-in."


Antennas / Re: Ground radials system for my HF9V vertical antenna
« on: September 25, 2012, 02:00:39 AM »

The Buddistick I just got works great with one radial, but it has to be the correct length, to within a couple inches! The counterpoise also has to be at the same height as the base of the antenna..

I posted about my impressions of this antenna in the corresponding forum.


Antennas / Re: Buddistick first impressions.
« on: September 25, 2012, 01:57:27 AM »
Hi Paul, it was on 20m. I seem to receive very well on 40m too, but haven't had any QSO yet. Propagation sucks tonight.. I do get a nice 1:1 SWR on 7030 though.. My plan is to get a longer telescopic whip and another 11" lower element. Maybe even the low band coil ($75, ouch!). I know it is a compromise antenna, but it is so convenient! Sets up in five minutes, fits in a small bag, and it works. I'll probably use it mainly on 20 and 15m, but not giving up on 40 yet.. I still can't believe I reached out 800 miles on 6W with the antenna in my living room!


General Discussion / Re: Elitism in Ham Radio and Further Thoughts.
« on: September 25, 2012, 01:51:46 AM »
That's a pretty good analysis Ray.. Welcome aboard by the way  :)

Another kind I've just met is the contester... They can't take the time to key up "sorry contest ongoing" they just ignore you... Not elitist per say but plain rude. They're like CW machines. I'm sure most are the nicest people, but when that contest is going, man, it's like some drivers behind the wheel... They're a different person. Not only that, last week-end, I couldn't do anything on 7030, which is the QRP calling frequency. Those guys act like they own the place. With my 14W max, I can't compete. Now I just try to avoid them, though it was interesting to shoot them my call sign and get a 599 (yeah, right..) just to see if I was getting through. Like an instant reverse beacon. Probably got them some points or something..


Antennas / Buddistick first impressions.
« on: September 24, 2012, 07:14:54 PM »

I received my Buddistick antenna today, and decided to set-up a QRP station inside the house. I wasn't expecting much to happen mind you.. So, I got my Elecraft K1 out and clamped the Buddistick to the coffee table in the living room; second floor.. Set-up was very easy, especially using my "Tenna Dipper." Minutes later I was in a QSO with a station 800+ miles away! He gave me a 569 report, which really surprised me. I was putting out 6W. So, this one is going on my "do not ever sell" list. I will report any further unexpected QSOs with this antenna. Now I need to take it out into the wild and operate from some remote area...


Antennas / Re: Ground radials system for my HF9V vertical antenna
« on: September 24, 2012, 12:58:03 AM »
Here's another one.. If you go to the beach with your QRP radio, should you have your counterpoise wire in the water?
Assuming you're using a vertical.


Licensing / Re: How many here are already licensed?
« on: September 23, 2012, 08:58:40 PM »
I just landed some cash from selling my big rig, so plan to do more building and like you (Gil)  I am thinking of a small, mono-bander.

If you find a good one Ray, let me know.. Ten Tec maybe? The KX1 is tempting... I'm not sure I will keep my K2, though it is a great radio...


Morse Code / Re: My first QSO ever!
« on: September 23, 2012, 08:22:58 PM »
This forum is a cut above a few of the other prep sites I've seen so far.

Thank you very much. We'll try to keep it that way..
Don't hesitate to get the word out..


Licensing / Re: How many here are already licensed?
« on: September 23, 2012, 07:44:47 PM »
Though if "crystal controlled rigs belong in the bin," I'd have to throw away three of them! I haven't tried my Rock-Mites yet, but they are neat little radios. What I'd like now is a mono-band tiny radio with a VFO... I hope Dave Benson will bring back his SW20..


Antennas / Re: Ground radials system for my HF9V vertical antenna
« on: September 23, 2012, 04:30:09 PM »

Do you need 80 meter capability necessarily, or would 40 do it for you? HFPACK sort came up with the very old idea of using a 40 meter dipole, which he fed  with open wire line which allowed the dipole to work on 40, 30, 20, 15, 10 and 6.

I might try that... I don't have 130ft. But I could bend the ends.. I saw military fiberglass poles on Ebay, 12x4ft for $8. Shipping is $35, but that is also for two sets.. So, I would get 24 4ft lengths = 3x32ft. 2ft in the ground, that leaves me with three 30ft poles... Not very high, but better than nothing..
80m would be nice... 40 is what I really want most.


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