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YS1RS El Salvador flag El Salvador

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A little about me:

I'm 50 years old, born again in Jesuschrist.

A VSAT Field Engineer and ICT Consultant with experience on Emergency Telecoms while working for the United Nations Children's Fund - UNICEF (2003-2013) and now with The Fast Information Technology and Telecommunications Emergency and Support Team (FITTEST) of the UN World Food Programme (WFP).

Active Ham Radio Operator since June 2010 while serving in Haiti. Started transmitting on 20 and 40 meters bands as soon as I got my local permit as HH2/YS1RS together with my friend and colleague HH2/S21RC (Tutul) from whom I learned a lot.

PMy first Ham Radio rig was received while in Port-au-Prince. We became active, transmitting after working hours from inside a 40 feet International Shipping Container, which was actually our Computer Server Room. Our antennas were simple wire dipoles and the power for the whole working camp was provided by a set of diesel generators that ran 24 x 7.

At present active, from home in San Salvador, El Salvador.

My modest radio equipment:

-My first HF rig, Kenwood TS-690S is used for digital and WARC bands (100 watts).

-Fully restored Collins KWM-2 (100 Watts), Winged Emblem (CW and SSB only), 312B-5 Ext. VFO, 30L-1 Amplifier and 516F-2 Power Supply set.
This is a 50 years old Vacuum Tube Radio beauty that have managed to bring back to life with a lot of TLC (tender love and care) and many hours of work and dedication. The whole set includes a Collins 30L-1 Amplifier that provides around 650 Watts out of his 4 power tubes 811A.

The KWM-2 and the 30L-1 Amplifier are now operational and completely restored. At present restoring the Collins 312B-5 External VFO Console.

The Collins is a reliable boat anchor set that I can service myself (spare parts still available). This will easily survive for 50 more years.
This equipment will see many Kenwoods, Yaesus and Icoms, come and go and these Collins set will still be here, working faithfully as it was its first day.
You can still find parts for it, even though Collins no longer exist, this in contrast to my 20 years old Kenwood TS-690S that is difficult to repair and parts are very difficult to find.
Collins has a lot of history. It has been used and is still being used by the US military for more than half a century. Collins set the standard against which all modern radios are compared. Collins was also a manufacturer of aviation equipment like avionics and instruments, apart from radio equipment for the aviation industry too.
I saw my first Collins Radio being used by one of the Salvadorean Air Force Long Range Patrol elite batallions back in the 80's (during the Comunist agression to our freedom by the guerrilla).

Special thanks to the Salvadorean Ham Radio Club (CRAS), specially to YS1GMV, YS1AG, YS1FAF (SK), YS1MS and also to the Collins Collector's Association, its members and Collins friends from the Collins Yahoo reflector for their help, providing information and even small parts to restore this amazing all-time classic set; following the old Ham Radio tradition of helping, sharing and collaboration.

This is my station. A vintage 1950's - 1960's era station composed of boat anchor restored vacuum tube equipment and also homebrew transmitters

-Heathkit HF MR-1/MT-1 @ 50 Watts CW and AM only (from 1962) waiting to be restored back to full operation. A 51 years old radio twin set. This will be my new AM/CW radio set. Photos will be posted once restoration is finished.

-Homebrew HF: Pixie II CW QRP barebones crystal Transceiver (7.038 MHz) 200-300 mW @ 9 VDC (Assembled inside an Altoids Cinnamon Mints box).
-Homebrew HF Vintage Novice Station: Ameco AC-1 clone, 5 watts (1962) with a beautiful 1961 Drake 2B Receiver + Drake 2BQ Q-Multiplier and 2AC Crystal Oscillator. This set is virtually a complete Vintage Novice Ham Radio Station from 1967.
-Homebrew HF: Tuna Tin 2 QRPp Transmitter (14.060 MHz), 300 mW @ 13 VDC (Assembled on top of a delicious Salvadorean Tuna Tin Can)
-Hendricks PFR-3A CW QRP HF transceiver for 20, 30 and 40 Meters Bands (5 Watts @ 12 VDC) built as a kit.
-VHF radio: Yaesu FT-411.
-Heathkit AT-1 + Heathkit VF-1 (the first Heathkit Ham transmitter ever made by them).

Last but not least... Doing my first incursion into Software Defined Radios by building a SoftRock RX/TX Ensemble kit sent to me thanks to Lynn Hagar NG9D.
Lynn, your transmitter has helped us a lot here... We had a Ham Radio Tech workshop afternoon in a local hotel and we shared experiences about SDR, Antennas and History of Radio in YS with fellow Ham Radio colleagues from Central America and Panamá (FRACAP). Shared knowledge on assembling this kit and completed a demo on SDR. Thank you!

Receivers SW: Ten-Tec 1254 and Ameco R-5. Both are General Communications Receivers and, as Ham Radio Receiver, the 1961 vintage Drake 2B+2AQ+2AC is the best receiver companion to all these old transmitters and also for the Homebrew equipment. What else can I ask for?


My antennas at home in San Salvador, El Salvador, photographed against one of the Coffee Plantation Forest as background:

- Barker and Williamson's BWD-65 (75-10 meter) Multiband Folded Dipole Antenna in Inverted "V" configuration.
- Jetstream JTFAN8010BK multiband Inverted V dipole; with a 1:1 balun, intended to be used with the help of an Antenna Tuner but each element has been carefully cut to be resonant for each band (40, 20, 17, 15 and 10 meters) so, no antenna tuner is used.
- Unimax 100 Multiband Antenna (75 to 6 meters bands)
- Radioshack Disconne VHF-UHF.

- Homebrew PVC FM low power transmitter Antenna (87.5 to 108 Mhz.)

- Ringo Ranger VHF 2 meters band antenna.


Kenwood MC-60A.
Electrovoice 630
Astatic D104 (not amplified).


CW Keys (more in the side of a collector - in order of aquisition):

-U.S. Military Navy Flameproof CJB26003A CW straight key (from the Korean War period - 1952)
-Japanese Ball Bearing K4 Brass key (made in the 60's)
-Merit/S.E.L. Training straight key (from the 70's - UK)
-Czech Military RM-31 straight key (Made in the 60's during the Cold War)
-German Military Baumuster T1 Luftwaffe straight key (From WWII - 1939)
-U.S. Military J-38 Straight key (Also from WWII made by Lionel - 1943)
-Manhattan Electric Supply Co. (MESCO) Railroad Land Line straight key (from 1914-1918 - USA)
-Manhattan Electric Supply Co. (MESCO) Railroad Land Line Sounder with straight key (1914 - USA).
-Junker GBDM straight key made for the German Military (from the Federal Republic of Germany 1950-1970)
All this straight keys can be seen in operation on my YouTube channel: http://www.YouTube.com/Robertosala1

CW Paddles:

-CWTouchkeyer model P1BS (Touch Paddle and Electronic Keyer).
-Bencher BY-1/MFJ modified set of paddles. The best of both worlds combined in a single package (a special gift from my friend NG9D)


Digital Modes Interface: Digimaster PRO Plus

Digital Modes: BPSK31, RTTY, Olivia, Hellschreiber and more available. Software: Digital Master 780


Hendricks PFR-3A @ 5W. Operates on 20, 30 and 40 meters bands, QRP-CW mode only:


Homebrew: Pixie II @ 250 mW QRP-CW only, crystal based transmitter on 40 meter band (7.040 MHz):


Homebrew: inspired on the famous AMECO AC-1 Novice kit from the 50's and 60's.
This AMECO AC-1 Clone is a 40 and 80 meters CW-only crystal and vacuum tube based QRP transmitter @ 5 watts.
This is a 6V6 Grid-Plate Crystal Oscillator tube based transmitter. Uses a 6X5 full wave rectifier tube for its built-in power supply.

Here is a video on how it was built:


Here is my complete Vintage "Novice" 1967 station. Ameco style!

Homebrew Ameco AC-1 Clone transmitter (seen above) with its respective Ameco R-5 General CommunicationsReceiver. The receiver has been restored to full working condition again.

The Ameco R-5 was designed with a RCA connector at the back that is intended for using a Q-Multiplier. The addition of the Heathkith QF-1 Q-Multiplier provides the necessary narrowing and Rejection/Null capabilities needed for this rig to provide much better selectivity and greatly improves its service.

Here is a video on how the station was put together:


Homebrew: The Tuna Tin 2 QRPp Transmitter (TT2) with 300 mW output power, 14.060 MHz (20 meters band), Crystal controlled, 13 Volts, CW-Only. As its name implies, its main chassis is a Tuna Tin Can.
In our case, it is a delicious and exotic Salvadorian made tuna in chunks, topped with Jalapeño Chile.

Now starting in the field of Software Defined Radio by building this Softrock RX/TX Ensemble. Works perfectly and it's highly recommended.

A couple of months ago, I received a surprise box with a nice Ft. Tuthill 15 QRP 5W 15 meter band transceiver.
Was sent to me by Lynn Hagar (NG9D).
The kit has been finished, tested and is now fully operational.
I previously had built a BLT+ Tuner, also from QRPKits, and both make a perfect match!
Thank you Lynn for all you've done! 



Emergency Telecoms and IT work.

Haiti: After the earthquake, during emergency ICT and Telecoms operations for UNICEF, back in February 2010:
Left: Configuring a VSAT and WiFi access points. Right: Repairing our broken down computer Server Room Air Conditioner, while on mission in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Building our dipoles for 40 and 20 meters under Fazlay's (Tutul) S21RC supervision (February 2010).

Our antennas up in operation from a shipping container. Working on generator 24x7 (February 2010).


November 2014 - January 2015

9L Sierra Leone and 3X Guinea (West Africa). Working with FITTEST/WFP as Telecommunications Specialist, providing Emergency Telecoms Voice and Data) to the Humanitarian Community as part of the Ebola Outbreak Emergency Response Team in Sierra Leone and Guinea as Emergency Telecoms Cluster Coordinator.

Installing a VSat in Port Loko, Sierra Leone:

Now that we have internet it is necesary to make it available and share it to the rest of the Humanitarian Comunity working in Port Loko.

Here, with LP Svensson (Ericsson Response), installing WiFi access points courtesy of our partners from Ericsson Response. Now the volunteers working in this Danish (IHP- International Humanitarian Partnership) camp will connect and be able to Skype home and talk/see their families, send e-mail, etc. Cooperation between humanitarian organizations is critical to provide a good emergency reponse.

Christmas and New Year day on duty in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Emergency work never stops.


VSat installation in Moyamba. January 2nd, 2015:

Now up and running ready for the internet to be shared with the humanitarian community, hospitals, Ebola Treatment Centers, Ebola Care Centers, etc.

Fellow colleagues (VSat Field Engineers Frances and Mustapha) from other Humanitarian Organizations also deployed in Moyamba. Together providing Internet to the Medicos del Mundo (a humanitarian Health Organization from Spain) - Ebola Treatment Center (of course, safe away from the red zone). I am proud to have met them and worked together:

The mandatory washing and temperature check point. Without this simple but effective controls in place... big risk of Ebola! You find these check points even on the smallest stores, offices, shops and even homes. You get used to the chlorine odor and the constant washing and washing to the point that it becomes an every day necessity.

Time to say good bye: Our almost complete team (other guys were out working in the field). An incredible and amazing group of professionals that sacrifice all, comodities, home, security and family in order to come here to serve and help stop Ebola.

You guys are the best!

Good bye for now Sierra Leone and Guinea!

Finally after 21 days mandatory quarantine period you feel happy to see family and friends again. Even though I never came in contact with sick people or health workers or even into red or yellow zones, stigma is a big problem due to ignorance and due to the great job the media has done in creating alarm world wide. It was the same when AIDS was diagnosed on the first patients. People thought you could die just by looking at them. Total ignorance. We too have families and we don´t want to get sick. So we take care of ourselves in a very detailed and careful way. Keeping distance, no touch at all, washing our hands constantly, checking out our temperature many times a day. Ebola does not transmit on the air like the Flu; it is only via body fluids contact, like blood, semen, saliva, sweat, urine, touching dead bodies, or come in contact with the water used to wash an Ebola patient or his/her dead body. On the other side... the health workers are exposed to this every day and even though they wear protective gear, the risk of making a mistake is very high. I admire their dedication and love for their patients. God bless them in their efforts to stop Ebola from spreading out through the whole world! Next time you see a doctor, a nurse or a humanitarian worker coming back from fighting Ebola, don't treat him/her like sub-human, that person deserves respect as he/she left family, friends and all the comodities at home to come and expose his life and health to join the fight so you could stay home watching TV and living a normal life. R. 





73's de Rob
Straight Key Century Club member #8404
Member of the Collins Collectors Association (CCA)


Visit my YouTube channel for simple low tech Ham Radio Videos, intended to encourage beginners to become ham radio operators too.
If I was able to do small things on Ham Radio, with limited resources, you also can do them too:

CRAS. Club de Radio Aficionados de El Salvador (Ham Radio Club of El Salvador):


Here is a video about my country.... El Salvador:
90% of the world, outside Ham Radio Operators of course, have not even the slightest idea where El Salvador is located or what kind of country it is. Nope, is not what Hollywood has made you believe... A hot, humid forgotten place full of jungles (I don't think we ever had one). Yes, we are small, poor, highly vulnerable to natural dissasters, with many problems like high crime, used to struggle in life but, in contrast to that... we have very low suicide rate and we are on the list of one of the top 10 happiest countries in the world! But anyway... Here is how our country really looks:


The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. PSalm 19:1
Los cielos cuentan la gloria de Dios, y el firmamento anuncia la obra de sus manos. Sal
I cieli raccontano la gloria di Dio e il firmamento annunzia l'opera delle sue mani. Salmi 19:1

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