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HB9TVM Switzerland flag Switzerland

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My name is Tiz (short for Tiziano), old man from year 1977. Licensed in 2005 with help of ILT school and Kurt, HB9LEW. QTH in Poschiavo, Switzerland, small valley in the Alps close to the Bernina massive, 1111 meters above sea level. We speak Italian in this beautiful valley located southern of Grigioni close to St. Moritz. We eat well like in Italy and live close to the mountains like in the Himalaya :-)

This is the vertical antenna and the dipole (photo taken on 23 March 2014):

If you plan holidays, come and stay to the hotel of my friend HB9FPO for a fair price, with a transceiver in each room and plenty of antennas on the roof, see www.chalet-poschiavo.ch for more.

On air starting from December 2013 with a Kenwood TS-480-SAT (100W version with integrated antenna tuner), two 18m dipole (IW2EN 1X35-9) separated by about 90 degrees at about lambda/2 above ground, a homebrew delta loop for the magic band and a self-built QFH (quadrifilar helix) for weather satellites. The headphones are Sony MDR-ZX110. Tigertronics USB Signalink for digital modes (RTTY, PSK31, PSK63 and JT65). I started to learn Morse (the BAKOM dropped the requirement for a morse exam at the time when I did it). I am practicing CW with a Vibroplex paddle... Following advice of HB9FBQ, I am now on Learn CW Online. I was very happy to meet Clay, IK0XCB, (yes, the Morse champion) in person at the Chalet of HB9FPO who recommended me to use MorseRunner, which is fantastic software, very realistic sounds like in HF! I did my first QSO in CW in November 2015 with SN15WJK, evviva!

VHF with Icom IC 2820 (with D-Star!) and 2m Diamond ground pole antenna. Mobile with Yaesu FT-1D with Fusion and Hytera PD365 for DMR. I recently bought a Mini VNA BT vector network analyzer so that I can start to build antennas (see 6m delta loop, QFH, and "bolt"-balun down under..). I also acquired the Funcube USB dongle wich is very versatile (0.15 microvolt sensitivity, the other radios have about 0.2). Power supply for mobile operations: Mini Start Booster.

Best of Luck and of DX, 73 also from YL Vir, Martina, Maurizio and Michele!

This is my current shack built with help of Stefano, HB9FPO, the radio on the top is a Tokyo Crusader bought from old man and friend Paul, HB9TVZ. If you look closely, you will find the shortwave radio built by my uncle and his oscilloscope. The screensaver is Orbitron. The Funcube dongle and the QFH on the roof are a good combination to receive signals from satellites.

YL-Vir in action:

As I mostly grew up digital, the analogic world fascinated me. However, the only electronical circuit I built which was working was this RS-232 computer radio interface. I built it with old spare parts of my uncle Saverio found on the pavement. I could find digital signals and see the frequency split of 0 and 1 with HAMCOMM for DOS for some VHF signals connected to a portable Yaesu of my father (FT-11R), however at the time back in 1997 I never managed to decode anything. I neither knew where to find decodable signals, nor I had suitable equipment. I was completley unaware of radio propagation behaviour, too :-)

A bad homebrew antenna for 10 meters with LC circuit in front:

I found this shortwave radio in the pavement, it was self-built by my uncle Saverio (HB9OAC) in 1970:

My uncle said it was working very well! He is an electronics genius!

I also found the circuit plan used by my uncle in this old "Radiopratica" magazine of May 1970:

Who knows, maybe one day I will be knowledgeable enough to repair it...

This was a microspy he built: it is still working and transmits around 100 MHz, to be tuned with the variable air capacitor. The only drawback that as it is at least 40 years old, you need to shout into the microphone in order to transmit :-) For this reason, it does not work very well as microspy, although I could impress my friends. I tried to build a preamplifier in front, but it did not work...

Ah, in the Swiss army I served in the EKF Companie, section romande GE 51/1. As I was schooled with an old system, where we did triangulations on a map with needle and thread shouting directions with the gas mask, I ended mounting big antennas for triangulations when the new computerized system came into action. We mounted them in wonderful but cold and windy places like Vue des Alpes, Chasseral, Bantiger et Creux du Vents. If I have the pleasure to do a QSO with you in French, this will be the best reminder of my time in the army, and please excuse my mistakes :-)

If you talk to me in German, this will be the best reminder of the time spent in Chur and Zuerich!

This was the report of our jamboree on the air in 2004 with the local boy scout society.

On this page, you will find some of my computer experiments. Below an attempt to build an Internet supercluster with the GPU project, the server was built by hacker friend Ninja and featured water cooling:

By the way. this is my current computing environment:

In the Lego-case built by Marti and Mauri there is a Raspberry Pi 3 with modified passive cooling out of an old computer. The other computer has a brand new graphic cards Gigabyte Nvidia GTX 1080 and the rest is old computer parts tied together by Ubuntu Linux 16.04. The GTX 1080 needs an additional dedicated power supply of 300W. I had to connect the green and black cable on that power supply to trick it to think the computer is on, so that it delivers power to the graphic card. I changed the fan of the other power supply as it was very noisy by taking another mother board fan (12V, 0.5A) and added a resistor of 39 Ohm in front to reduce speed. This computer is currently used not for games, but as a CUDA supercomputer and to run BOINC. These are my current BOINC stats. As this rig does BOINC, it also mines gridcoins.

Another update on December 3 2016: this is a cluster with 2 Raspberry Pi 3 and a Xilinx FPGA (Spartan3, LogiPi board on top by ValentFX, case by Mauri):

Well, the Gridcoin thing got a bit out of control. This is my current Gridcoin Mining Farm on January 2018:

This was my lab in the pavement, now dismantled (my call at the time was SWL HE9MZZ), the circuit on the left was a radiogoniometer, hey you guessed, it did not work either :-(

This is the 6m delta loop built at the end of May 2014 with some PVC tubes, about 6m 11cm of earth wire, 1m 12cm of very old RG59 75 Ohm coax for television as matching part (velocity factor 0.79, measured with the miniVNA), old RG58 coax used in the first Ethernets about 25 years ago as transmission line and plenty of BNC connectors also used to connect computers in the very first Ethernet networks. It is fed on top as I think I need a high radiation angle because of the mountains. The antenna is directional and can rotate... I took instructions from this youtube video and looking at web pages around the web.

These are the antenna characteristics straight from the MiniVNA BT Pro, in green SWR, in light blue impedance |Z|:

It is resonant at 50.422Mhz with a SWR of 1.24. On 50.125Mhz the meeting frequency for QSOs it has a slightly higher SWR of 1.3.
Thanks to Gerry EI9JU for the first QSO with this antenna :-)
Important note: after one year of operating the antenna, I understood that the cheap RG58 cable was really a bad choice! Do not use this cable for long connections, it collects lot of noise from the shack and the environment as it is poorly shielded. If you have RG58, power up only the receiver and shutdown computers and other electrical devices, to improve reception! I plan to replace all my RG58 with double shielded cables.

This is a map of QSO performed by radio station HB9TVM created with hrdlog.net

This is a 1:1 current balun with a bolt and a small milk bottle built with these instructions of VK5AIL on a rainy 14 of June 2014:

The first tests with the Mini VNA are encouraging. I also connected the balun to 10m of wires and the coax to the Funcube and I could listen on the 40m band quite well.. 

But to date, I could not get this balun on the air...
















This is a self built QFH (quadrifilar helix) for weather satellites NOAA following instructions by Chris van Lint and G4ILO (taking RG58 instead of RG6). It was built between 15 and 21 December 2014 with PVC waste pipes. Our modification was to use a T BNC connection instead of soldering on the braid. I tried twice to solder the braid but I melted twice the cable, so I went for the solution using a T BNC connector, where the BNC connector of the critical cable has only the shield connected and has no golden needle in the center of the BNC.

It is resonant at about 134 MHz, the SWR graph was retrieved with VNA.When the QFH is on the roof, the VNA vector analyzer shows even better SWR also around 145.800Mhz (useful for satellites communication because of the circular polarization which can easily go through clouds and rain falls):

Due to the high mountains around, satellites can be intercepted only if they pass very close to HB9TVM zenit:

This is the telemetry of the FUNCUBE satellite experiencing the Doppler Shift effect on the 2m diamond vertical antenna:

The telemetry is decoded with the "FUNcube dashboard" software:

This is the signal of NOAA 19 on the QFH placed on the roof, recorded on 24 December 2014 15:20z, loud and clear:

This is the decoded image of NOAA 19 pass at 13:03 UTC on 04.01.2015 over HB9TVM using Funcube in combination with HDSDR, Virtual Audio Cable and APTdecoder. It is important to tune the Funcube dongle some 35 kHz above the center frequency of the NOAA as the Funcube receiver adds some whistle artifacts about 38kHz above the tune frequency even with the latest firmware, and to use about 68kHz signal bandwidth. I had to use a RF + 30 and IF +27 on HDSDR. The top and bottom of the image are in noise due to the mountains... The image was decoded with APTdecoder, in the beginning I had some difficulties to update the Keplers (simply load the .txt file, as APTdecoder assumes .tle extension when downloading the new keplers).

There is still room for enhancement as it was a windy day (some wobbling of the QFH antenna) and there is a "Test" voice signal superimposed by the shareware version of Virtual Audio Cable! I therefore decided to switch to VB Audio Cable which is donationware.

This was taken with WXtoImg, NOAA-19 on 24 January 2015:

By the way, read about the strange accident happened to NOAA 19 on Wikipedia.

This is Martina showing the Arrow antenna for 70cm and 2m (bought in Friedrichshafen from EPS-Antenne for 100 bucks in June 2015) featuring a Diamond duplexer MX-72N connected to the Yaesu FT1D. 

The first QSOs to LZK1G and DG0ER on Saudisat SO-50 were done without duplexer, but with the Yaesu FT11R for the uplink on 2m and the Yaesu FT1D for the downlink, using an old but still valid HTC Legend to point at the satellite, mounted at the bottom of the antenna with elastics. The QSOs are difficult, as soon as there is a bit of humidity (tiny white clouds) in the air, the 5W of the Yaesu FT11R are defeated! Also the F11R has a neat TX save modus even when transmitting with full power, so I never achieved 5W in the first tries. I discovered this, when I downloaded the manual from the website, and then disabled the TX save modus. If you do everything right, you will hear the echo of the satellite in your headphones, when you transmit. Reception of SO-50 starts at 436.800 MHz (0 degree elevation) and when the pass is almost over, you need to listen at 436.785. I could test this fact when I was in holiday in region IK3 (Bibione) without mountains. At sea level however, there is like a wall of evaporated water from the sea which defeats both transmission and reception, you need a clear morning after a rainfall in the night to test zero elevation reception. Very strange, but I was also hearing utility transmissions at the satellite frequency when in IK3... Transmitting can be done on the center frequency 145.850 without adjusting for the doppler effect.

This is Michele doing sky-ground measuraments with a 2.4GHz antenna on polar mount kindly provided by Dario, IW2FZR, who also provided lot of advice for the space probe project (see later):


The ham radio goals for the rest of my life are:

1. Activate the mountain of Curnasel here in Poschiavo

Curnasel is a quite high mountain, but there is an easy path to the top.

For this, I bought a Minibooster with 16Ah, and I checked that the Kenwood TS-480, dipole and morse paddle do not exceed the weight of 6 kg.

2. listening to Iupiter radio storms caused by Io 

3. build an antenna for VLF SWL

4. build a radiotelescope on 21cm/EME SWL station for 23 cm using a self built helix, a 1.0m commercial satellite dish, specific LNAs and LNBs of Kuhne Electronics and the equatorial mount of my old Vixen telescope (11''). Reception will be done with the Funcube. I also plan to add 3cm capability using an universal LNB, to hear the coming geostationary satellite EsHailSat

4. Dream goal: using a down converter made by DG0VE for the X-Band (8.4 GHz), and a LNA 8000 by Kuhne Electronics, I would like to listen to distant Deep Space Network space probes.























5) Make a mini 9V Tesla Coil

Last but not least, thank you for visiting this page... More to come :-)


8555463 Last modified: 2018-01-03 08:49:51, 19749 bytes

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