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CM2ESP Cuba flag Cuba

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My first license was on June 22nd, 2009, as CL2ESP, This CL prefix corresponds to Cuban Third Class Station, which is the minimum level and the first and mandatory to any new Cuban Ham Radio Operator. Later, not less than two years you are allowed to do the Second Class Examination, which I did and I earn my CM prefix, so I become CM2ESP on August 25th, 2011.

I am very interested in working DX stations on HF, satellites QSO and working VHF-FM through tropoducts.


HF Operation: I started on HF radio with an old East German military surplus equipment which covers 160m, 80m, 75m, 40m and 30m, with a top PEP of 20 watts. The early years were quite excited because working 20 Watts and doing some DX was very challenging, but very instructive. Later, on late 2012 I repaired a Furuno Maritime Radio, the FS-1503. This radio was discarded on a local harbor and a friend give it to me, it has the microprocessor continuously commanding an absent auto-tuner and therefor the final transistors were dead. After disabling the auto-tuning feature, changing the final transistors, enabling the lower side band modulation and enabling the "free" all bands TX/RX option the radio was ready for amateur use. The transceiver is capable of running 150 Watts but, finding new final transistors are very very difficult in Cuba so I decide to limit the output power to 80 Watts as a way to extend as much as possible the transistors life-time.

Right now I'm working primarily on 40m and 15m with dedicated dipoles for each band, but from time to time I work other bands if the tuner is capable to give a decent SWR with any of the dipoles. I like to scan the bands looking for new and rare calls and from time to time I settle down on a frequency and call CQ and wait to see how far my 80Watts on an dipole is capable to go. I am also very active on The 3905 Century Club 40m SSB Early Net looking for contacts in all the States as a DX Station, I earn my 100 points certificate for this Club and now I am working on progressive awards. If you want to know more about this Club and its procedures you can visit their website at: http://www.3905ccn.com/

From time to time I also check-in on the Corn Cob Net. This is a nice group of fellows who meets every day from 6:00am to 8:00am. It is a great opportunity to grab a cup of coffee and talk to your friends before heading to work!!! Check the Corn Cob Net website here: http://corncobbers.com/


VHF/UHF Operation: Long distance VHF/UHF contacts are very importants to me, so I am always chasing tropoducts. Long range direct station to station QSO are my favorites but through repeaters are nice too. But for the moment only at FM because my VHF radio doesn't have SSB capabilities. However, I can receive SSB so we can try a split mode QSO. Operating VHF/UHF FM satellites is a great option to make long distance QSOs so I like to work them very much, I usually works satellites on weekends, from my roof top with a homebrew arrow antenna.

During the VHF band openning season or whenever there is a strong enough tropo-duct I always try to made contacts through repeaters or simplex, mainly with Florida's west coast beacuse it is a privileged path due to my location (only sea in-between). So if you hear me on a repeater please give me a call, it will be great to talk to you and arrange an attempt to talk on simplex.


Working with Satellites: Well, satellites operations in Cuba is kind of difficult, many hams doesn't have the requiered equipments, so there are very few stations active. Fortunatelly I had the oportunity to get an AOR AR-3000A+ communication scanner, so I can operate the FM V/U satellites. Because I don't have an antenna rotator, I only operate the satellites in semi-portable configuration. I took the radios to the roof and I operate from there.


About QSLing: For all contacts excepting those done in 3905 Century Club Nets please QSL route ONLY via M0OXO (click here for information). If the QSO was through a satellite, please, send me an e-mail as soon as possible, in order to confirm the details of the QSO. I work satellites mostly portable so logging is difficult.



HF Rig
Model: Furuno FS-1503 (Primary Use right now)
Power: 150W Nominal, Currently set to only 80W Peaks to extend final stage live span
Bands: All from 1.6 MHz to 29.7 MHz Modes: SSB and AM
Comments: It is a Maritime radio for fishing boats and sayling ships. It was discarded in a local harbor, after replacing final stage transistors and enabling LSB and full band coverage on the radio config menu this radio was set ready for amateur use.

Model: SEG-15D (Not on the air, used as an back-up)
Power: 15W Nominal, 20W Peaks
Bands: 160m / 80m / 75m / 40m / 30m Modes: SSB and CW
Comments: Discontinued former military transceiver from East Germany, it dates from the 80s (Not in use now, just as a backup)




Model: Yaesu FT-212RH
Power: 8 Watts Low, 45 Watts High
Bands: 2m Modes: FM
Comments: Great equipment, my favorite.

Model: Yaesu FTL-2001
Power: 50 Watts
Bands: 2m Modes: FM
Comments: Very old but rock hard, tough radio, very resistant.

Yaesu FTL-2001


Fixed Antennas

My home is a two story building, on the top on its roof is a small laundry room which adds one more floor just in the center of the roof, over this laundry room there is a 5 meter mast which can be seen on this old photo.

Antennas are:
- 1. Vertical 3dB 5/8 2m Antenna for local operation.
- 2. Vertical semi-directional Moxon Rectangle Antenna for VHF DX hunting. Pointing NNE
- 3. 40m HF Dipole antenna.
- 4. Long wire for 160m/80m/75m HF operation. (It is unnistalled now, no longer on the mast...)
- 5. LEO Satellites Receiving Antenna. It is an horizontally-polarized Moxon Rectangle Antenna. As losses are lower on VHF it can be used as it is without pre-amp or any other need.
(Replaced with a QFH feeding a 30dB VHF 130-150 MHz pre-amp)



Amateur Satellite Operations

This is my ultra light weight low gain portable satellite station. Taking very small space and fitting in a regular backpack, you can take this station almost to every where. It is not perfect but it does its work. There is also a more efficient configuration with a 70cm 6 element yagui and a 3dBi vertical for 2m, pictures of it at the bottom.

From left to right:
- 1. Channelized Kenwood TK-270(G) for 2m Uplink with a homebrew telescopic whip.
- 2. Hearphone with mic for improve the listening of weak and noisy signals, taken from my computer and modified to fitting both TX radio and RX connections.
- 3. Ultra Light Weight Antenna for 70cm, not too efficient on low elevation but it works great on higher than 20 degrees passes.
- 4. 12 Volt lead-acid battery, taken from my UPS when it stop to hold the enough amount of current, but it is still long enough for receiving during many hours.
- 5. My beloved treasure... AOR AR-3000A+ Communication Scanner, All Modes from 0.1 MHz to 2036 MHz. A fellow ham enthusiastic of vacuum tubes radios decided this receiver was too much complex for him, and I didn't wait a minute to exchange it for National NC-125.

Picture taken after an evening pass of SO-50

February 14, 2013 20:20 Local Time

This is my "bigger" ham satellite station. The yagi antennas has an MAR-8 MMIC broadband pre-amp which can be connected if needed with a BNC. The AOR receiver was modified to self-bias the DC to feed the pre-amp.


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6369043 Last modified: 2015-07-16 00:32:24, 16707 bytes

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Grid Squared Award#8260
Granted: 2015-07-07 18:16:23   (CM2ESP)

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