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G0POT England flag England

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 CW Info

FISTS Club logoIf you're just having a CW QSO with me then please note that I am comfortable around 18wpm but am currently trying to push up my speed to 20wpm+ by learning to 'head read' with CW Ops. If we go QRQ then I may miss the odd word here and there so apologies if I have to ask for repeats! I'm also happy to QRS to whatever speed you like so if you want 5wpm or you like 20wpm characters and 12wpm overall speed then just say. I'd love your locator (QRA) too as I'm taking part in EuCW Snakes & Ladders again this year...I'm in IO91ij.

Check out my website for my radio blog, radio articles and Ham videos: www.peanutpower.co.uk

 The latest news at chez 'POT

November 2017
SpacerCarrying on with the building theme, I wanted to build a touch key into my QCX transceiver so I opted for the EA3GCY kit; the TKEY-1 Mini Touch Key.

The kit can be ordered bare-bones or with an enclosure so as mine is going in the QCX I chose bare-bones. The kit also comes with a couple of touch panels that can be soldered to the PCB but I left these off and am using screws with 'acorn' nuts as my touch paddles.

I made a little video to show the build and installation and use of this excellent touch key kit.

October 2017
SpacerI've received a few kits in the post this month including delivery of my early ordered QRP Labs QCX kit. I opted for the 30m version of this QRP, CW transceiver and had a pretty smooth journey building, setting up and using the radio.

I made a short video of the build, alignment and use just to give a little inside into the Kit.

September 2017
Boxing the K16 keyer SpacerThis has been a busy radio month. I ordered and received a rather nice paddle from EA4GKY. It looks and operates well but doesn't use silver/gold contacts so it will be interested to see how it handles tarnishing of the bear metal contacts.

I had received a K16 Keyer module from Kanga UK as part of a Foxx 3 build-a-thon and thought I would add the full suite of controls and box it up to use with my new EA4GKY paddle. Once you master how to access and control the menus using the simple push button and paddle system this is a super fully functioned keyer unit. The photo shows it just prior to completing boxing it up in a small hammond enclosure.

August 2017
Spacer Managed quite a few SOTA activations over the holidays including a trip to the Brecon Beacons (South Wales) and a few summits in Dorset near the coast.

I made a short video of the Brecon Beacons trip which includes Pen y Fan and Fan Fawr...two very different summits just a stones throw apart.

July 2017
Operating SOTA from Foel Cwmcerwyn SpacerWe had a sneaky week off before the main school holidays get started and took the dogs to the Pembrokeshire coast. I took the satellite gear and worked a few passes of SO-50 but also took the opportunity to meet up with Richard GW1JFV to climb and operate the local summit of Foel Cwmcerwyn (GW/MW-011).

On the climb we enjoyed clear sunny views of the surrounding country side but, as we breached the summit, low cloud swept in and robbed us of the view. The cloud meant that darkness fell a little quicker than expected which made circumnavigating the swampy bottom of this hill pretty tricky.

I sank up to my knees in bog which was gross but at least I did this as we returned to the cars and not as we started up the hill!

June 2017

The SOTABeams WSPRlite in use Spacer With only a little time for radio this month I decided to use the excellent WSPRlite from SOTABeams to compare my two staple SOTA (portable) aerials; the 3 band linked dipole and 3 band End Fed Half Wave (EFHW) (which uses SOTABeams pico traps rather than links). I achieved this using a single WSPRlite unit by using a local comparison station throughout to eliminate propagation effects.
Empirical evidence suggested that the EFHW was performing on par with the Dipole which surprised me...I expected it to be less effective. The experiment confirmed that the dipole was the better performer but also that the EFHW was only a little lower in performance and, given it's simplicity, small size and diminutive weight it remains a firm favourite for portable and SOTA activities.

The full write up is downloadable from my EFHW design page.

May 2017
SpacerI was very fortunate to receive an early version of the LNR Precision MTR4B (Mountain Topper Radio) which is available in the UK & Europe from Dennis at Kanga UK. The MTRs are a pretty amazing family of radios and the MTR4B is a four band version that introduces 80m as standard along with simpler band switching, flip down legs and enough room in the case to retrofit a number of extras like internal batteries, Aerial Tuning Unit (ATU), etc. I got to play with the MTR4B for a few weeks and created an overview video of this amazing little transceiver.

I finally reached a minor SOTA goal this month by receiving my first SOTA award...100 activator points, many hard earned!

April 2017
Spacer This month I gave my first 'webinar', a presentation on SOTA which was hosted by the excellent 'virtual' Chertsey Radio Club. It was tough to condense everything that is great about SOTA into one hour but I did my best and didn't make too many gaffs!

I finally put some effort into working out how to operate through satellites starting with the nice and easy FM sat, SO-50. I treated myself to an Arrow hand held 2m/70cm crossed yagi aerial and connected it up to a Yaesu VX-6 hand held which I pre-programmed using 7 discrete frequencies to receive the satellite on which I can switch through to overcome Doppler effects.

March 2017
SpacerThis month I undertook my most challenging SOTA expedition yet. I’d been watching the weather forecast for most of March waiting for a few days of good weather to attempt a triple SOTA (Summits on the Air) activation in Snowdonia and, on 24th March 2017 I saw a gap in the weather that looked perfect for a flying visit.

I activated; Lliwedd (GW/NW-008, 898m), Snowdon (GW/NW-001, 1085m) and Aran (GW/NW-019, 747m) in a 10 hour hike. It was, without a doubt, the hardest thing I have ever done and it took all my will power to manage the last summit. Check out my video of the day and read my blog of the activation at peanutpower.co.uk/march-2017. You can also see my SOTA introduction presentation at peanutpower.co.uk/sota.

February 2017

Operating / bed with K1 Spacer At the end of February I took my annual SOTA pilgrimage with James, M0JCQ to the English / Welsh borders in Powys & Shropshire to activate our 'famous five' in a single day. This comprises of the following 2 point summits:

  • Corndon Hill GW/MW-013 
  • Stiperstones G/WB-003
  • Long Mynd - Pole Bank G/WB-005
  • Brown Clee Hill G/WB-002
  • Titterstone Clee Hill G/WB-004

This year we 'upped the ante' by stopping for a Full English breakfast at the guest house before starting our day and then operating 2m SSB. The first year we attempted this challenge we operated HF and had no problems making contacts but the setup and breakdown of the station takes some time and adds to the length of each activation. The second year we tried this we struggled to make HF contacts on our first summit (likely due to a solar CME) and were forced to resort to a 2m FM handheld which proved very successful. Based on this we opted to work predominantly 2m SSB this year and had no problem pulling in contacts to activate each summit.

January 2017
Spacer This month I started a Virtual Build-a-thon with Chertsey Radio Club...we're building a Foxx-3 and K16 keyer combo from Kanga UK as a virtual group simply using videos and group Webex sessions once a week. It's brilliant fun and a great way to meet lots of new people.

I've been trialling a new toy from SOTABeams for a while and it's finally launched. The SOTABeams WSPRlite is a super small WSPR transmitter covering 160 - 20m which also comes with a rather good website to analyse your results including comparisons with other stations. Check out my overview video to the left.

As I've finally reached 50 I thought I'd treat myself to a swanky new key. I'm now the proud owner of a Begali Traveller...a beautiful and adaptable paddle from an amazing Italian manufacture. Check them out.


 GØPOT bio...

Location map showing Thatcham Spacer

I'm normally operating QRP CW on HF. I use a selection of radios but my favourites are currently my Elecrafts (KX3, KX1 & K1) and my Mountain Toppers. I'm normally operating using just a couple of Watts and even on the TS480 I'll only be using 5W.

GQRP Nr: 8260
Fists Nr: 9875
QRA: IO91ij

QSL via the bureau or direct . . . always love to get a QSL, especially from SWL. 

Location is a village called Thatcham just outside of Newbury which is ~70km directly west of London.

73's es 72's de Michael (G0POT) 


Follow GØPOT on TwitterI share my Amateur Radio activites on Twitter and use it to arrange skeds and share good ideas. Give me a shout using @DrOrthogonal...you can also use it to give me a bit of feedback on my CW or arrange a QRS sked :o)




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