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VK3BL Australia flag Australia

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QSL: Direct PSE

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~~~~~~ I Also Have A Blog: https://vk3bl.wordpress.com/ ~~~~~~

About Me

My name is Jarrad, and my current QTH is in Ferntree Gully at the base of the Mt Dandenong Ranges, 30Km from the City Centre of Melbourne.

My formal training is in Sociology & Philosophy, however I am an avid reader and autodidact, possessing knowledge of and interest in many fields.  My employment has primary consisted of working in IT as a System Administrator and Network Engineer; I currently work for a premium business grade Internet Service Provider, Summit Internet.  

I have had an interest in electronics since childhood, and finally got around to obtaining my Amateur Radio licence due to the encouragement of my dear friend and elmer, VK3HBN.  I have been obsessed ever since, and continue to find new interests and make new friends, especially on the 40M band where I love to ragchew.

I love DXing, and am often found chasing the latest DXPedition or working JT65.  My band of interest at the moment is 80M, having recently obtained my DXCC on 40M.  

I was bitten by the DXing bug early on, and have achieved DXCC for Mixed, Phone, Digital, 40M and 20M bands so far.  Of course, I have yet to shell out the money for the certificates, but the ARRL assures me that I can with LoTW. :)

I also enjoy homebrewing, especially antennas as I enjoy building things, and am addicted to continually trying to improve my station in all ways; especially regarding signal and audio quality.  

Hope to see you on the air!  Always up for a ragchew with likeminded folk - I'm quite friendly so say hello! :)

I just recently published a blog article on the art of ragchewing and tips to get the most out of it; if anyone is interested it can be found here: https://vk3bl.wordpress.com/2017/02/17/tips-for-becoming-a-seasoned-ragchewer/

I am a paid up member of the ARRL.


I currently hold the call signs:

VK3BL (Advanced Australian Licence)

XU7AGA (Full Cambodian Licence)


Current Project

Having recently got 100 DXCC confirmed on 40M, and with the sunspot cycle declining, I decided it was time to get onto the 80M band, and my 52ft Doublet wasn't going to cut it.  I did still want to be able to use my other favourite bands of course; 40M & 20M.

As such, I decided to go with a 102ft Doublet, otherwise known as a G5RV!  My coax feedline is Benelec LL-400, and its only long enough to get out of the shack into my homebrew balun.

The balun is a G3TXQ design, consisting of 2x FT240-52 toroids with 11 Turns of Benelec LL-195.  Its a great wide band design, but not particulary optimal for 80M.  Still, with this antenna it performs just fine at QRO levels.

Now, the real part of the project was getting the Doublet into the air.  After a few weeks of planning, I managed to get it up 14M at the Apex, and 9.5M on either end.  The masts are aluminium, and have been considerably overengineered so they are freestanding (with a 'pier' mounted base).

The main mast tubing consists of ~3.5M of 60mm x 5mm, ~6.5m of 50mm x 3mm, ~3m of 44mm x 1.6mm and then finished off at the top with 1m of 32mm (nominal!) PVC Pressure pipe to keep the feed line and elements insulated.

Its early days, but so far I'm overwhelmingly happy with the mast and antenna!

The next project is to experiment with converting one of the end supports to be a full sized 1/4 wave vertical for 40M, in order to assess whether it is worth pursuing an 80M vertical for low angle DX.


Previous Project

Lately I've been playing around with external audio processing for my Icom IC-7300.  Its been a lot of fun, but also a lot of hard work, and if I am being honest, I am still yet to equal the performance of the built in audio processing of the IC-7300! The one area I have succeeded so far is the use of an external noise gate / expander, which gets rid of shack background noise.  

I feed the audio into the back of the radio via the ACC 13 pin DIN socket, using a home brew 600:600 isolation transformer and attenuator I made from $20 worth of components from Jaycar.  It solves all level matching and isolation problems, and was really easy to make. Feel free to email me if you want details.



Primary HF Radio: Icom IC-7300 Standalone SDR

Backup HF Radio: Icom IC-7200

Experimental & Ragchew Radio: Apache Labs ANAN-100D 

Boatanchor HF Radio: Yaesu FT-101E

Station Monitor: SDRPlay RSP2

Microphone: Heil IC-781

Speech Processing: DBX 286s, DBX 266xs, DBX 133s

Speaker: Yaesu SP-2000

Linear Amplifier: Tokyo Hy-Power HL-2.5Kfx

Antenna Tuner 1: Palstar HF-Auto

Antenna Tuner 2: Palstar AT2K

Dummy Load: Bird 8201 500 Watt CCS DC to 2.5GHz <1.25:1

Portable HF Radio: Yaesu FT-817ND

2M/70CM Radio: Yaesu FT-8800R

Handhelds: Yaesu VX-7R & VX-3R

Antenna (HF1): 102 ft Doublet (G5RV)


My DXPeditions

LoTW has my official log for all QSOs, so it would not be wise to create fake QSLs with my calls.  The images above also contain slight changes to the actual QSL card sent out.


8149420 Last modified: 2017-06-10 05:57:45, 12706 bytes

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QRZ Logbook Summary for - VK3BL
Latest Contacts for VK3BL at QRZ.com
dedateband mode grid Country op
VK3CAT 2017-08-20 40m SSB QF22mc Australia TONY MIDDLEDITCH
JR1HYA 2017-08-19 40m FT8 QM06 Japan Kazuo Takase
BD2CO 2017-08-19 40m FT8 PN48 China QINGHAI CHUI
AK1P 2017-08-19 40m FT8 FN42 United States PAUL A MACIEL
CO8LY 2017-08-19 40m FT8 FL20 Cuba Eduardo Somoano Cremati
JA1CFZ 2017-08-19 40m FT8 PM95 Japan Takahiro Watanabe
N7BD 2017-08-19 40m FT8 EM36 United States DONALD G MC MAHON
WD4JJI 2017-08-19 40m FT8 EL98 United States RICHARD SILVERSTON
K4LQ 2017-08-19 40m FT8 EL97 United States Frederick M Perkins, Jr
JH3IEF 2017-08-19 40m FT8 PM74 Japan Kenji Morita
N4RWG 2017-08-19 40m FT8 EM80 United States RICHARD W GRIEST
T46LC 2017-08-19 40m FT8 EL92 Cuba ILLW : Faro Punta Las Coloradas
VR2ZLK 2017-08-19 20m FT8 OL62 Hong Kong Luis T. Kwan
JH3CUL 2017-08-19 20m FT8 PM74 Japan EIJI SOUNO (SOU)
JA2JRG 2017-08-19 40m FT8 PM84 Japan Yoshiyuki Sugiyama

Book Totals: 2964 qso's   1364 confirmed Get a free logbook at QRZ.COM

World Continents Award#14806
Granted: 2016-08-03 16:34:18   (VK3BL)

  • 20M Digital
  • 40M Digital
Grid Squared Award#13410
Granted: 2016-08-03 16:34:14   (VK3BL)

  • 20 Meters Mixed
  • 40 Meters Mixed
  • 20M Digital
  • 40M Digital
  • 20M Phone
United States Counties Award#2807
Granted: 2016-07-21 16:14:05   (VK3BL)

  • 100 Counties Digital
  • 250 Counties Digital
  • 100 Counties Mixed
  • 250 Counties Mixed
DX World Award#4029
Granted: 2016-06-11 16:00:02   (VK3BL)

  • 20 Meters Mixed
  • 40 Meters Mixed
  • Mixed Digital
  • Mixed Phone
United States Award#2182
Granted: 2016-05-21 10:50:14   (VK3BL)

  • 40 Meters Mixed
  • 40M Digital
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