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VK6MST Australia flag Australia

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Hello and thank you for visiting my site.

I upgraded to a Standard licence VK6MST after obtaining my original foundation licence (VK6FAST) in 2012. Our home QTH is in Melville, Perth Western Australia but we spend a lot of our time maritime mobile when we can. Onboard I use a Yaesu FT857 feeding a 14 metre long wire antenna through a SG237 auto tuner.

I use a Yaesu FT990 at home as my main base HF rig running into a broadband dipole (inverted V configuration). I use a Yaesu FT 857 for VHF/UHF and back-up HF in the shack. I have a Baofeng UV-5R, Motorola GP339 and MD380 handhelds for portable use.

In the 4WD I have a Codan NGT SRx with the Amateur pack and a Vero VR6600 2m/70cm dual band radio.

I have just recently been bitten by the digital bug and now spend a lot of time experimenting with DMR. We only have DMR-Marc repeaters in Perth so I use Hotspots to access the Brandmeister network. I use a SharkRF as a mobile hotspot and find it works brilliantly while maritime mobile. When conditions don't favour HF the DMR gets me around the world. At home I have a MMDVM hotspot on a Rasberry Pi and Arduino Due. Current project is an MMVDM shield with a Teensy that plugs directly onto the Pi. My son Chris is the brains behind that project with support from Adrian VK4TUX. 


New MMDVM board with Teensy 3.6

MMDVM mounted on Rasberry Pi



I have a passion for old radios and I have a Yaesu FT 101ZD that I want to restore to its former glory. It is operational and coupled to a dipole antenna through a Diawa CNW518 tuner. Anyone with experience or advice with this old radio would be very welcome to contact me

I have also been experimenting with magnetic loop antennas. The first one was a small 2 m loop that I called the FAST Loop. Hardly worth the effort because it doesn't take much to hit the local repeater but it works well and it has been a good learning experience. The loop is 1/4 copper tube rolled to approx 130mm in diameter. The capacitor is just a trimmer cap so cannot hit it with too much power. The whole lot is mounted on a piece of Perspex that is very compact and I can tie it up anywhere.

This is the small loop I use on the boat with a 2m handheld.

The second loop was for HF 10, 15 & 20m. The main loop was made from some aluminium tubing I had laying around. The capacitor was home brew and plates were cut out of scrap in the back shed on a cnc machine (also home brew).

Cutting out the rotor plates on the CNC

Assembled rotor for the cap with copper tube used as bushes on the brassrod


Assembled Capacitor, drive motor and gearbox.

Set up on a ladder in the backyard

There is a lot resistance in all the joints and the aluminium tube i used was a bit small. I really wanted build something with a copper main loop that could take more power without risk of arcing. So when Icame across some 50x4mm copper flat bar it prompted me to start the third loop. It was a bit short at 3.8m long to get 40m with much efficiency but I thought it would be a good start. This time I used a 5-250pF variable vacuum capacitor of ebay. This one takes 100 watts and covers the 15, 20 and 40m bands. It is driven by a 12v geared motor from Jaycar.


Set up on the back lawn with bottom of loop 2.00 metres above ground.



The vacuum capacitor and drive system consisting of stepper motor and Arduino controller. Currently manual tune using LCD keypad but will be upgraded to full autotune. Still work in progress.  Note: the yellow components were printed out on my sons 3D printer.



Comes up great on the analyser and I get good signal reports on air. .





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8193976 Last modified: 2017-07-02 04:35:42, 5953 bytes

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