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VK3QD Australia flag Australia

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QTH: North-West VICTORIA (Australia) - in the'rural-city' of 'Swan Hill' (named by Thomas Mitchell in June 1836)

Swan Hill is situated 300 kM north-west of Melbourne  (or 450Km east of Adelaide)​

Produce:   Citrus fruits - with grapes supplying a large part of Victorias wine production.  The 'Mallee' (as the region is know) - has large wheat and canola growing areas.  Visitors enjoy fishing and staying on houseboats on the River Murray.


Some of my amateur radio history:

As a boy I started 'Short Wave Listening' in 1965 to general broadcast stations; VOA, BBC etc. and then discovered the existance of amateur radio later on - accidentally hearing 'private citizens talking' (on 'AM' in those days!) - on what would turn out to be the '160 metre' amateur band.

In time I met a friendly local ham who demonstrated '20 metre band single sideband' to me by talking to San Francisco one Saturday afternoon via his 'cubical quad' antenna - and I was hooked! To achieve that was quite a feat in those pre 'world telecommunications-revolution' days! His home-made station was very exciting.

In order to resolve the 'strange 'ducktalk (SSB) - I had to add a 'BFO' to my old Philips (domestic) - valve/tube radio. Later, I added a 'Jabel' 6:1 'reduction drive' - to make tuning SSB a lot easier!

In 1981 I put 'two tenths of a watt' of CW to air on 3.550MHz using a homebrew transmitter. It was great fun!

The aerial was a 100 foot long dipole fed with 500 ohm home brew open wire feeder. The line was spaced with 'icy-pole' sticks boiled in wax and was a very efficient transmission line. It achieved 'Q5/S5' signals into 'ZL'. That still surprises me. QRPp really works!

I still ponder the wonders of the natural world, like the ionosphere  - amazed that you and I can refract radio waves through the upper atmosphere to all parts of the globe with relatively low amounts of energy!  I also have a keen interest in 'spaceweather' - just like 'Forrest's mama'  said of a box of chocolates :- "you just never know what you'll get!" smiley

73 Aub


PS    As a very young boy I grew up very near a big Blaw-Knox style tower - like the 'WSM' one below.

These unique towers are commonly known as 'diamond 'or 'cigar' (shaped) towers. They originated in the United States and were used extensively in the early days of AM Broadcasting (1930's and onwards)

They are visually impressive, however their unusual shape was found to cause distortion to the desired 'field patterns' and caused many a radio engineer to reach for the 'slide-rule' in frustraton!

Only a few were erected in Europe (see photos below)

The 'United Kingdom' (U.K.) only ever erected one Blaw-Knox 'diamond shaped' tower which is stll located in'Northern Ireland' (south-west of Belfast) - know as "BBC Lisnagarvey".

Upon commissioning in March 1936, 'Lisnagarvey' was the UK's most powerful Medium Wave transmitter!


I've written a fairly comprehensive history of 'Lisnagarvey' in particular.  The principles, however, apply to all 'Blaw-Knox' towers  - so if the shape of these towers intrigue you, have a look at:



Below are some examples of the Blaw-Knox diamond towers around the world:


Below is my HF Yagi Beam: My 'tri-band' Yagi - a KLM Model KT34A - based on a 'log-cell' (or phased dipoles) - driven element - which remains efficient despite its reduced physical size of 24 foot/7 metre elements and 16 foot/8 metre boom)



Marconi's Irish Translantic Telegraph Station in 1907

'Marconi's' first large commercial venture was his "Translantic Telegraphy Station" located at "Clifden" in the Republic of Ireland. The Clifden transmitter sent its message to the receiving station in 'Glace Bay', Nova Scotia (Canada).

Messages of 'just a sentence or two' could take 'several hours' to communicate - so poor was the radio link to Canada!

The success of 'The Marconi Company' depended on the commercial success of 'Clifden'.

October 2007 was the 100th Anniversary of the opening of 'Clifden' and my wife and I were amazingly fortunate to have been passing by just at that time! I was to see 'Princess Elettra Giovanelli' - Marconi's daughter (to his second marriage)


My Radio-Shack

Main HF rig Icom 7700 - exciter to Ameritron 'AL82' linear amplfier (two 3-500ZG tubes in grounded grid - no  'grid-protection' electronics needed with 3-500's  - and something I can repair rather than sending away which suits just fine!)  Other HF radios are a Yaesu FT990 and Kenwood TS530S that I purchased in December 1981 and it still works just great.

7301208 Last modified: 2016-05-09 12:01:47, 8200 bytes

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