BRL Net goes Portable

This morning Ron VK5MRE took the Riverland Radio Club BRL Net portable with his newly home brewed linked dipole.

Ron made the linked dipole as part of a Club tech night project for himself, and with a helping hand from Rob VK5TRM to get it all tuned up a few days back Ron thought it time to test out his handy work. So linked dipole and squid pole in one hand and radio under the arm off he went.

VK5MRE Portable - Lake BonneyAs you can see from the photo here he was in a beautiful location along side the terrific Lake Bonney, Barmera. What a view!!!

Based on my very quick and flying check in to the group this morning it seemed to working an absolute treat, probably better than from his home QTH but we won’t tell Ron that!

Gotta say though I can’t see a deck chair, I think he might have had a bit more comfort than that!

I trust Ron had fun out there near the lake with the 16 stations that checked in, congratulations Ron on building the antenna and getting it on the air, and in a terrific setting too boot. Well done mate!

Danny VK5DW

Advertisements

UPDATE – Business Meeting with Presentation!

Hey all,

The Riverland Radio Clubs next Business meeting is on Monday night coming, November 4th 2018. Club members Bob VK5FO and Ray VK5RR are both staying in the Riverland after our Club Christmas luncheon and will be joining us for the meeting.

SES Berri MapWhile they are here we are taking advantage of a presentation that Bob has offered us on antenna modeling, which he did as part of the Oceania DX Contest recently.  As a result the meeting is being relocated to the State Emergency Service Headquarters training room at 11 Hughes Street, Berri.  I’ve got a map here for those in need.

Bob will be demonstrating antenna modeling software and is encouraging attendees to download and install the 4nec2 (link: http://www.qsl.net/4nec2/) software for those that would like to have a crack at it first hand.  Take advantage I say!  What an opportunity!

As always non members with an interest in radio experimentation are welcome.  With a bit of luck Rob VK5TS will bring along some cake and I’ll make sure the kettle is hot.

Hope to see you there,

Danny VK5DW

JOTA 2018 – Loxton Scout Group

20181020_113007What a great day we had with a few of the Loxton Scout Group. Andy VK5LA, Pete VK5PE and myself, Danny VK5DW, got together this morning to join up with the Scouts for some radio fun.

In negotiating the days activities with Sam, one of the Loxton Scout Leaders, we discussed a desire to do a bit more than just talking on the radio. Given propagation is problematic lately we also wanted to ensure the kids had other amateur radio things of interest.

I visited the scout group Monday night and we settled on a couple activities we and the kids thought would be a bit of fun. So in order for the kids to get on the air they were offered a challenge of building and erecting a 40m band antenna. Andy VK5LA led the 20181020_100742group through a bit of theory fundamentals and much to our surprise these kids were really switched on! OK time for the kids to build a dipole. After a bit of math of they went and cut a couple of wire elements. Andy had a bit of plastic suitable for the centre insulator and I handed over a bit of coax. Next thing you know they had a 40m dipole built ready to hoist, OK it didn’t have a balun… in fact the wire elements were simply twitched onto the coax but we had a dipole!

Right, let’s get this thing in the air. A couple kids had come up with a few ideas and so to simplify the process we offered a 7m Squid Pole. Up she goes… the kids were soooo engaged with the build it was quite exciting to see! A quick lesson on how to use an antenna analyser and a bit of supervision the kids learnt the wires were a bit long, so time to make a minor adjustment. One adjustment and we were resonant… that never happens for me, I usually fiddle around and fiddle around but not these kids.

20181020_100725Time to get on the air! We only had a small keen group so now we thought we could split into 2 smaller groups. Half the group stayed with Andy VK5LA for on air time while the other half went with Pete VK5PE for a bit of FOX Hunting. Pete had bought along some re-purposed WX Radio Sondes as FOXES along with some directional antennas and receivers. After a bit of training and a slice of supervision they got the hang of that pretty quick.

20181020_100813Pete also talked with the kids presenting a bit of information about weather balloons along with some HABHUB tracking info and website demo.

I bought along my Satellite Cross Yagi kit and the kids were interested that we even used our own amateur satellites. They and the leaders were fascinated about the compact size of the satellites.

The kids kept swapping around and everyone had plenty of time on each of the activities. Even the Leaders were having a great time. To round out the happiness the three of us Club members also had a good time as well.

After the Loxton Scout Group presenting the three of us with our ‘Communications Proficiency Badge’ and ‘JOTA Badge’ we wrapped up the day all smiles, but before leaving we and the leaders started to chat about next year. I’m pleased with the impact we made and interest we generated, needless to say we intend to do this again.

Thanks to the other scouts we had the chance to make contact with and the amateurs that made themselves and their equipment available for the kids. JOTA is a really good Scouting initiative.

Thanks for reading,

Danny VK5DW 

Update on VK5FO’s Contesting

In a recent post, Bob, VK5FO described a bit of the background and his upcoming efforts in modelling antennas and then putting them into use during the OCDX (Oceania DX Contest).

Bob participated in the OCDX last weekend and he enters the contest as a Single Operator Single Transmitter All Band QRP – a real challenge indeed.

He has made a full write up around his activities and participation and goes on to explain in detail how he modeled his antenna’s, then went on to build them and how they performed for him in the contest.  Jump over to his blog to read his very interesting post OCDX – Of Contesting and Antenna’s