zondag 25 juni 2017

It is 50 years ago today

Het is vandaag op de kop af 50 jaar geleden, dat ik op 25 juni 1967 voor het eerst de LP Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band hoorde.

We waren met een groep van onze zwemclub op een langebaan wedstrijd. We hebben de wedstrijd van 2 kilometer gezwommen. Nadat we weer omgekleed waren en langs de baan zaten, klonk in eens uit de speakers van het PA systeem Sgt. Pepper's. We hebben ademloos zitten genieten van de hele LP tot en met de uitloopgroef van kant twee aan toe. De LP was kort te voren uit gekomen. In mijn herinnering heeft het nog enige tijd geduurd voor ik zelf de LP heb aangeschafd.

Het is ongelooflijk, maar de nummers op Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band klinken nog steeds fris, zelfs nog na 50 jaar.

Oplettende lezertjes hebben wellicht de bijzondere datum 25 juni 1967 herkend. Inderdaad dat was de dag dat 's avonds  All You Need Is Love  door ongeveer 400 miljoen mensen op 5 continenten werd bekeken in het programma Our World. Dus dat was dubbel genieten. Maar niet voor iedereen. Want toen we weer thuis waren hoorden we het nieuws over de windhoos in Tricht.

zondag 11 juni 2017

CQ WW WPX CW contest 2017


Last year I used the cylinder dipole with two Monster cans for 21 MHz.
I am very pleased with the excellent write up on the PA1B cylinder dipole
in the results of the 2016 CQWW WPX CQ contest of last year.
See My Blog post on the article.

This year I used an end fed antenna for 14 MHz, that is sloping to the east.
In total I made 91 QSO's. I did not use a fixed power.
When the signals go up, I reduce my power.
The power that I used, varied from 3.6 watts down to 3.6 milliwatt.
All QSO's were made with the lowest possible power with search and pounce. S&P.

I started on Saturday on 14 MHz and when I stopped there were 40 QSO's in the Log.
On Sunday  morning I first made 11 QSO's on 7 MHz.
Then I went to 14 MHz to make about 40 more QSO's.


QRPp   < 1 W
As a milliwatt enthusiast the emphasis of my activities lays on the use of QRPp. On 14 MHz I made 37 QSO's with a power of 360 mW and 22 QSO's with 800 mW. When the signals go up I reduce further below 100 mW. The table shows 18 QSO's with less than 100 mW, with 2 QSO's with a power of 3.6 milliwatt.

Very low power QSO's on 14 MHz
On Saturday I started after 16:00 UTC. In the first QSO I probably was too eager to use low power, that I am not sure whether the QSO is valid. After 18:00 UTC till 20:00 UTC the signals peaked, with  6 QSO's with 36 mW and two QSO's with 3.6 milliwatt.

S-Meter reading
An important indicator for the power that I can use, is the S-meter. The signals in the  two QSO's with 3.6 milliwatt were ear splitting. To get an indication of the signal strength,  I switched in the attenuator of 20 dB. The S-meter still gave a value of S+. This means that the signal strength is  S+ plus 20 dB. Hi.

zaterdag 27 mei 2017

ARI DX contest 2017

I had great fun with low power in the ARI DX contest.
This year it was not that easy, because of QSB.
But nevertheless I made a total of 11 QSO's with 8 mW up to 800 mW.

QSB
Sometimes the QSB (fading) made it very difficult. But it's also a sport to choose the right moment to answer the CQ. I start answering before my signal peaks to make the QSO. My signal has to be also  in the clear. In QSO number 3, the signal of LY3B went up slowly, so I had to listen very carefully to work him with 8 mW. For the QSO with I7PHH I had to wait for the signal to go up, to make the QSO when my signal peaked. Hi. In the last QSO with HA8GZ there was no QSB. But when I look back in my notes on paper, I see, that I heard many stations, that I have not work because their signals faded.

Excellent Ears
I met 3 very skillful operators with excellent ears in QSO number 2, 3 and 4.
YT1A with 80 mW, LY3B with 8 mW and RW3YA with 80 mW. Well done gentleman.
I am not the strongest station on the band, but when my signal is in the clear, these skillful operators with will answer my call, what ever my power may be. Hi. It is all a matter of propagation.

The table below shows the QSO's in chronological order in blocks of one hour.
The table shows the power that I used from QSO to QSO.
ARI DX contest - 14 MHz  - PA1B
Worked DXCC's
ARI DX contest 2017 - PA1B

maandag 22 mei 2017

Helvetia contest 2017 update

I had fun in the Helvetia contest 2017 with low power.
Even though there was QSB, I still could make some beautiful QRPp QSO's.

I got a request from Panagiotis SV1GRN to write a more detailed story.
Yes, you are right, Panos. It's my pleasure to make the update. hi.

Update
The first table shows the QSO's in chronological order.
This is very interesting, because it shows, which power I used from QSO to QSO.

Saturday
I started on Saturday with just 3 QSO's. The signals were S9, S9 and S+.

Sunday
When I started on Sunday, I heard HG7T with a very strong signal. S8 + 20 dB.  But then the QSB kicked in. The signal strength dropped about 10 dB and I had to use 80 mW to make the QSO. That is how it goes with QSB. hi.
In the next QSO with CT, I had to use full power and I had to repeat my serial number. hi.
Then I went to 15 meters. The band was empty.
So I went to 40 m and made a QSO with HB9MM in VD.
I decided to go back to 20 m and made 3 QSO's with 36 mW.
QSO number 8  with LY3B was exciting. The QSB reduced the signal strength, just after the QSO was completed. hi.
In the last QSO I had to QRO to 800 mW, (QRO means increase my power), before my signal was heard and the QSO was made.

Helvetia contest 2017 - QSO's in chronological order - PA1B
Worked DXCC's
Helvetia contest 2017 - PA1B

zondag 30 april 2017

CQMM DX 2017

The CQMM DX contest brought my an interesting mix of
 - DX with 5 continents with QRP and QRPp
 - Using very low power, when the S-meter peaks  - 8 mW - hi
 - Making QRPp QSO's within Europe with 800 mW or less
 - Making 1000 Miles per Watt QSO's with other continents AF, NA, SA

CQMM DX 2017 - PA1B
CQ or S&P
As a QRP and milliwatt enthusiast I reduce my power, when the conditions go up. When I work with low power, I always use search and pounce. From time to time I also called CQ with 800 mW, but without success. The reason that I could not make any QSO in this way, is probably the activity. I heard stations calling CQ for a wile and then this station would leave the frequency after a few tries. 

Continents
I did not expect to work a total of 5 continents. On Saturday and Sunday I had only worked stations from Europe (EU) in 12 QSO's. But then suddenly after 18:30 UTC the ionosphere opened up to the west and the east, so I made 6 beautiful QSO's with:
EA8/DL3ASM  (AF)K1GQ   (NA)ZW8T  (SA)VA2WA   (NA),TA7I  (AS), CN8KD  (AF)
After this run the 20 meter band was empty. hi.

8 mW QSO with YQ6A
Early in the contest, after two QSO's with 360 mW, the signal of YQ6A was very strong. An earsplitting S+ +20 dB. This is S+ through the attenuator of 20 dB. I made the QSO with 8 milliwatts by answering CQ. 

1000 Miles per Watt QSO's
Making a more than 1000 Miles per Watt QSO's is not as difficult as it seems. When you use a power of 800 mW, all QSO's over a distance of more than 800 miles will be more than 1000 Miles per Watt QSO's. Just notice, what your S-meter shows you. hi. The number of QSO's in red in the table are more than 1000 Miles per Watt QSO's.

woensdag 5 april 2017

CQMM DX coming up this weekend

This weekend there was much activity from South America, so I joined the fun in the CQMM DX in which you can work every station.

I had great fun with QRP in the CQMM DX contest in  2011,  2012  and  2013,

Look at the PA1B QRP Blog entries of the CQMM DX contest:
Blog entry of 2011.    Blog entry 2012     Blog entry 2013

In the CQMM DX contest of 2011, I was suprised by the excellent propagation, which made it possible to work with stations in South America and North America with just 1 W or 2.5 W.

Exchange
My  QRP  RST  is   599 EUQ
In the CQMM DX contest a QRP station is immediately recognized by it's exchange.
My exchange is be 599 EUQ meaning continent Europe and QRP.
So as a QRP station, I immediately known that the QSO
is a 2 way QRP QSO when I receive such an exchange. hi.

CQMM DX was this weekend. I hope to meet you next year.

Rules 2017
Click for    Rules 2017   or info on the    CQMM DX website

dinsdag 28 maart 2017

Jan Weissenbruch in Culemborg

Stadhuis van Culemborg
In januari heb ik een tentoonstelling bezocht van prachtige schilderijen van de schilder Jan Weissenbruch (1822-1880) in het Teylersmuseum in Haarlem.

De site van het Teylersmuseum vermeldde:
Jan Weissenbruch is een van de meest eigenzinnige Nederlandse kunstenaars van de 19de eeuw. Met felblauwe luchten en heldere lijnen bracht hij de oude poorten, stadsmuren en huizen in beeld die in rap tempo werden afgebroken om plaats te maken voor de moderne tijd. Met een romantische liefde voor het verleden legde Weissenbruch het verdwijnende oude Nederland vast, maar hij deed dat met een fotografische scherpte en een realisme die ultramodern waren.

Weissebruch heeft een aantal schilderijen gemaakt in het rivieren gebied. Ook in Culemborg. Een van de schilderijen in de tentoonstelling toonde de binnenplaats naast het stadhuis van Culemborg.  Dat vond ik opmerkelijk, maar ook leuk, want andere kunstenaars hebben vele malen de voorkant van het stadhuis in schilderijen en tekeningen vastgelegd. Vanmiddag was ik in Culemborg en terwijl mijn vrouw diverse winkels bezocht, ben op zoek gegaan naar deze binnenplaats.

De site van het Teylersmuseum vermeldde:
Jan Weissenbruch is een van de meest eigenzinnige Nederlandse kunstenaars van de 19de eeuw. Met felblauwe luchten en heldere lijnen bracht hij de oude poorten, stadsmuren en huizen in beeld die in rap tempo werden afgebroken om plaats te maken voor de moderne tijd. Met een romantische liefde voor het verleden legde Weissenbruch het verdwijnende oude Nederland vast, maar hij deed dat met een fotografische scherpte en een realisme die ultramodern waren.

Uit het schilderij kon ik opmaken dat het tafreel zich aan de linkerkant van het stadhuis moest bevinden. Dus aan de zijde waar het gebouw met trapgevel links naast het stadhuis te zien is.
Via een smalle straat kwam ik uit aan de zijkant van het stadhuis.

Schilderij en foto - Klik om te vergroten
Ach moet je dat wel doen? Want na 160 jaar is er natuurlijk niets het zelfde.
In de tentoonstelling in Haarlem had ik gelezen dat Weissenbruch gebouwen, die het zicht op het onderwerp ontnamen, wel weg liet in het schilderij. Die mogelijkheid heb ik niet met de camera in mijn moderne telefoon. Maar als die mogelijkheid er wel op zat....
Het is grappig om te zien dat het hoge gedeelte, links in het schilderij, er in werkelijkheid strakker uitziet dan Weissenbruch het weergeeft.
Maar de lucht is in het schilderij veel mooier dan in de foto. hi.

Het blijft een prachtig schilderij.  Klik even om te vergroten.

zondag 12 maart 2017

G4EFE WSPR with 5 mW on 40 m

Martin G4EFE is an enthusiast milliwatt WSPRer.
I curiously follow the WSPR adventures of Martin in which he uses very low power.
Here I show new analysis of the spots that Martin made with a power of 5 milliwatt on 40 m with a full-size 40 m square loop.

The table shows the number of spots over a three day period, from day to day and hour to hour.
From the used power of 5 mW (in all spots) and the SNR, I calculated the lowest possible power.
A spot with a SNR of -28 dB is a "solid copy" in WSPR. So when, for instance, the SNR is -18 dB, the signal is 10 dB stronger and could have been 10 dB lower and still give a solid copy, with a SNR of -28 dB.

The better the SNR, the stronger the signal and the
lower the calculated lowest possible power will be.

Propagation
In the spots that were received by F6EHP, you can see the development of the propagation from hour  to hour. You can see that the signal peaks at 9 UTC at 3-2-2017. The strongest spot could be made with a power of 0.1 milliwatt. This is also the strongest spot in this table.


Martin uses his IC703 and an attenuator to make a power of 5 milliwatt. His antenna is a full-size 40 m square loop. As I saw on WSPRnet.

zaterdag 11 maart 2017

PA1B Cilinder dipool in de BQC Nieuwsbrief

De cilinder dipool is een interessante antenne, die zelfs binnenshuis gebruikt kan worden. Vooral met de cilinder dipoool met Monster blikken, die bij uitstek geschik is voor 21 MHz, heb ik al veel QSO's gemaakt. 
Ik heb vandaag enthousiaste reacties gehad van BQC leden, op het artikel over de cilinder dipool in Nieuwsbrief 161 van de BQC, tijdens het bezoek aan de Vlooienmarkt in Rosmalen.

In het artikel over de cilinder dipool met Monster blikken wordt verteld, dat de capaciteit tussen de blikjes overgeveer 6 pF is en deze capaciteit een essentiële rol speelt, bij de werking van de cilinder dipool.
Er wordt uitgelegd dat de cilinder dipool zich gedraagd als een parallelkring, de blikjes niet van blik zijn, maar van aluminium en welke voordelen dit biedt.
Verder wordt uitgelegd dat de cilinder dipool via een 300 ohm lintlijn gevoed wordt en daavoor een symmetrische tuner gebruikt wordt.
Veel leesplezier met de BQC Nieuwsbrief.

Cilinder dipool met Monster blikkken - PA1B

woensdag 8 maart 2017

UBA DX CW 2017

I was looking forward to participate in the UBA DX CW contest with QRPp. This is a very nice contest with a lot of activity. I found out that my End fed antenna is working fine. This time I also made a few QSO's on 7 MHz. I discovered that I had to use a longer twin lead on 7 MHz than I use on 14 MHz. I made most QSO's on 14 MHz using QRPp. Click to see my End Fed with a twin lead feeder.

I came back home late, so I made 1 QSO on 14 MHz and 3 QSO's on 7 MHz on Saturday.
On Sunday I made 23 QSO's with 360 mW and 7 QSO with 800 mW to 3.6 Watt.

UBA DX CW contest 2017 - PA1B
Numbers in red are more than 1000 Miles per Watt
I am very pleased that I could make that many more than 1000 Miles/Watt QSO's.
I ran the FT-817 without the attenuator.
The lowest power of my FT-817 is 360 mW, after a serious mismatch.
But as you can see, this low power is still working fine most of the time. Hi.
20 m UBA DX CW contest 2017 - PA1B
Numbers in red are more than 1000 Miles per Watt
All QSO's were made with Search & Pounce (S&P).
I only increase my power when I am sure that my low power signal is not heard.
40m UBA DX CW contest 2017 - PA1B
Using low power, is absolutely not that difficult and is great fun.

woensdag 1 maart 2017

ARRL int DX CW 2017

I was hoping to make QRPp QSO's in the ARRL international DX CW contest 2017. I did not make many QSO's, because I had very limited time on both days. But I did enjoy the contest very much.
A week ago I made an End fed antenna to work in the PACC. The antenna is sloping down to the east, so I was curious how the End fed would do to the west. I am not disappointed.

Saturday
Because I was away for most of the day, I started late on Saturday on 14 MHz.
In the first 3 QSO's I had to use 3.6 W and 1.8 W. After that I could reduce to 800 mW.
When the band closed on Saturday evening, I had made 11 QSO's all with Search and Pounce (S&P). The signal of K1ZZ was very strong, so I reduced to 360 mW before answering his CQ.
The response was immediately correct.

Sunday
When I started on Sunday I could hear European stations. On 14 MHz I could only hear stations that I had worked before on Saturday, so I went to 21 MHz. On this band I could work 6 stations all with just 800 mW, as you can see in the table below. I could work with W3LPL with 360 mW. His response was also immediately correct. hi.

ARRL int DX CW contest 2017 PA1B
Numbers in red are "more than
1000 miles per watt QSO's"
599 001      001?
Working with QRP and QRPp is great fun.
In the ARRL DX CW contest the DX stations like myself give their power in the report.
When I reduce to less than 1 watt, I will give the report 599 001.
This report can create some confusion. When I use 3.6 W I will give 599 004.
I will give 599 001, when I use a power of 800 mW, but also with 360 mW.
One operator was quiet for one full second after receiving my 599 001, before he realized that my power was about 1 W.  Hi.

Excellent ears
When I met K5ZD and N1TA, their  signals were not that strong and the QRM was increasing. I was really surprised that they could hear my 800 mW at all. But we could complete the QSO with no trouble at all. FB. Probably they had less QRM than that I had.

End fed
I am very pleased with my End fed. It works fine to the east and to the west.

vrijdag 24 februari 2017

PACC 2017

In the PACC 2017 I made 51 QSO's. In most QSO's I used 800 mW by giving CQ or by using S&P.  The 20 m was good for most of the QSO's.
Friday before the PACC I made an End fed antenna with about 20 meters of wire. Just as my holiday antenna's the wire is feeded via a twin lead that acts as counter pose and impedance transformer. I applied linear loading to make the wire fit in my garden. This antenna is a great success.


Inside Europe I could make QSO's with QRPp running with just 800 mW. With 800 mW all QSO's over a distance of more than 800 miles (1280 km) are good for more than  1000 miles per watt. After the contest I counted 38 QSO's with more than 1000 miles per watt in my log.
The power of 800 mW was not enough in every QSO. I had to increase my power to 3.6 W, to work K6ND and P3YA and a few other stations.


The antenna is a great success.  I could run with QRPp with a power of 800 mW.


As a milliwatt enthusiast I often use the lowest possible power from QSO to QSO in other contests. Then I use Search and Pounce. (S&P) But when I give CQ, it is more difficult to copy the call than when I use Search and Pounce. Most of the time I must hear the call twice to copy the call. 
I enjoyed meeting operators that were patient. FB.

woensdag 15 februari 2017

Auxiliary antenna for the PACC

At first I did not think about contesting at all, because my inverted V is damaged. In the summer I had great fun with my cylinder dipole with Monster cans on 15 m with a power of 3 watts.

PACC
When I was on the Veron club meeting, I heard that the avid contesters were preparing for our annual contest from the Netherlands, the PACC. So I also got inspired to participate.
But with what kind of antenna?

Antenna?
I did not want to use the indoor cylinder dipole with Monster cans. Because of it's low height of 4 meter above ground level, a power of 3 or 4 W would be needed. And with winter propagation, it is not even sure, whether the 15 m band will be  open.
But most of all I wanted to participate with QRPp on 20 m.

End fed wire
So I begun thinking about an outdoor antenna. With more height I can use less power. To limit the activities on the roof, I came up with an end fed. I had a wire that was too long. But I decided to put it up and see. So on Friday afternoon before the PACC I ended up with this end fed.
End fed with twin lead feeder. PA1B
To get the power into the wire, without radiation in the shack, I use 300 ohm twin lead. The  twin lead also acts as an impedance transformer. I always use a tuner with my antennas. So whatever the impedance at the end of the wire may be, as long I can adjust the SWR to 1:1 it's fine with me. The twin lead has to be long enough to tune. A twin lead of 4 meters works fine on 14 MHz.
I use this type of feeding by twin lead for all my end fed holiday antenna's since 2001.

donderdag 9 februari 2017

G4EFE WSPR with 5 mW on 40 m

WSPR is a beacon system that is designed for low power. How low can you go?
Martin G4EFE ran WSPR with very low power.

Martin G4EFE wrote after experimenting with 1 mW, using his attenuator of and 20 dB:
So I've had a little time for some experimentation, and the results - I think - are spectacular. Attenuating the output to just 1mW netted me several spots from neighboring countries. 
Best DX was GM* at 711km, who reports me at -18b dB SNR, suggesting I can go even lower.
So today I'm running just 100 MICROWATTS. I can't believe anyone will spot me, but I'm the optimistic kind! Thanks again, Bert, for this easy and fun station accessory. 


The map, the tabel for 1mW and the picture of the beautiful attenuator can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/71155570@N00/albums/72157679958156316
OK Martin, thank you for sharing this fine info.

5 mW down to 1 mW
Martin started with 5 milliwatt for three days, as you can see in both tables. On the 5th the power was reduced to 2 milliwatt. On the 6th Martin had great fun in 21 spots with just 1 milliwatt.
To make a power of 1 milliwatt Martin uses his IC703, at it's lowest setting with 100 mW and an attenuator of 20 dB. His antenna is a full-size 40 m square loop. As I saw on WSPRnet.

From hour to hour
In the table below you can see the number of spots in each hour.
The days go from the bottom to the top.
The number of spots vary from day to day. this is not only propagation.
Martin is constantly transmitting, but the listeners can be jumping from band to band.
G4EFE WSPR with 5 mW down to 1 mW - From hour to hour
The best DX from GM*with a SNR of -18 dB, that Martin refers to, gives a calculated lowest possible power of 0.1 milliwatt. This spot could be made with 0.1 mW and still be a solid copy with a SNR of -28 dB. See the spot in the red circle in the table below.

G4EFE WSPR with 5 mW to 1 mW, using an attenuator
The better the propagation, the better the SNR will be and the lower the Calculated lowest possible power. The Calculated lowest possible power is calculated from the power and the SNR.

donderdag 19 januari 2017

Attenuator for the FT-817 by G4EFE

On my Blog post about the Power attenuator for the FT-817, that I published in SPRAT, I got a very nice comment from Martin G4EFE.

Martin writes:
Hi Bert - I just built this into a tiny 25x25x50mm metal enclosure. Of course, it works great.
Looking forward to some QRPp WSPR from the IC703.

Attenuator built by Martin - G4EFE
As you can see, the attenuator is built in a beautiful, small enclosure.

Power
The maximum power of the attenuator is about 1.5 W. With a derating of 33% the nominal power of the attenuator is 500 mW. I advice to use the lowest power setting of the transceiver. For my FT-817 this is  500 mW.
Martin will use a IC703. This transceiver can make 100 mW at it lowest setting.

Thank you Martin for sharing the info and good luck in QRPp.