Radio W4KAZ

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10m Titilation

I tuned in late. But this weekend 10m began to show signs of possible life. Signals from EU in the morning. Signals from South america and the west coast US in the afternoon. Hopefully they were from actual openings rather than VHF type e-skip. That would sure be nice for the CQWW on the weekend. It seems like the current sunspot cycle will be lower – an opinion based on no actual facts other than the lackluster rise in solar activity. An opinion I’d just love to have prove incorrect.

Time to start paying more attention. Start checking the 10m beacons more regularly. Maybe even work a few stations. Is there room for a better 10m antenna in the wire farm?

2010 IOTA Scores Posted

Got a heads-up from N4YDU that the preliminary scores had been posted for 2010 IOTA over at the RSGB contest web site.

It looks like the 2010 N4A expedition (N4YDU, N3ND, K2AV, and W4KAZ, [W0UCE unable to come]) had a good showing in the IOTA contest part of the expedition. In the LP Expedition category we have the high score for North America. We very nearly snuck into the top ten in the category, which would have been a real achievement for a contest whose scoring heavily favors EU expeditions. European participation is higher and it is usually easier for EU expeditions to log more high value QSO’s, since all of the British Isles count as 15 point Q’s. Our QSO count and mults were actually higher than the #9 and #10 Eu LP expedition entries, but those stations must have logged more of the 15 point QSO’s, boosting their scores above ours.

Congrats to my partners in crime – all three are damn fine operators.

TA-33jr, Ground Crew, College Football, RFI, and CAQSOP

Spent some time over the last week re-conditioning an old Mosley TA-33 jr, courtesy of N4YDU. The date on the box is 1979. Gotta wonder if 30 year old aluminum is ready for metal fatigue, but its a novelty project. Some of the hardware was shot, so I decided to replace most of the u-bolts. Got a quote from Mosley on those parts, but since I needed some other hardware bits for other projects, I instead went with parts from DX Engineering. The u-bolts available from DX engineering were slightly shorter than the original parts, but seem to be a good fit. Spent some time cleaning everything up, and used a scotchbrite pad to remove some of the oxidation and crud around the joints and at the trap connections. Got all of the elements assembled on Friday evening without burning any of the chicken on the grill.

That project will likely languish after testing the elements for resonance. Might assemble the whole shebang for an on the ground SWR check, but it looks like some moderately serious tree trimming would be required before it could ever actually be put to use at the QTH. More likely to use it for Field Day. The TA-33jr is a versatile bit of kit. It is light weight for a three element yagi. If space or weight were a problem the driven element and reflector can be used to make a ta-32jr, the two element version. The driven element can also be used by […]

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