Soon back on the air!

Finally my OB11-3 and new rotator made it up the tower.

For now no QSOs have been made because of course there’s still a lot of work to do like running new coax cables and the rotator control cable up to the first floor shack and putting the wires for 30-40-80 back up.

Time permitting I’ll try to be on the air in a week or 2 max. I’d like to test in the DMC Rtty contest in 2 weeks from now.

Here are some pictures:

Tower without antennas
My tower, like a virgin!
going up
Going up!
ready to turn
OB11-3 ready to turn
almost there
OB11-3 almost there
Finished! On top you can also see my Fritzel UFB-12 (12 & 17m Rotatable dipole)
Ready to get some RF flowing!

I wish to thank Tom from Optibeam for the advice and help provided in choosing the ideal antenna configuration for my needs!

My current project

Ever tried to manually switch your antennas and bandpass filters 30 hours into a contest? I have been doing it for years. 🙂 (And I have been complaining about it for ages too)

But the solution is near:

band decoder 001 band decoder 002

This is the prototype for my new universal band decoder.

The hardware is an Arduino (in the pictures is a Mega, it will be replaced by a UNO r3 in the finished product) and 2 4×4 Driver Shields from Logos Electromechanical.

The goal is to switch my SixPak and my 2 Dunestar 600 band pass filters for SO2R.

The data comes from the pc (over the usb port) using the Open Two Radio Switching Protocol (OTRSP) which is supported by N1MM and DXLab logging software.

For now this is a work in progress,  so come back here soon to follow the evolution!

SO2R switchbox

I’m still working to get the station up and running for some SO2R in phone and digi. I started by looking for a way to switch audio and PTT for my 2 (oldtimer) transceivers (TS-50S and FT-990).

As a commercial controller seems to expensive to me for the moment I found a way to homebrew a *basic* switchbox myself. The layout is based on this one made by DL1IAO but with a few enhancements:

Continue reading SO2R switchbox

So little time, so much to do…

During our EU-099-trip I really got bitten by the radiovirus again. Of course it was still (more than a little) present otherwise I wouldn’t have accepted the invitation but nevertheless I now want to get more quality time on the air.

That’s why I decided to quit helping in the motorsports-competition to get more time for the radio.

My idea for now is like this: as I hardly have time to get into my shack during weekdays (I have a business to run, remember), I decided to get back into contesting like I did some to many years ago. Lots of work todo before I can really try to be competitive.

One of the ways to be competitive as a SOLP (I don’t own an amp and never used one from my home qth) is SO2R (and it is better to focus on 2 radios than to contest with 1 radio while watching TV). Setting up the station for SO2R in digital and phone modes means I at least need more antennas, some way of switching those antennas and some way of switching the audio between the 2 transceivers.

Moreover it will be impossible for me to compete in every contest every weekend so I thought of a way to select 4 contests per year I really want to participate in, but more about that in a future post!