Monday, May 31, 2010


This is a picture of the FT-897D with the aluminum handles and antenna tuner attached. The handles are made of solid aluminum and the tuner is an MFJ tuner with a custom box.
As you can see, it looks better with the satin finish paint. This time I have used acrylic paint, which smells less and dries faster.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Asiatic Russia with 20W and an indoor antenna

This is the video of a QSO with Asiatic Russian station RK9DM using my battery operated FT-897D and an indoor wire antenna.

It seems that the tuner is working fine.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Luxembourg: No. 23 as Portable and 70 overall

I have just received an eQSL from LX1EA, which is the first QSO confirmed by eQSL with this country. This means the country no. 23 confirmed as EC1CW/P and no. 70 overall.
I was using my FT-897D on the 17m band with a 3m-long indoor wire antenna from an appartment near the city of A Coruña, with a power of 20W on the interal batteries.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

EA1 Summits

I have prepared a list of EA1 summits. The EA1 area comprised 16 provinces in the North West of Spain. You can see the list here.
In order to give similar chances to all the provinces, I have selected the summits that are one standard deviation above the respective province's summits mean height above sea level.
I have also assigned a number of points to each summit by dividing them into six bands accoding to a prominence index based on the summits' difference in standard deviations with their respective province's mean summit. Scores range from one point for 1-1.5 standard deviations and 10 points for 3.5 standard devisations and above.
The ideal would be to join some similar international programmes. It will be neccessary to appoint people for a number of functions, especially regional managers to promote the programme in their respective provinces.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Close-up pictures of the FT-987 whip mount

Here you can see a close-up picture of the FT-897 whip mount that I have installed, using a Hustler quick disconnect and some plastic isolators. It is connected in parallel with the tuner's so239 antenna connector.
The other SO239 connector by the whip mount is for VHF/UHF and is not yet connected to the radio.
I am also thinking about the possibility of preparing a 4:1 impedance adaptor for the whip mount only that would be connected with a smal jumper. What do you think? Does it pay?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Testing the FT-897

Today I have been testing the FT-897 in several configurations. The best results were with a wire antenna. I tried it on 17-, 20- and 40-meters.
Then I made a new whip antenna base and tried it without much success. It tunes ok, but its performance is much reduced compared to the longer wire.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Custom tuner for the FT-897D

Here is a pic of the custom tuner and handles I have built for my Yaesu FT-897D with the help of my friend Robi.
The components for the tuner have come from a manual MFJ tuner and both the handles and tuner box are made of aluminum.
I made a QSO with Italian station IZ0PAU (Marcello) from Rome on 20m SSB to test the station with an indoor whip.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Norway: No. 22 with the PRC-320

I have just received an eQSL for a QSO with Norwegian station LA5YJ (operator Hugo) from Halden on the 20m band using my Clansman PRC-320. This makes the 22nd country validly confirmed by eQSL using this radio. There are only 3 left for my 25-country target.
One of Norway's two nuclear reactors is located in Halden. The "Halden Boiling Water Reactor" is a research reactor located 100 metres (328 ft) within Månefjell, adjacent to the Saugbrugs paper mill. It is in operation about 50% of the time and, in addition to research data, supplies steam to the mill.
The reactor is operated by Institutt for energiteknikk (IFE), one of Halden's largest employers, and is the largest experimental facility operated for OECD Halden Reactor Project research.
Evidence of early human settlements in this region of Norway have been found, particularly in the Svinesund area of the municipality where rock carvings from the Nordic Bronze Age can be found. Named after a small farm Hallen (English: "rise" or "slope") first mentioned in 1629, "Halden", became the city Fredrikshald in 1665 for Frederick III of Denmark. The Gud med oss (God be with us) coat-of-arms created in 1665 shows a knight standing on a mountain, yellow on a blue background and was inspired the bravery of the citizens of the city in the Dano-Swedish War (1658–1660).[2]
As a reference to the town's citizens burning their own houses to prevent them being taken on 4 July 1716 by Karl XII of Sweden, Halden is one of only two cities in Norway's national anthem. In 1718, the Great Northern War ended when Karl XII was shot and killed at the Fredriksten fortress. The fortress had been erected in the 17th century as a replacement for the Bohus Fortress lost at the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658 when Bohuslän was ceded to Sweden.
Never captured by force by any invading army (although occupied by Nazi forces in WWII), the Swedes unsuccessfully attempted to invade Halden six times between 1658 and 1814.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Summits on the air GW6SFP

This is the video of a QSO with Welsh station GW6SFP (operator: Nigel) operating portable from Wentwood, valid for the SOTA (Summits on the air) award with reference GW SW033.

At the beginning of the video you can see how I tune my wire antenna for the 17m band with my bolt-on MFJ manual tuner.
Wentwood (Welsh: Coed Gwent) is a forested area of hills, rising to 309 metres (1,014 ft), in Monmouthshire, South Wales. It is located to the north east of, and partly within the boundaries of, the city of Newport.
It is the largest ancient woodland in Wales and the ninth largest in the UK. The current wooded area is a remnant of a much larger ancient forest which once extended between the rivers Usk and Wye and which divided the old kingdom of Gwent into two - Gwent Uwchcoed and Iscoed, that is, above and below the wood.
The area contains bronze age burial mounds, a stone circle, and a Megalithic alignment on Gray Hill, Monmouthshire.
Gray Hill is well known locally for its prehistoric remains which include standing stones, a stone circle at a height of about 900 feet above sea level and overlooking the Severn Estuary, as well as cairns, field boundaries and enclosures including a D-shaped Neolithic or Bronze Age enclosure. The stone circle is approximately 32 feet in diameter and has been dated to the Bronze Age, circa 4000 years ago. There is also medieval evidence.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Isle of Gigha (MM/DH5JRB/P)

Last Saturday I made an interesting QSO with MM/DH5JRB/P from the Isle of Ghiga.
Gigha (pronounced /ˈɡiːə/; Scottish Gaelic: Giogha) is a small island off the west coast of Kintyre in Scotland. The island forms part of Argyll and Bute and has a population of about 150 people, many of whom speak Scottish Gaelic.[6] The climate is mild with higher than average sunshine hours and the soils are fertile.
Gigha has a long history, having been inhabited continuously since prehistoric times. It may have had an important role during the Kingdom of Dalriada and is the ancestral home of Clan MacNeill. It fell under the control of the Norse and the Lords of the Isles before becoming incorporated into modern Scotland and saw a variety of conflicts during the medieval period.

The population of Gigha peaked at over 700 in the eighteenth century, but during the 20th century the island had numerous owners, which caused various problems in developing the island. By the beginning of the 21st century resident numbers had fallen to only 98. However a "community buy-out" in 2002has transformed the island, which now has a growing population and a variety of new commercial activities to complement farming and tourism.
Attractions on the island include Achamore Gardens and the abundant wildlife, especially seabirds. There have been numerous shipwrecks on the surrounding rocks and skerries.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Portable with the FT-897D: Germany (DL6SBF)

I have been preparing my FT-897D for portable operation and here you can see some of the first results. This is a QSO with German station DL6SBF.

I was using a wire thrown over the bushes as an antenna and two other wires on the ground as a counterpoise, coupled to the radio with an MFJ manual antenna tuner.