10 meter Moxon

Via several ways I heard good experiences about the Moxon Antenna. The Moxon Antenna is invented by Les Moxon G6XN. The construction of this stealthy gain antenna is easy and inexpensive.

I started to make a Moxon Antenna for the 10 meter SSB Band. The frame is made from plant stakes with a wooden plate in the middle to hold everything together.
The director and reflector are made from electric wire. They will be connected to the endpoints of the plant stakes and folded toward each other.

In this way it will be a 2 elements folded beam with a gain of 6 dB.

The main use for this antenna is during fieldday activities. I hope to be able to test my new antenna soon somewhere in the nearby fields with my Yaesu FT-817 QRP Rig.

Writing QSL cards

A week after the CQ WPX Contest I'm right now busy writing all the QSL cards....
It was a great contest, although I didn't participate for the maximum amount of time. I made 231 QSO's with a total of 196 different prefixes and 79.184 points. That means I'm not having any chance of winning anything but that wasn't my intension at all. I'm participating because I like the contest and I wanted to log some new countries.
I was very glad that I could work a few VK's. A new DXCC and a distance record for me! With just 25 watts being copied 16.000 km away on the other side of the globe!

CU in WPX Contest!

The CQ WPX Contest is about to begin.... Just 6 hours until the start of one of the nicest contests!
And as the conditions are much better than last year, I hope to work a lot more prefixes.
I will try to use the webcam stream again as I did during the ARRL DX Contest.

During the last week 10 meter opened up with great conditions. I heard stations across South America, Australia and Africa and worked Michele 5R8UI from Nosy Be Island (IOTA AF-057), Madagascar.

CU in contest and good luck to all of you!

Ham Radio Flea Market

This afternoon I went to a Ham Radio Flea Market in Rosmalen. It's always nice to walk around and check what's for sale. A lot is just crap but also some nice stuff can be found.
I only bought a few coax connectors. Always good to have a few spare ones in the shack.

The ARRL DX Contest last weekend was successful for me. Not that I expect to win anything, but I made 78 QSO's on 20 and 40 meter. The skip was good during that weekend because I could work stations from coast to coast.

Live Webcam stream from my Shack

During this weekend I have a stream live from my shack for the ARRL DX Contest (SSB).
I'm not in the contest for the whole weekend. It will be hard with just 25 watts when a lot of other stations are running 1 kW!

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think about the stream (and the contest).

BallastHalo 4 Recovered!

This afternoon I went back to the area where I heared the beacon of the BallastHalo 4 yesterday.

As the beacon was weak, I attached a 4 element Yagi to my Kenwood TH-F7 handheld. In that way I was able to determine from what direction the signal was coming.

I first went to a location about 700 meters to the north-northeast of my yeaterday location. After waiting for about 10 minutes I heard the beacon and pointed it at about 160-175 degrees.

I went to two more locations before I could triangulate a likely location for the BallastHalo 4. When I drove near to the calculated position I heared the beacon loud enough to be sure where I could find it.

As soon as possible I parked my car (position #4) and walked to the location where I saw the BallastHalo 4 hanging over the water. Luckely close enough to the shore so I could recover it savely.

You can view all locations in Google Earth.

Tomorrow I will make a short movie about it and post in on my YouTube Channel.

More information about the BallastHalo4 and related projects can be found on the website of James M6JCX.

The search for the balloon

Late Saturday evening I got a message from a Dutch Ham that James M6JCX has launched a experimental balloon from Cambridge, UK. At that time the last position report was about 5 km west of my QTH.
As it was dark and way to late I went near to that location yesterday morning for a little search. Later a prediction for a possible landing location was about 10 km to the east, but also no luck there yesterday....

This afternoon, after work I went back and searched for it just south of the village called Ottoland. At 17:00 local time (16:00 UTC) I heared the CW beacon very weak. The beacon comes from a small 10 miliWatt transmitter with a transponder at a frequency of 434.072 MHz.

Tomorrow I will go back to that area and try to triangulate the signals into a position so I can recover the balloon and the equipment. I hope the weather is better than it was today....

PACC Contest

The second full weekend in February is always a contest weekend at our local club: time for the Dutch PACC Contest.
For us at PI4VAD it is more than only contesting. We want to have some fun as well. And most important on the contest weekend is the Gourmet-dinner at Saturday evening.

We don't have a large contest crew but we try to keep two shacks running at the same time for the full 24 hours. We worked both in CW and Phone on most of the bands.
Within a day after the contest we already have new ideas and plans for next year, so we have some work to do the upcoming 51 weeks.

We made a short video from our activities. You can watch it on YouTube.

Merry Christmas and a DX-full Happy New Year!

Unfortunately I can't talk to all of you personally via the ham radio bands during these last days of december.
That's why I wish you and your family all the best for the upcoming year!
May the airwaves be with you in 2010 with lots of nice contacts and good DX!

73, Elmar PD3EM

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