APRS tx, mini Fox tx, Receivers, GPS receivers

I came across the Byonics website today.

While I cannot understand why anyone would want to advertise the location of their car via a continuous beacon on a 2m fm radio, especially when the car is unattended in a car park, the devices offered by Byonics look interesting and may have other uses for the enterprising electronics or amateur radio experimenter.

The APO3 automatic power-off device is one example.  If your battery voltage drops below a predetermined level, it turns off the power to the radio.

QRP Hours contest – after the event

As planned I operated in this relaxed event tonight, for a couple of hours.

I decided to use my IC703, partly because it has a CW filter and I know how useful that is even in a quiet cw contest.  (I should get one for my FT817).  The other advantage the IC703 has over the FT817 is that it has a speech compressor which improves the average power output on SSB.  But as a test and a self imposed handicap I decided to cut the IC703 power level down from its nominal 10 watts to 2 watts for this event.

First an hour on CW, where I made 11 contacts.  As you can tell this is not a hard paced, highly pressured event.

Then an hour on SSB where I made 17 contacts, a few more than I did last year.  I recognised some of the callsigns from last year and also made contacts with friends such as  Mike VK2IG, Murray VK1MDP, Waldis VK1WJ and Peter Vk3YE.

I don’t think running 2 watts instead of 5 or 10 made any difference to the number of contacts made.  While 10 watts is 5 times higher, which translates to 7 decibels, 80m generally provides good propagation and there is more than enough “head room” in the available signal levels for QRP signals to be easily readable.  80m can be a noisy band on SSB especially late at night.  There was some electrical storm noise but it wasn’t too bad.  Another time those 7db might have been quite important.

A few interstate stations gave me good signal strength reports so the old 80m dipole at 6 metres above ground was doing its usual job.

The low dipole isn’t any use for dx though.  I have heard some US and JA signals on the CW end of the band but even the strong ones rarely even return a QRZ? to my call.  Have to get a decent vertical going on that band to work dx.

QRP Hours Contest 14 April 2012

Reminder that the QRP Hours contest is on 14 April 2012. Rules are in AR for April 2012.

Here is a link to the rules on the QRP club site.

1000 UTC to 1059: CW section 3500-3530 khz

1100 to 1200 UTC: SSB 3550-3590

QRP stations can work any station whether QRP or not.

Exchange is signal report plus serial number starting at 001. No repeat contacts.

QRP = output power no more than 10 watts.

Participation of higher power stations is appreciated as it warms up a contest to have more in it giving contacts.