« Posts tagged HF

Science Alive! 2013 Flyer


Download the flyer and print it off and pass around to friends, family, etc and hope to see you there.

Organisation involved
University of Adelaide
Dept for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources & Energy
Flinders University
University of South Australia
Forensic Science SA
BAE Systems Australia
Australasian Radiation Protection Society
The Curiosity Show
Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (SA)
Coastal Concepts
Engineers Australia
Goyder Institute for Water Research
SA Water
The Australian Society for Medical Research
South Australian Neuroscience Institute (SANI)
Australian Science and Mathematics School
Royal Australian Chemical Institute
Reef Watch
bugs n slugs
Nature Education Centre
Arid Recovery
Animals Anonymous
Elizabeth Amateur Radio Club
Giant Games
Vital Veggies
Astronomical Society of SA
Nutrition Society of Aust
Growing More Than Trees Project
Malacological Society of SA
Microscopes and More
The Young Scientists of Australia, Adelaide Chapter
CSIRO Education (Friday)/Double Helix (Sat & Sun)
Science Alive! Showbags (Saturday & Sunday only)
Institute of Backyard Studies
The Fly
Dan Burt the Pianola Man
Australian Dalek Builders Union
Imagine If
Physical Prints (3D printing)
Adelaide Electric Vehicle Association
Plaster Fun House
Adelaide Magic
ZigZag Circus
The Beer Show (Friday Night)
Jesse Deane-Freeman (Friday night)
Deane Hutton’s Magic Show (Friday night)
Rob Morrison’s Jazz Septet (Friday night)
SciWorld Stardomes
Robotics Workshops (Uni Adelaide & Flinders Uni)
YSA Buskers
Solar Panel Tours

Science Alive! 2013

Australia’s largest science expo event with spectacular science, animal and magic shows and a huge range of hands-on fun for all ages. Archaeology and antiquity, Human body and movement, Energy and transport, Environment and nature, Health and medical, Space and astronomy, Innovation and technology

Goyder Pavilion Adelaide Showground, Goodwood Road, Wayville, SA, 5034

Friday 9th August – 9am-3pm Careers Day for high school students and their teachers
Friday 9th August – 5pm-7pm National Science Week Launch, Goyder Pavilion
Friday 9th August – 7pm-11pm Science Alive! Cabaret, Goyder Pavilion
Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th August – 10am-4pm Science Alive! public event

for more info refer to:

As part of a booth organiser for the Amateur Radio & Electronics booth this year we are planning to be more hands on and are going to have a remote station that we’ll have access to in country Victoria we can us to access and transmit on the 40m band via the internet, which we’ll allow the public to make contact with other stations to get a first hand fell to what one aspect of amateur radio is about.

Also hoping to have some IRLP action going to via the VK5RAD 70cm repeater.

Softrock RX Ensemble II HF Receiver build and Quisk Config

Yesterday my Softrock RX Ensemble II HF Receiver arrived from Five Dash Inc. in the US within ten days and was very well packed. Any way like most grown men with a new toy I descided to take the day out and build it, the took me about 15 hours in total. The guide by WB5RVZ is comprehensive and easy enough to follow in a half dozen so steps. I also have a nice box for the Ensemble II RX coming from the KM5H store and it will make it to be a nice looking package.

Here are some pics from the build

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SeaSDR_40 and Quisk

My SeaSDR_40 kit arrived from Italy. Last night I finished off building the kit together, the is rather easy to put together and the only real thing to watch out for is the toriod with the primary and secondary windings on it, to soldering it in correctly.

I also got the SeaSDR_40 working with Quisk by only having to make a couple minor alterations to the ~/.quisk_conf.py file.

near the top of the file I changed the hardware import

import quisk_hardware_model as quisk_hardware


import quisk_hardware_fixed as quisk_hardware

This will allow you to have frequency shown in Quisk based on the VFO of the SeaSDR_40.

To alter the VFO to that of the SeaSDR_40 change

fixed_vfo_freq = 7056000


fixed_vfo_freq = 7080500

All that is left for me to do is buy a metal box to mount the board into with some socket and connectors.

Giveaway to Promote Youth in Amateur Radio

Amateur Radio Supplies in the USA are holding a contest January 2013 to give away a DX HF setup to promote youth in the world of Amateur Radio in any country.

Haverhill, Mass., September 24, 2012 – Amateur Radio Supplies of Haverhill, Mass., announced today a new biannual giveaway to promote youth in amateur radio DXing and contesting. “Getting on HF (high frequency) in today’s economy is very challenging for many, but especially for our youth operators,” said Jeff Demers, owner, Amateur Radio Supplies. “Many youth operators are unable to purchase the needed equipment to get on the air. Here at Amateur Radio Supplies, we want them to experience the joy that has propelled us in this hobby for many decades. Thus, on January 1, 2013, we’ll be doing the first of many station sponsorships to support youth in DXing and contesting.”

Amateur Radio Supplies will give a complete HF (high frequency) station to the selected applicant, including:

Alinco DX-SR8T/E 160-6m All Mode Transceiver & 30 Amp PS
LDG AT-100 Pro II Desktop Antenna Tuner
Choice of Rugged All Band G5RV or HyGain DX-77A Vertical 100’ of
Premium RG-213 Coax
Vibroplex Brass Racer Iambic Paddles
SignaLink USB Sound Card for Digital Modes
Heil Pro Set Plus Headset

Applicants from any country under the age of 21 are invited to provide brief answers to the following three questions, as well as their name, call sign, and license class online.

1. How often are you able to operate on the HF bands?
2. Where (what QTH) do you typically operate from?
3. How do you intend to use the equipment provided?

Further Details and Aplication forms can be found at Amateur Radio Supplies


The contest is for low power operation (QRP) and divided into two (2) one-hour periods.

Date / Time: Saturday, 14th April 2012 / 1000-1159 UTC.
Frequency Band: 80m
Category: Single Operator.
Modes: CW or PSK31 or RTTY / SSB – see Frequency / Mode Table below.
Power: Preferably 5 Watts, but not more than 10 Watts average (CW / PSK31 / RTTY) or PEP (SSB) at the transmitter output – this is to stress the QRP nature of the event.
Exchange: A three-digit serial number starting at 001 and incrementing by one for each new contact.
Repeat Contacts: No repeats – only one contact per mode per hour.


Yaesu FT-897D and double SSB problem

Last couple weeks I have a had a problem with my 897D doing double SSB on RX and TX. Last night I was looking around for a firmware update for the 897D to see if that might fix my problem as I have tried other things like full CPU reset on the rig etc.

Well I found the page below in my travels and it had reference to relay cleaning by hold down the UP and DWN keys and powering the rig ON will start the cleaning of the relays and display CLEANING RELAYS on the screen. The great news is that this little unknown trick to me has fixed my double SSB problem 🙂


John Moyle Field Day 2012

The contest takes place on the 3rd full weekend in March each year, and this year runs from 0100 UTC Saturday to 0059 UTC Sunday, 17 – 18 March 2012.

The aim is to encourage and provide familiarisation with portable operation, and provide training for emergency situations. The rules are therefore specifically designed to encourage field operation.

Contest Rules:
The contest is open to all VK, ZL and P2 stations. Other stations are welcome to participate, but can only claim points for contacts with VK, ZL and P2 stations. All VK, ZL, and P2 stations can claim points for all contacts, with any amateur station in world, as long as valid serial numbers are exchanged.

Single operator portable entries shall consist of ONE choice from each of the following (e.g. 6 hour, phone, VHF/UHF):
a 24 or 6 hour;
b Phone, CW, Digital or All modes;
c HF, VHF/UHF or All Bands.

Multi-operator portable entries shall consist of ONE choice from each of the following (e.g. 24 hour, phone, VHF/UHF):
a 24 or 6 hour;
b Phone, CW, Digital, or All modes;
c HF, VHF/UHF or All Bands.

Home and SWL entries may be either, 24 hour or 6 hours, but only all modes, and all bands. Multi operator stations are not permitted in the Home Category


Putting up a Dipole Antenna

Putting up a HF dipole is not very hard; all it takes is a little planning, and knowing the length of your dipole. For this I am going to use the OCFD I built as an example, it is 42m long and covers the 80-10m bands.

Firstly you need to find a suitable place to put up your dipole, such as a park or similar. Preferably you’d want to have a heavy-duty squid pole or the like to hold the balun/feed point and coax up in the air; as it is the heaviest point and there’s no point using the ends of the dipole to pull up dead weight, as this will over time cause stretching of the copper wire and you’ll end up with bad SWR. The reason for using squid pole or similar is you can get a rod holder from any fishing store, which you can push into the ground to support the squid pole if its not too windy. Additionally, if there are power lines around you do not want to run your dipole parallel to them, as you’ll pic up more noise off of then.

Once you have selected a place that is adequate for your needs of mounting the ends of the dipole – trees are ideal for this. It is time to put it all up in the air; starting with the squid pole (or similar). Once the balun/feed point coax is up in the air you can deal with the ends of the dipole.

The easiest way I found to deal with the dipole ends is to use a tennis ball and some strong string – such as is used for sewing leather – you drill a hole through the tennis ball, then poke the string through on a bit of wire, and tie the string off around the tennis ball. 10 metres of string should be enough, as you only need it to pull your 4mm diameter rope up into the tree. The reason for using the string and the tennis ball is it minimises the chances of snags and getting it all stuck in the tree – 9 times out 10 if you do get snagged the string will snap hopefully close to the tennis ball and you’ll get both back.

Make sure you setup away from power and telephone lines.
It doesn’t matter if there is a little bit of droop in your dipole legs, just as long as where it droops it is 6 metres or more above the ground.

Learning Morse Code (CW)

People have asked me often what the best way to go about learning CW, as there is many training programs and apps out there. IMHO the easiest way is to listen to the morse code trainer on 3.699MHz as that starts off at about 5 words per minute and slowly gets faster. Receiving CW is the hardest part of learning CW and once you have that down pat sending CW should almost come second nature.