Monthly Archives: December 2008

Shack got lights

The shack finally got some nice lights. SM3WMU got hold of some nice light fixtures which I went to get during the time I was home at the parents place for Xmas. Now I am back in SM2 and will be here until beginning of January so hopefully a lot will be done at the station. Unfortunatly though my nephew gave me a huge cold so we’ll see how much energy I’ll have.

Here is a picture of how the shack looks with the new light fixtures up, pretty nice ehh?

It’s possible to either have them light up the room by using the two tubes above it and it’s also possible to use it to light up the desk or both. Thanks SM3WMU 🙂

Snow, Snow and a lot of DX

Time is 02:14 local time when I write this. Have been working a lot of DX today, about 80 NA worked and about 10 JAs on 80M, most of them during the day. I hope propagations hold up tomorrow too.

SM2XJP and SM2XLL came over while I was putting up shelves in the shack and they helped me out. I think the result is pretty nice, even though it’s a lot still left to do. Beside each monitor the antenna switch controller will be located (openASC) which will control pretty much everything at the station. The radios will probably vary a bit since it’s not many of them that are left at the QTH outside contests. The computer that is located by one monitor will be moved behind the fake wall later. It’s the current router and will also be the computer which controls the two radios that will be used for remote (two IC-7400). I am also building a set of digital power meters which will be used at each operating position. They have remote pickups that will be located in the basement in the amplifier room so that we don’t need to put cables into the shack that are not needed.

We have gotten about 60cm of snow here and I had to shovel a lot of snow and considering that it was 0 degrees made it worse. I had to go out and remove snow from the guy supports for the 80m verticals and I also hit the verticals and a lot of snow fell off them. Here are some pictures…

The roof over the door for the antenna switch room looks tired

The house covered in snow

Looking down where the 160M vert is lying, need to remove the snow from it

More snow in SM2 winter “daylight”

Center post of the 4-SQ

This is the half square for 30M, it seem to be a bit too low right now.

More to come…

Antenna switch system

Plans are to finish the antenna switch system which will control the station during the winter. The actual RF switches are my design made with 7/16″ connectors which are mounted directly to a PCB. Here is a drawing of how the system will look.

The system will be capable of switching all antennas to four different radios. Each band can have up to 3 antennas and the WARC bands will be switched in on empty positions of the regular bands. For SO2R operation you can see that you get extra attenuation since the Radio 1 and Radio 2 go to different 6×2 switches. Also the powersplits are designed so that they have an A/B output so one can route them to one of the two 6×2 switches.

The system will be switched using the openASC project I have been working on during the last year.  It enables control of everything at the station, from antenna switching to rotators through one single box. Each operating position will have one box and it will also be possibile to use a box for controlling the station remotely. It can handle an “infinte” amount of relay drivers, you just hook up as many driver boards as needed on the openASC bus, which is very similar to the old coax ethernet bus. Everything can be configured through a java software on the PC. The device has got sub menus to control beam angles of stacks, 4-SQ direction, rotator directions etc.

Here are a few pictures:

An example of 80M selected with RX antenna selected as Beverage NA and TX antenna is 2el mono

View of the front panel, however without the engraved text

View of the backpanel with the engraved text

Driver card, there are two types of these, one with sink outputs and one with source outputs.

They are capable of delivering 1A per output.

To be continued…

The first snow and the first contest

The first snow has arrived to Burträsk. When I arrived Thursday before CQWW DX CW contest we had gotten 30cm of snow. I started to shovel snow but when I went out two hours later another 10cm had dropped and it fell about 10cm more after that too during the weekend.

The 4-1000A amp was fixed on Friday during the day and with a bit of help from SM2XJP we tuned it. I will need to make it possible to key the radio upstairs from the basement in the future so that tuning the amp isn’t a 2-man job. Some other preperations for contest was done during Thursday evening and Friday and the station was ready to go.

                    CQ Worldwide DX Contest, CW

Call: SJ2W
Operator(s): SM2WMV
Station: SM2WMV

Class: SOSB/80 HP
QTH: Da Traesk
Operating Time (hrs): 44

Summary:
 Band  QSOs  Zones  Countries
------------------------------
  160:
   80: 1551    34      111
   40:
   20:
   15:
   10:
------------------------------
Total: 1551    34      111  Total Score = 386,425

Club: Worldwide Young Contesters

Comments:

Had a blast working the first serious effort in a contests from
the new QTH that was bought late this summer. Only band that we
had real antennas up for was 80M so I as station owner decided
that I would do the honors 🙂

Up in the north we have daytime propagations towards both JA and
US but unfortunatly a lot of people only seem to use the cluster
nowdays and doesn't scan the bands. I checked now afterfards and
the time I got real JA rate was the only time I got spotted during
daytime, that time I worked 40 JAs in just a short while.

I worked a total of 104 zone 25 and a total of about 290 US
stations were logged. Worked 37% DX which is a bit suprising for
me, didn't think the number would be that high.

Propagations were good but activity seemed to be pretty low.
The US and JA stations that called during daytime were really
loud but low activity, S&P the bands! Dont just look at the cluster.
No VK6 worked which was a dissapointment, propagations were there
because I logged three other VK:s but none from zone 29. Was also
extremely annoying that during a S&P run I heard 4S7NE, a DU and HS
station during just a few kHz calling other stations, all new mults
(and never worked). I went up a few kHz and started to CQ towards
east but without any luck.

Most positive thing after the weekend was how easy it was to break
pileups, something I have never experienced before on 80M so the
new QTH seem to perform OK, or it was just luck. 

Biggest thrill of the contest? Working KH7X at 10:57z!

Rig: FT1000D (thanks SM2HWG)
Amp: 4-1000A
Antenna: 4-SQ

-------------------------------

Operating position for the weekend

Snow covers the OH8QD tower

Will try to continue this work during the winter

Snow covered coax from the 40M vertical

The first snow has fallen and covered the guys for the 4-SQ

The winter is nice when you see this

SM2XJP visiting



Phase box in the middle of the array

Support pole for the vertical


The box will need to be painted this summer

Another picture of the array, in typical SM2 winter day greyline light