When Life Throws you a Curve Ball

When life throws you a curve ball priorities change.

I will be hitting the ball back as hard as I can.

I will be taking a break from the hobby while I focus my time on helping others and in fostering more young hams into the hobby.

So far our team has helped license over 50 new hams into the hobby and the goal is for another 50 this year.

I thank all those that have donated and continue to do so the time, energy, equipment and guidance the past few years.

I am excited to expose teenagers to this wonderful hobby and to help them get their licenses and start a lifelong passion in radio.

Recently, I heard of several hams that  listen to the ARRL bulletins in fast CW and copy it in their head as if listening to a newscast on TV.

I will use Mindfullness sessions to help get my morse code skills up to 30 wpm and be able to copy in my head. I have been having a blast using cw in the contests lately but have also realized how my code speed needs improvement.

I dont like to use keyboards and computers to do this as I prefer the way it was 40 years ago where you took a sheet a paper and pencils and made cw qso’s. You actually had to go up and down the bands looking for contacts.

My shack will continue to not have multiple PC screens and software apps running to help make QSOs.

But I am fascinated by those that have been able to bridge the technologies together and enjoy the hobby more so.

Technology is in place to actually have robots and AI making those qsos for us automatically.

Skimmer can capture the call and the CWbot will then make the qso and submit it to LOTW and a QSL is completed. This can be done automatically without any human intervention. Just schedule it happen this weekend and check the log files to see who you contacted while you were away.

I will see ya’ll further down the log but I still plan to use my Bencher and J-38 key.





Stability of Chineese TCXO-9 in FT817

thanks for the write up. very useful


Recently I have been doing quite a bit of work with WSJT modes, and I stumbled across a source of cheap TCXO upgrades on eBay that are plug compatible for TCXO-9 modules for installation in the FT817, FT857 and FT897.

To be honest I was quite happy with the stability of my FT817, and I wasn’t interested in improving my “marksmanship” by having WSPR spots logged with the smallest frequency offset worldwide. But for US$25 shipped to my door this was an easy “why-not” decision.

Yaesu no doubt chose the non-standard frequency of 22.625MHz to block others from entering the scene with after market upgrades.
It was only a matter of time and cost economics before an after market upgrade became available – cheap frequency compensated oscillators for standard frequencies have been available for some time from China, and if you order in quantity you get the privilege of choosing…

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York Region ARC Field Day 2017 Part Due

40m insiders dah dit dah dah dah dit dah

so thats the antenna supports you built last week? wow!

ok so for satellites we need a good antenna and it needs to be done right if we are going to contact the ISS. The team killed last years score

The hard way using a tape measure beam and a baefeng…it works great

Picnic Table Operating – Lessons Learned

Picnic Table Operating

The objective was to get out and do some picnic table operating and test out some new antennas

Results on HF:

The end fed vertical worked fine on 20m and 40m as the rest of the bands had little activity and setting up under a noisy power line did not help. The KX3 did its job by juggling the NB and Noise filter controls. SWR was within range of the tuner on the KX3. i used a rubber covered wire 31 feet long (maybe it was 28)

The Clansman Falcon Rapid Deploy Vertical used a 18 foot wire to be non-resonant. I choice a rubber covered wire for flexibility and it worked fine on 20m to 10m. It worked well on 40m but was an  S unit down on the end fed.

I did comparison tests withe KX3 vs the FT-817 and the KX3 was btter as it had SDR filters and NB but the Yaesu held its own.

The yaesu was put to use on 6M and I used the Buddipole Pole set up for 53 Mhz and no problem getting into the machine.

I then tested the rest of the repeaters using my handhelds and a few check ins on DMR North America

I then tested out a hanging in the tree 20m dipole but the swr was fine at 13.6 Mhz so do need to trim it. I forgot my swr analyzer so I had to use the radios built in swr meters…no fun

Meanwhile the Midland FRS was busy with chatter from around the region and being up high helped with the extended radio coverage. I  also picked up some Wonderland FRS moms yelling at their kids.

Yeah I know I forgot my GMRS radio and the scanners. next time and I will pack the discone and 800 Mhz yagi

Get out and operate in the field and have some fun

small prize to whoever guesses how many radios were in the bag?

Yes I had 3 motorolas and an EF Jonhson handheld as well….come on I love LMR too

Lessons Learned:

Do not forget the KX3 Microphone and IPZ SWR analyzer next time and 2mm paracord is ideal for guys and tieing off dipoles and long wires

Batteries worked very well

I moved 3 times due to the sun so best to choose a spot that will stay shady for 4 hours and expect some people to come by and ask WTF are you doing and shake your hand

Bring the Midland FRS manual so you don’t waste 23 minutes trying to figure out how to scan

Don’t forget the Bearcat scanners and the Haruteq frequency guide

“Spectrum Management and Range Testing” are great answers

john ve3ips

York Region ARC Field 2017 Report Part Uno


GOTA, 160m antenna and the 100 foot crank up tower

We ran a Wi-Fi mesh network with Asterisk telephones allowing comms from each tent/trailer to the mess tent and out to the Motorhomes

Putting the Icom 761 big box radio to work on 20m ssb pileups


over 80 feet of added height and a place for the flags of course

We got the digital modes covered with rtty and psk31 on the excellent Elecraft K3. This is the best field day radio because its got a crunch proof front end


our club is always accepting new members and field day operators for summe ror winter field day



Good Amateur Practice is: (By Riley Hollingsworth)

Good Amateur Practice is: (By Riley Hollingsworth)

  • Giving a little ground–even if you have a right not to–in order to help preserve Amateur Radio and not cause it to get a bad name or hasten the day when it becomes obsolete.
  • Respecting band plans, because they make it possible for every mode to have a chance.
  • Not transmitting a 6-kHz bandwidth signal when there are lots of people on the band.
  • Not acting like an idiot just because you were stepped on.
  • Being aware that we all love Amateur Radio, and there’s no need to damage or disgrace it just to save face.
  • Keeping personal conflicts off the air. Settle your arguments on the telephone, the Internet or in person. Just keep them off the air
  • Cutting a net or a contester a break, even if you don’t have to and even if you have no interest whatsoever in nets or contesting.
  • Operating so that if a neighbor, niece or nephew or news reporter hears you, that person will be impressed with Amateur Radio.
  • Realizing that every right carries responsibilities, and just because you may have a right to do certain things doesn’t mean it’s right to do them in every circumstance.
  • You don’t “own” or get preference to use any frequency even though you’ve been on the same spot every morning for years shooting the breeze with Harry.
  • Not operating so that whoever hears you becomes sorry they ever got into Amateur Radio in the first place.

The Radio Amateur is: (By Paul M. Segal, W9EEA)

The Radio Amateur is: (By Paul M. Segal, W9EEA)

CONSIDERATE….. never knowingly operating in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of others.
LOYAL….. offering loyalty, encouragement and support to other amateurs, local clubs and the American Radio Relay League, through which Amateur Radio in the United States is represented nationally and internationally.
PROGRESSIVE….. with knowledge abreast of science, a well built and efficient station, and operation beyond reproach.
FRIENDLY….. with slow and patient operation when requested, friendly advice and counsel to the beginner, kindly assistance, cooperation and consideration for the interests of others. These are the hallmarks of the amateur spirit.
BALANCED….. Radio is an avocation, never interfering with duties owed to family, job, school or community.
PATRIOTIC….. with station and skill always ready for service to country and community.

QRP Labs U3 kit tracking Canadian C3 expedition

also check the RAC website http://wp.rac.ca/a-whisper-for-canada-c3/

U3S kit tracking Canadian C3 expedition

QRP Labs is proud to sponsor the Canadian C3 Coast-to-Coast-to-Coast expedition celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday, by providing an Ultimate3S kit and accessories (QLG1 GPS receiver kit, relay switched filter board, 20/30/40m Low Pass Filter kits, and enclosure kit.

From the C3 website: “A Canada 150 Signature project, Canada C3 is a 150-day expedition (June 1 to October 28) from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage. It will inspire a deeper understanding of our land, our peoples and our country.”

The successful C3 amateur radio proposal was made by QRP Labber Barrie VE3BSB who led the team who installed the Ultimate3S and antennas onboard the Polar Prince. The Ultmate3S transmits in Extended WSPR mode (with 6-character Maidenhead locator) 24 hours a day autonomously, on 40, 30 and 20m. QRP Labs provided a tracking solution that populates a live map at http://qrp-labs.com/c3 – Jeff VE3EFF has provided a computer and stable internet connection to run the tracking.


Simple Field Ops Antenna

I was in Austin, TX and brought my FT-817 along for repeater use and listening to SWBC and QRP contacts on the cw net.

Well I forgot my Buddipole and found a Dollar Tree nearby.

I bought some speaker wire, electrical tape, some thin cord and tie wraps = $3 US

Here is what I did:

I just coiled the wire to make a 1/4 wave long wire. I used whatever length of speaker wire coiled up to match the band. 32 feet for 40m and 16 feet for 20m. The tie wraps work as insulators.
I use the thin cord with a water bottle on one end of it, I toss it up into a tree or bounce it on the roof, attach the free end of the wire to my cord and pull it up. Clip the 1/4 wave length wire to my rig and use the built in meter to check swr
Add a similar length of counterpose or ground wire and everything will work
This is a simple, light weight, very cheap, system, that is very fast
on putting it up and taking it down, and lets you get on the air to make contacts.

When done pull it all in so no one gets excited


Indoor Stealth Antenna – Hotels, Motels, Apartments, Condos and Nursing Homes

I have been using a super simple antenna for indoor use that fits in a zip lock bag and just needs masking or duct tape.

I run the wire around the perimeter of the room and feed it with speaker wire (do not split the wire as it stays as is to mimic a 300 ohm twinlead) or 300 ohm twinlead. Depending on the tuner you use a balun 4:1 may be needed.

My MFJ balanced line tuner, Elecraft T1 and LDG Z11 and various baluns all work well with this antenna.


You can also run the loop in a square or oval on a wall or in the ceiling or round a balcony

The SGC manual is another great resource for goofy loop antennas.


Experimentation is your friend here and its no different than the SOE boys in ww2