Field day 26-Mar-2017

The challenge is, arrange yourself in such a way that you can hike for several km, carry a GFK mast, a 100 Watt transceiver, batteries, cables, tuner, and all antenna material without the help of anyone. Today I came close to this, I had a suitcase and a separate bag, and a mast attached to a tripod. It is not comfortable hiking, but it worked.

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20 meter antenna, 3 radials of 10 meter, and a MFJ 1979 vertical
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GFK mast with an end-fed 40-20-10 meter
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A bag, a suitcase and a mast+tripod
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Blue skies, guy wires and antenna

Last update: 27-Mar-2017

The politics of ham

Can you say something about politics or religion as a ham over on the air? We had a change in the regulations, prior to 2008 it was certainly not appreciated, but since that time the official policy is that AT (our regulatory office) does not care about what you say, as long as it concerns matters of non-commercial interest that play on both part of the QSO. They do ask you to take care that your remarks don’t irritate anyone. Someone in a QSO mentioned nevertheless something about politics on the Rotterdam city repeater a while ago, and later at the club a member reminded me that this is not really appreciated. Legally it may be a different story, but a repeater manager can still say that certain topics are not appreciated on the repeater. It is his problem to enforce the house rules. So this is how much I know about the issue, now, can we as hams go political or religious on the repeater. The best answer is probably mostly no, and maybe a bit of yes. Do I want to say something about Rotterdam last Saturday night? Not as a ham over the air, no, please no, read the news and form your own opinion. I couldn’t see any traces of what happened on my Sunday morning hike, perhaps a broken window or a few rocks on the street and janitors cleaning up the mess. Read several newspapers today, the opinions vary between no foreign political assemblies in the Netherlands to, of course, this is democracy, the mayor should have allowed the assembly to happen. By the way, Wednesday there are elections, undoubtedly someone will benefit from the situation.

Your foreign license plate number?

For any amateur band above 20m this is the easiest solution in the field, a 5 meter whip antenna with a magnetic suction mount on the trunk of your car, it results in a SWR of 1.6 and you can tune it to anything above 20m by simply shortening the whip. MFJ makes these, the MFJ 1979 is the whip and the MFJ 336T is their magnetic suction mount. I haven’t tried this on the roof yet since I’m slightly worried about the thickness and the lack of anything that provides more stiffness. After posting these images on facebook the first reaction of my cousin was, are you now also carrying foreign license plate numbers? I rest my case about opinions in our country.

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The MFJ 1979 and their 336T on the trunk of my car
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The analyzer shows a SWR of 1.63, so that appears to be fine
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16-Mar-2017, a field afternoon, the FT-991 was able to tune the whip between 14250 and 14350 kHz, I’m deliberating about a solution to move it more center 20m band.
Fieldday on March the 19th, notice the tuning stub at the end of the whip. Also, what you don’t see is that I added several radials to the magnetic suction mount. 3 radials of 10 meter each did the job.
It turns out that a 25cm tuning stub centers the resonance frequency in the 20m band.

 

Last update: 17-mar-2017

Weather report

How is the winter progressing, it became warmer, but we had a storm on the evening of the 22nd and the night of the 23rd. The lower right graph shows the pump actions (blue) and derived from the the estimated hourly rainfall.

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UL: entrance temperature, UR: outside temperature, LL: pressure, notice the storm on the 22nd and the 23rd, LR: hourly rainfall estimated from pump actions
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300hPa wind data, this was the jetstream on the 22nd, thanks Roderiko
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Cloudcover, nice wave pattern, thanks Roderiko
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Analyzed weather map, thanks colleagues of Geert Jan
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Windgust on the 23rd in m/s, so we had roughly 28 m/s in Rotterdam

Last update: 26-feb-2017

Popularity WSPR bands

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Popularity of 4 bands

Popularity of four bands over the years, I compiled it from the spots counts I found on the website. When 20m gets a lot of spots, then 40m is less popular and the other way around. Percentages are on the y-axis.

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Solar flux F10.7

This is the slightly smoothed solar flux (F10.7) over the same period. I would expect the HF propagation to behave like F10.7, but it should also be noticed that WSPR became more popular over the years.

Last update: 14-Feb-2017