Friday, June 30, 2017

Sporadic E propagation

Today 6/30/17 was a good day for Sporadic E on 28 and 50 Mhz. I worked several stations on 50 Mhz. My 10 meter beacon was heard in several parts of the USA. ..... Jack WB9OTX

Sporadic E or Es is an unusual form of radio propagation using characteristics of the Earth's ionosphere. Whereas most forms of skywave propagation use the normal and cyclic ionization properties of the ionosphere's F region to refract (or "bend") radio signals back toward the Earth's surface, sporadic E propagation bounces signals off smaller "clouds" of unusually ionized atmospheric gas in the lower E region (located at altitudes of approx. 90 to 160 km). This occasionally allows for long-distance communication at VHF frequencies not usually well-suited to such communication.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Fireworks July 1

Clifty Falls State Park 

Versailles State Park

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Summer Solstice

The summer solstice begins on Tuesday, June 20 and Wednesday, June 21 (depending on your time zone.) For time zones further west, the solstice falls on Tuesday. The solstice will begin June 21 at 12:24 a.m. EDT and will continue west to Tuesday, June 20, 11:24 p.m. CDT, 10:24 p.m. MDT, and 9:24 p.m. PDT.

Its hard to beat a dipole antenna

Over the years I have had a search for the perfect but very simple antenna. If you want to work several frequencies a fan dipole is your best bet. A very simple 2 band antenna is a plain 40 meter dipole. This antenna will perform fine on 40 as well as 15 meters. The SWR will be around 2 to 1 on 15 but usable especially if your radio has an internal tuner. I have found for about $100.00 dollars you can buy the new parts to construct a 110 foot dipole, feed it with 300 or 450 ohm parallel feedline. This antenna must have a 1 to 1 or a 4 to 1 balun, from the balen you will need a piece of 50 ohm coax. The shorter the better. Your internal tuner in your radio will most likely tune several bands but probably not all. If you have a good external tuner you will be able to tune all the bands from 80 to 10 meters. Mine has a 1 to 1 balun and I can tune all but 12 meters. These antennas I have described will perform very well and are low in cost. Of'course they won't do the job of a gain antenna like a Yagi. If you want to spend a few more dollars, it is hard to beat a ground mounted vertical. Very simple to make but much work laying the radial system. My 40 meter vertical works fabulous on 40 and very good on 30 meters. You may be able to tune 15 with it also. A full size loop or delta loop is a good close in, say out to 300  to 400 miles. A cloud burner on 80/75 or 40 meters. but it requires lots of wire and copper wire is expensive.

Antennas that are not too good are magnetic loops, end feed 1/4 wave wires, and random wires with a 9 to 1 balun. Also eve trough non-resonant antennas. Trap dipols work but are very narrow banded and hard to make or if you buy the traps they are costly, only use if you can't fit a 1/2 wave one in the space.

If you are restricted on space or have to put your antenna in the attic you have to make do with what you have. I know two hams that have antennas in their attics and do make lots of contacts. My friend (W9BS) in Florida has an attic antenna and I have contacted him on 75, 60, 40, 30,and 6 meters. This is quite an accomplishment for being restricted to an attic space. Even a bad antenna will radiate RF, I have made contacts with a 100 watt light bulb hooked up as a dummy load !

At any rate make do with what you have to work with. I find experimenting is half the fun. A real good feeling is making an antenna that works well.
Good luck in the contest ....... Jack WB9OTX

Dipole calculator HERE
Fan Dipole Information HERE

The image is from

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Field Day (amateur radio)

Field Day is an annual amateur radio exercise, widely sponsored by IARU regions and member organizations, encouraging emergency communications preparedness[citation needed] among amateur radio operators. In the United States, it is typically the largest single emergency preparedness exercise in the country, with over 30,000 operators participating each year. Field Day is always the fourth full weekend of June, beginning at 1800 UTC Saturday and running through 2059 UTC Sunday.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Flag Day June 14 2017

Look out for the red, white, and blue this week as the United States celebrates Flag Day. Here's what you should know about the special occasion, which pays tribute to the Stars and Stripes on June 14.
Read More

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Where am I

The passenger steamer SS Warrimoo was quietly knifing its way through the waters of the mid-Pacific on its way from Vancouver to Australia.  The navigator had just finished working out a star fix & brought the master, Captain John Phillips, the result.

The Warrimoo’s position was LAT 0º 31′ N and LON 179º 30′ W.  The date was 31 December 1899.  “Know what this means?”  First Mate Payton broke in, “We’re only a few miles from the intersection of the Equator and the International Date Line.”
Captain Phillips was prankish enough to take full advantage of the opportunity for achieving the navigational freak of a lifetime.  He called his navigators to the bridge to check & double check the ships position.
He changed course slightly so as to bear directly on his mark.  Then he adjusted the engine speed.  The calm weather & clear night worked in his favor.

At midnight the SS Warrimoo lay on the Equator at exactly the point where it crossed the International Date Line!  The consequences of this bizarre position were many: The forward part (bow) of the ship was in the Southern Hemisphere & the middle of summer.  The rear (stern) was in the Northern Hemisphere & in the middle of winter.

The date in the aft part of the ship was 31 December 1899.  Forward it was 1 January 1900.  This ship was therefore not only in two different days, two different months, two different years, two different seasons but in two different centuries – all at the same time.

Author unknown

Friday, June 09, 2017

Stations I've contacted

Stations I've contacted WB9OTX June 9, 2017

VK6KXW 2017-06-09 40m JT65 OF87jr Australia Peter Jackson
4X1QQ 2017-06-09 30m JT65 KM72st Israel 4x1qq - 4X1QQ
SQ9CWZ 2017-06-09 30m JT65 JO90ng Poland Lesiewicz Marek
UY3IC 2017-06-09 30m JT65 KN98cg Ukraine Alexandr Pyanov
YO7CKQ 2017-06-09 30m JT65 KN15pa Romania Sorin-David NIMARA
IU7IGC 2017-06-09 30m JT65 JN81KC46 Italy         Fedele Fabio Lopinto
WB0FTY 2017-06-08 6m JT65 DM99di USA   BERNARD R WEISHAPL
VK4TDX 2017-06-08 30m JT65 QG62lf Australia Raymund Wietschorke
ZS1CM 2017-06-08 30m JT65 JF95fw South Africa Frank Daelemans
NT2X 2017-06-08 6m SSB FN30ao USA  EDWARD KRITSKY
K1KA 2017-06-08 6m JT65 FN42fv USA  David L Mackey
PP6ZZ 2017-06-07 30m JT65 HH19la Brazil Andre C Sampaio
DL1HAZ 2017-06-07 30m JT65 JO43xs Germany Walter Zimmer
LY2FN 2017-06-07 30m JT65 KO14xv Lithuania RICARDAS STROLIA
DL2MIJ 2017-06-06 17m JT65 JN58di Germany Robert Mussinger

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Ultimate Guide to Meteor Showers in 2017

If you are a reader of this Blog you read that I have been communicating via meteor scatter. Unfortunately the conditions have not been too favorable lately. So I will have to wait for the next Meteor Shower. What, your not a Ham Radio Operator, Well you can still gaze at the sky to see some of the bright streaks. Here is a Meteor Shower calendar so you won't miss the action.
See it HERE

Image and information is from: