Down-sizing or de-cluttering, 14th February 2023

Farewell 40m CW transmitter

I have already disposed of a home-brewed 160 metre transmitter, power supply and two modulators. They have gone to a good home. I have just photographed my 40 metre CW transmitter prior to its departure to the same good home. This transmitter is built into a re-cycled case and is equipped with three crystals 7030, 7052 and 7.200 and dates from the late 1980s or early 1990s. I did not add a socket to attach a modulator. There was little use of AM the on the 40 metre amateur band then. SSB was king! Now 7.125 Mhz is a sacred site and is used by the AM fraternity as a meeting place. Sadly I do not have a crystal for that frequency, but maybe the new owner can source one here or from overseas.

Photo shows front panel of transmitter. Note the two holes in the front panel near the plate capacitor. I never mutilate panel metres by modifying the label, The metre shows the plate current and you simply tune for a dip, peak the load capacitor and then re-dip.

Top view of transmitter. Note the four pi RF choke near the load capacitator. Secondly, the load capacitor has a 5/8 of an inch shaft. A very good friend on mine, the late Clem Tilbrook, VK5GL, turned up a brass bush 3/8 female and drilled and fitted a grub screw with a quarter inch female end for a tuning knob.

Rear panel showing SO239 socket for the antenna and a 1/4 inch socket for a morse code hand key. I covered some holes with printed circuit board and painted it with aluminuim paint. The old-fashioned dymo labels date the device.

The end view shows the 7.2 Mhz crystal plugged into the front panel and the other two crystals are wired to a rotary switch. In earlier times this style of transmitter would have required three valves: an oscillator valve, an RF amplifier and a rectifier. Threee goes into one! The rectifier is now full wave solid state with four silicon diodes and more efficient than an 80, 5Y3GT or a 6X4 valve and the oscillator and RFamplifier are in one glass envelope, a 6GV8, a very efficient valve. The tank coil is next to the 6GV8 and the output circuit is a pi arrangment (capacitor, coil and capacitor). And there are no key clicks!

We plan to leave at the end of the year after 20 years in our paradise. Four seasons, quietness, RF quiet as well and good neighbours, some humans but mainly birds and marsupials. Three into one is also a metaphor relevant to my down-sizing. reducing the size of my station considerably and saying good bye to all the bits and pieces of I collected over the years and my home brew projects, believing I might just need them in the future!

Chasing VK5TIL, Troubridge Island Conservation Park, VKFF-1108. 13th February 2023

My interest in chasing VK5TIL was especially a response to the WorldWide Fauna and Flora (WWFF) program. The Park is designated VKFF-1108. Here are two excerpts from Logbook of the World (LOTW) showing my contacts. It wll be fascinated to see how many of these will be confirmed. ‘Busted’ qsos and qsls can be caused by many factors. Poor handwriting is one! Stress on the operator being chased is another!

VK5BJE contacts

VK5PF contacts

Once again I thank the organisers and operators of VK5TIL; VK5PAS Paul, VK5MAZ Marija, VK5LA Andy,, VK5FR Chris, VK5HS Ivan and VK2YK Adam.

I will await and see how many of these contacts will be verified in LOTW.

Photo shows eqsl of my AM contact with VK5TIL. The operator was Paul (VK5PAS) and I had just worked VK5TIL on SSB. Paul suggested the AM qso. It is great to have the AM legacy mode qso in my log.

Scott Creek Conservation Park, VKFF-0788, 8th February 2023

This photo shows VK5BJE working VK5TIL. park to park, from Scott Creek Conservation Park. Photo by JCD

I enjoyed two contacts from this park to Troubridge Island late afternoon on the 8th February. It was quite warm and pleasant in the park. My setup was my Yaesu 857 D set for ten watts FM. I used a speaker tripod (light as it is made from aluminium with an extension and a gain vertical antenna on top). The contact was on the two metre FM calling frequency of 146.500. We exchanged signal reports and call-signs – 5 and 3 both ways.

The second contact, about two minutes later at 07:10 UTC was on the ssb calling frequency of 144.100 Mhz. signal reports were 5 and 5 for both of us, possibly demonstrating the superior talk power of ssb and the value of my three element beam. Jenny, held the beam aloft, and horizontal, facing west, and I called VK5TIL.

The operator at VK5TIL was Adam (VK2YK) and we were both delighted with the contacts.

I have activated Scott Creek Conservation Park many times. An index is located on the first page of this blog. Find Scott Creek and click. Below is the eqsl confirming our contact on 144.100 ssb.

Mark Oliphant Conservation Park, VKFF-0782, 7th February 2023

I went for my morning walk of 7th February taking with me a 22 year old radio: a VX5R, by Yaesu. This radio is a three band hand held and I had mine tuned to the two metre band calling frequency of 146.5 Mhz. I knew that the DXpeditioners were to arrive on Troubridge Island on Tuesday morning and were probably setting up their station while I walked. The track I take for about a three and a half kilometre walk reaches a high point of over 435 metres. Anyway I thought I would call VK5TIL and see what might happen. I called VK5TIL and identified as VK5BJE and was amazed when Ivan’s voice (VK5HS) rang out from my radio, with our contact counting as a park to park, p2p, qso. My radio has four power output levels and I was using just 250 milliwatts!

My interest in VK5TIL is because all of the operators are friends of mine and that Troubridge Island ,a Conservation Park, is included in the WWFF program with the number VKFF-1108.

Heath Track

Camp Track has some steep sections

Loftia Track towards the high spot

These three photos are typical track views in the Mark Oliphant Conservation Park. More photos can be found by clicking on the Mark Oliphant Conservation Park in the index on the first page of this blog.