zaterdag 6 februari 2016

UN3M on the Red Bull antenna

When I putted the Red Bull antenna into use in the ARI contest, I made 9 QSO's on 14 MHz and even 1 QSO on 7 MHz. At that moment I did not know that the conditions were extremely good. The Red Bull antenna with the coil of 14 turns on a tube of 40 mm, resonates on 26 MHz.
So now I was curious, how the Red Bull antenna would do on 28 MHz. 

I decided to participate in the DARC 10 meter contest, to make QSO's with the Red Bull antenna. A contest for 10 meter is a good opportunity to make contacts on that band, because it creates activity. The DARC 10 meter contest is a very short contest, that runs from 9:00 till 10:59 utc. I have been on the band for 90 minutes. During the whole contest, I did not hear any German stations, because of the very short distance to Germany.

After a few minutes I could make a QSO with LY2NK with 3 watts. Then the band was empty, but I had to stay on.
Much later I could make a QSO with UN3M. Nickolay is in the western part of Kazakstan. The distance is about 1950 miles. FB.

QSO with the  Red Bull antenna  on 10 mtr with 3 watts

maandag 25 januari 2016

Het lijkt wel lente

Vorige week moest ik nog handschoenen aan en een gebreide muts op, bij het fietsen. Maar vandaag werd het 14 graden. Toen ik om half negen weg ging naar fitness, was het al 8 graden op de termometer in de tuin. Op de terugweg was het zelfs zonnig.

Het was de warmste 25 januari, sinds de temperatuur gemeten wordt in De Bilt. Daar werd een temperatuur van 14,6 graden gemeten.

Vanmiddag hebben mijn vrouw en ik lekker gewandeld op het landgoed Oostbroek. We hebben het vernieuwde knuppelpad gelopen.

Het vernieuwde knuppelpad. Landgoed Oostbroek.
Dit knuppelpad is niet meer van hout, maar van metaal, omdat dit langer mee gaat dan hout. De metalen platen waar je op loopt, worden ondersteunt door een roest vrije metalen elementen. Het pad "zweeft" een halve meter boven de grond.

Gisteren wees mijn vrouw op dit bloemetje in onze tuin. Is de natuur in de war?  Ik denk het niet.

zaterdag 26 december 2015

Morse at Christmas

You should visit the interesting Blog of Paul 
m0xpd's 'Shack Nasties'
to read the very humourous post 

donderdag 24 december 2015

Cylinder dipoles on 10 meter

The cylinder dipole can be used as an indoor HF antenna, with VHF/UHF dimensions. Our test showed that the cylinder dipole constructed from aluminium energy drink cans can be used as a multi-band antenna on 10 m to 15 m.

Cylinder dipole = циліндр диполь

In the weekend of the ARRL 10 meter contest, Alex SA5BFZ and I (PA1B) made CW QSO's on 10 meter both with our indoor cylinder dipoles.

Cylinder dipole of Alex SA5BFZ
Alex operated on Sunday, outside of the contest. He made 2 excellent QSO's with Spain on 10 meter and a QSO with Russia on 17 m. Alex used the cylinder dipole that consists of two  500 ml energy drink cans and a coil of 80 mm with 8 or 9 turns. The photo shows the cylinder dipole of Alex.

I participated on Saturday and Sunday for two very short periods in the ARRL 10 meter contest. I was curious what my Red Bull antenna would do on 10 meters. I never had the opportunity to use it before on 10 m, due to the propagation on 10 m.
Coil and cans.     PA1B
The principal is not yet in the text book
I worked 2 stations on both days, within 8 minutes and within 5 minutes. With only 10 meter to operate, I was fully depending on the propagation on this band. My cylinder dipole with Red Bull cans is doing fine.
The signals must be S8 or stronger, then it is easy to make a QSO. In 3 QSO's I used 2.7 W. In the QSO with RU6AV I used just 0.8 W.
I used a cylinder dipole with two  Red Bull cans  and a coil of 40 mm with 14 turns.

Both cylinder dipoles of Alex and me are doing fine on 10 meters. We made QSO's over large distances within Europe, with low power. The table below shows both call signs of our QRP stations and the stations that we worked, the distance in Miles and the used power in watt.

Lowest possible power
We both operated with the lowest possible power.  We reduce our power according the reading of the S-meter before we answer a CQ. To use the lowest possible power we must use S&P.

How to compare
Because we both used the lowest possible power, it is possible to compare the QSO's.
The QSO's can be compared by calculating the value of the Miles/quare root of the power or by calculating the Electrical field strength at the receive antenna.

Miles per WHAT?
The calculation of Miles per Watt can not be used to compare QSO's. To double the distance we need more power. The power must be increased 4x to get the same signal strength.
The value  Miles/SQRT(watt) is calculated from the distance in miles divide by the square root of the power in watt. This value is very easy to calculate and is an excellent propagation indicator.
The higher this value, the better the propagation. (The value is NOT accurate over a short distance.)

Electrical field strength in V/m
E = electrical field strength  in  V/m
P = used power in watt.    
R = distance between the radio stations in meter.

An other way to compare is to calculate the Electrical field strength E.
The lower the Field strength the less power is needed to cover the distance, the better is the propagation.

In the last column I compare the QSO's in dB. The higher the value in dB, the stronger the signal.
I choose my QSO with RN3GQ to be 0 dB. The other QSO's on 10 m are made under better conditions.
The value in dB shows the influences of the propagation and the antenna of the other station.
The higher the value in dB, the stronger the signal.
I say Thanks to for the link from their interesting site to this Blog entry.

zaterdag 19 december 2015

CQ WW DX CW 2015 - Overview

When I use the lowest possible power, I don't call CQ myself. I answer a CQ of stations with strong signals, with a power that is about strong enough to be heard. When my signal is not heard I increase the power with a step of 3 dB, until my signal is heard and the QSO is made. I use the PA1B Fast and accurate attenuator to reduce the power below 360 milliwatt. When the S-meter goes up, my power goes down.

Here is an overview of DXCC countries, that I worked in the CQ WW DX CW contest.
On Saturday I made 24 QSO's in which I used 2.7 W or 3.6 W. One QSO was made with 800 mW
On Sunday conditions were much better. Then I used 36 mW to 3.6 W, using the lowest possible power from QSO to QSO. In this contest I used the inverted V.
CQ WW DX CW 2015 - Overview   PA1B
The values in red are QSO's, that were made with more than 1000 Miles per Watt.

woensdag 16 december 2015

The cylinder dipole of Alex SA5BFZ

Alex SA5BFZ built his version of the cylinder dipole with 500 ml monster cans. Before building this antenna, Alex asked by email  information on several details of the cylinder dipole. With the information Alex was able to build the antenna and operated with good results on 10 m and 17 m.

The cylinder dipole with open cans in detail.   Alex SA5BFZ
In the photo you can see that the dipole is attached to the curtain. The cylinder dipole consists of two cans and a coil. I advised Alex use open cans. So he removed the top and the bottom of the cans.

Hej Bert,
Thanks for the info. I removed the top and bottom of the cans as you suggested.
I did some playing around with the antenna this evening. It tunes beautifully 30 - 10 m. 
I will try it more seriously in the weekend, when I have some daylight available.
If I make one single QSO with the antenna, I will keep it as a trophy. Hi hi.
73, Alex
Cylinder dipole of Alex SA5BFZ 
The dipole is connected to the tuner with a ribbon. Last Sunday Alex had some time to test the dipole.

Hallo Bert,
First tests with cylinder dipole done. On 10 m I made QSO with EF5Y using 2.5 W and EF7X using 0.5 W, both with CW. It was very quiet on 10 m, so I went to 17 m and made a 599 QSO with UE25R using 1 W. This really shows that propagation is everything. A good antenna on the other end helps as well. Hi hi. I include a couple of pictures of my operating spot and the antenna. Very simple setup but a lot of fun!  73 Alex

Hallo Bert,
Yes very fun indeed! I still can't understand how they could hear me. Hi hi.
I will try to send the picture again. If you want to use the pictures and info please go ahead. I'm glad that I can be of help. :)  73 Alex

Beautiful results
Alex managed to make  two QSO's over a large distance to Spain with QRP with the cylinder dipole. The first contact with EF5Y was made over a distance of 1688 miles or 2717 km.
The QSO with EF7X was made with a power of 500 mW over a distance of 1848 Miles and is good for 3696 Miles per Watt.
The QSO with UE25R won 17 m was made over a distance of 785 Miles. This QSO on 17 m shows the cylinder dipole, can be used as a multi band antenna. The band is changed, simply by adjusting the tuner on the band of interest.

It looks like the indoor cylinder dipole, can be useful in situations with antenna restrictions.

Thank you Alex for testing the cylinder dipole, sharing the results and the beautiful pictures.

BaMaKeY TP-II - high quality twin paddle and lambic morse key

Markus DL6YYM emailed my, to show his high quality twin paddle key that he produces in his small company. The video gives a good impression of the design and operation of the key.


The video of the key with all the interesting details, can be found on Youtube;

The technical details and price can be found in this pdf document:

Designed and built by Markus DL6YYM

Excellent for portable operation
In the shack on the magnetic base

Technical details
Hard anodized aluminum housing,
All brass parts chrome plated,
High precision ball bearings,
Sensitive adjustment of stroke and preload,
Preload adjustable with magnets,
Silvered and golden contacts,
Connecting cable with 3,5mm plug
Weight: 200g / 7,05 oz  -  Dimensions: 0,87x1,97x2,76 (4,33)''

Optional available is a brass chrome plated magnetic base brass chrome plated.
With this magnetic base the portable paddle key can be used as your station paddle key.
Strong magnets hold the travel paddle connected to the base.
Weight: 400g / 14,1 oz  -  Dimensions: 0,31x2,76x3,54''

WOW, Markus. I am impressed. It's a beautiful design.

donderdag 10 december 2015

CQ WW DX CW contest 2015

On Thursday before the contest, a fellow HAM helped my to repair the inverted V. The whether was sunny with no wind, so it was nice to work on the roof. We replaced a part of the ribbon, where it was broken and we checked the connections in the top of the V.
I decided to repair the inverted V, in stead of using the 15 inch cylinder dipole. The dimensions of the cylinder dipole and it's height 4 m above the ground, allow the antenna work on frequencies of 21 MHz and higher. But now I wanted to use 21 MHz, 14 MHz and 7 MHz.

It was great. On Saturday I could make a total of 24 QSO's, all with S&P. The inverted V was working very well. Most QSO's were with European stations on 40 m, 20 m and 15 m. Later I made 4 QSO's with North America. In all the QSO's on Saturday I needed the full power of the FT-817, which is 3,6 W on 20 m and 2,7 W on 40 m and 15 m. That I needed "full power", was only a matter of propagation.

On Sunday morning I immediately noticed that the propagation was better. The signal were stronger than on Saturday. After about 10 QSO's with 2.7 W, the signals became stronger. The S-meter went up, so I could make QSO's with 360 mW. In the first QSO with 36 mW the received signal was S9 + 10 dB. This QSO was a DUPE, but I took my change and really enjoyed that OM7M gave a report, so we made the QSO with QRPpp. I very much enjoy this friendly attitude. 

After this QSO, I came on a quiet part of the 20 m band and I made QSO's all over Europe and two QSO's with North America all with just 360 mW. Then I heard a station from Japan. Luckily it was very quiet on the band (20 m) and with the 3th call, the QSO was made with 3.6 W. I did not dare to go lower. 

The next 30 QSO were made all over Europe, with 360 mW, except when I needed 3,6 W. When the signals incidentally went up to S9 + 10 dB, it was possible to reduce to 36 mW.

It was great. I very much enjoyed to work with the lowest possible power from QSO to QSO on Sunday.

dinsdag 17 november 2015

PA0O with WSPR on 160 m

Here is an analysis of very interesting WSPR spots, that were made by Jaap PA0O. The spots were made from the 19th of oktober until the 12th of november 2015. The band was 160 meter. To reduce the length of the table, I only listed the stations that received more than 60 spots.
The strongest signal was received by G8DYK over a distance of 600 km. The longest distance was 6400 km, to N8OQ.

The lower the Calculated lowest possible power, the stronger the signal.
A Calculated lowest possible power of 1 milliwatt, means that a signal with a power of 1 milliwatt, should be received with a SNR of -29 dB. This is a solid copy in WSPR.

Spots over 2000 km or more.
Thanks Jaap for the interesting data.

dinsdag 10 november 2015


I very much like to answer a SWL card, because I know that my card is very much appreciated. In the eQSL Inbox, I found a very nice card, from a SWL station.

Juan  EA4851URE confirms the QSO of PA1B with 6V7S - Op. RK4FF
Juan EA4851URE  -  SWL confirms my QSO that with 6V7S from Senegal, West Africa.
The QSO with 6S7V is made with 2.7 W over a distance of 2852 Miles and is good for 1056 Miles per Watt. hi. Thank you Juan for your beautiful eQSL.

maandag 9 november 2015

SWL R4A-1227 confirms 36 mW QSO

It's great to receive a QSL of a SWL station. In the last batch of eQSL's I found a eQSL from Valentin R4A-1227 hat really knocks my socks off. This eQSL is very special, because of the very low power, that I used. I made a QSO with MU0RGU. The signal was very strong, so I decided to answer with 36 mW. The QSO was heard by Valentin R4A-1227.

36 milliwatt
R4A-1227  -  36 mW  -  1734 Miles  -  48,180 Miles per Watt
Miles per Watt
This SWL report and the QSO with M0RGU are both good for more than 1000 Miles per Watt.
PA1B to  R4A-1227  over 1734 miles to LN28gm with 36 mW gives 48180 Miles per Watt.
PA1B to  MU0RGU: over  378 miles with 36 mW gives 10496 Miles per Watt.

Thank you Valentin for the very special eQSL. FB.

zaterdag 7 november 2015

Tuning the cylinder dipole

Cylinder dipole PA1B

In the photo you see the cylinder dipole with open Monster cans. The cans are connected to the coil. I made radial cuts in the top and the bottom of the cans and I bent the points inwards. Later I pushed the white tube, which has a diameter of 40 mm, through the holes. The coil is hanging below the cans and the tube.
This coil has 9 turns on a PVC tube with a diameter of 80 mm. The distance between the cans is equal to the diameter of the cans and is 65 mm. The distance between the cans is not fixed, but can be made smaller by shifting the cans.

On both sides of the coil I have attached a single turn, coupling loop. The loops are lightly coupled to the coil. One loop is connected with the RF generator. The other is connected to the oscilloscope.
It's very simple to measure the resonance frequency of the cylinder dipole. By adjusting the frequency, I just peak the signal on the oscilloscope to determine the resonance frequency.

Open cans
In this cylinder dipole I use open cans, because they show less capacity between the closed tops of the cans. This capacity does not contribute to the current on the surface of the cylinders.
The cylinder dipole with the open Monster cans and the 80 mm coil with 9 turn, resonates at 18.9 MHz. This is a higher frequency of the closed monster cans, which resonates at 16 MHz. The capacity of the open can is lower than the capacity of the closed cans and also because the cylinders are further apart.

I will use the Cylinder Dipole on 21 MHz and 14 MHz in CW contests.

zondag 1 november 2015


1 November startte als een mistige dag. Maar na het ontbijt was het zonnig. We maakte een prachtige wandeling langs de Kromme Rijn bij Rhijnauwen. We hebben genoten.

Langs de Kromme Rijn tegenover het Pannenkoekenhuis
Brug bij Bunnik
Bij Rhijnauwen. 

woensdag 28 oktober 2015

Autumn colors

For the last week(s) I very much enjoy the colors of the autumn.
During a bike trip in my village I made a few photo's.
No sun, but I enjoyed the beautiful colors.

vrijdag 16 oktober 2015

eQSL of Mitsuoka JO3JIS

While running through my log, to answer many eQSL's, that I had received, I noticed that I had made a QSO with JO3JIS, but not yet sent a QSL.  I checked and found out that JO3JIS used eQSL, so I send him my card, with the calculated "Miles per Watt" information. I  am very pleased by the quick response, because the next day I received a very nice return eQSL.
JO3JIS   -   2.7 W   -   5400 Miles   -   2110   Miles per Watt
In this QSO I used 2.7 watt. With a distance of 5400 miles, the QSO is good for 2110 Miles per Watt. hi. The distance from my QTH, in the center of The Netherlands, to Japan is more than 5000 miles. So each QSO with Japan made with 5 watts or less, is good for more than 1000 Miles per Watt. My antenna is an Inverted Vee. The antenna of Mitsuoka is a Cushcraft.
Thanks for the very nice DX QSO, Mitsuoka. Hpe cuagn.