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 try the antenna 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.

maandag 12 oktober 2015

Received eQSL's with very low power

The last weeks I answered a lot of eQSL's.
In the INBOX I found many eQSL of QSO's, that were made with 5 W down to 5 milliwatt.

In many contest QSO's, I often reduce to the lowest possible power.
I start with a power that is probably to low.
When my signal is not heard, I increase my power with a small step.

I show here, a few eQSL's that were made with 36 mW and 80 mW and an Inverted V

36 milliwatt 
F5IN  -  36 mW - 295 miles - 8200 Miles per Watt
F6HKA  -  36 mW - 464 miles - 12886 Miles per Watt

80 milliwatt 
OH2BV  -  80 mW - 953 miles - 19111 Miles per Watt
ES5Q  -  80 mW - 955 miles - 15117 Miles per Watt
R7AB  -  80 mW - 1602 miles - 20020 Miles per Watt
My FT-817 makes 360 mW on the lowest setting.
I reduce 360 mW with an attenuator of 10 dB to 36 mW.
On the setting for 1 W, the FT-817 makes 800 mW.
After the 10 dB attenuator, only 80 mW goes to the inverted V.

zondag 4 oktober 2015


Gisteren ben ik, als begeleider van een bewoner van de Cruquiushoeve, mee geweest met de Truckrun, Dit fantastische evenment wordt georganiseerd door Stichting Het Reservewiel.

Er vertrokken zo'n 80 trucks vanaf het terrein van de Cruquiushoeve in de Haarlemmermeer.

De lange stoet van vrachtwagens maakte al toeterend een rondritdoor de Haarlemmermeer.

Langs het gemaal De Cruquius
Het konvooi van bijna 85 trucks werd begeleid door 30 verkeersregelaars op motoren en een aantal agenten op motoren en in de auto.

De route ging dit jaar van de Cruquius, naar Zwanenburg en Badhoevedorp. Onderweg werd het konvooi opgewacht met een ereboog van water door de de brandweer. We kregen de volle laag van links en van rechts.

Brandweer - links en rechts

Via  Hoofddorp reden we weer terug naar de Cruquiushoeve.

Bij elke zijstraat en zijweg waar maar verkeer uit kon komen, bleef een gemotoriseerde verkeers regelaar achter, om de stoet ongehinderd door te laten gaan. Als alle trucks gepasseerd waren werd de weg weer vrij gegeven.

Verkeers regelaars
Daarna reed de motor weer langs de stoet helemaal naar voren.

We zaten in dit "rolstoel" busje
We hebben met volle teugen genoten.

donderdag 17 september 2015

Jubileumboek BQC

Jubileumboek BQC
1975 - 2015
40 jaar 
Benelux QRP Club

Het was mij begin deze week al opgevallen, dat de Nieuwsbrief van de Benelux QRP club nog binnen was. Vandaag vroeg mijn vrouw: "heb jij wat besteld?", toen ze zag, dat er een pakket in ons kleine buitenbusje zat.

Het pakket bevatte het Jubileumboek BQC en de nieuwe nieuwsbrief van september 2015. Het Jubileumboek bevat vele interessante artikelen uit 40 jaar BQC nieuwsbrief en telt maar liefst meer dan 290 pagina's. De artikelen bestrijken een periode vanaf de oprichting van de BQC tot nu.
Petje af, voor zo'n dik en goed verzorgd boek dat is samengesteld door Ben Santen en is bewerkt door Marc Schijven.

zondag 7 juni 2015

CQ WW WPX CW contest 2015 with an indoor 15" Cylinder dipole

15" Indoor Cylinder dipole PA1B
I had great fun in 56 QSO's in CW with S&P, with 20 DXCC countries with an indoor 15" cylinder dipole. The antenna consist of two 500 ml energy drink cans and a coil of 80 mm with 8 turns.
By making QSO's in a major contest, I could discover the properties of this very short antenna.
On Saturday I worked with the antenna in  the shack, with the antenna 4 meters above the ground. On Sunday morning I placed the antenna in the attic, on a height on 7 meters above the ground.

On Saturday I started on 14 MHz. Between QSO #3 and #4 we went to a fair. After working 6 stations all on 14 MHz, I went to 21 MHz.
The 15 meter band was open, so I made all QSO's on this band from 12 UTC until 19 UTC. From time to time I went back to 14 MHz, but with NO success.  After 19 UTC I could make just one QSO on 20 mtrs. After this QSO an other 16 QSO's were made on 15 m. After 19 UTC the signal were stronger so I could reduce my power. Then I  could make QRPp QSO's with 720 mW, 360 mW and even one with 72 mW. When the S-meter goes up my power goes down.

On Sunday morning I had time until 10 UTC. The first QSO was made with the island of Man on 7 MHz. To work on 7 MHz I tune the SWR for 1:1. After breakfast I divided to move the antenna to the attic, just to test whether I could make more QSO's on 14 MHz.The test is not conclusive because I made the same number of QSO's at the same time as on Saturday.
Between 10 and 18 UTC we visited two birthdays. after 18 UTC I made a few QSO's.

Does it work?
The antenna definitely works.
Because I had limited time on Sunday afternoon, I can not tell whether the antenna works better on the attic on 14 MHz. But I can tell you that it works.
When did you make QRP QSO's with 20 DXCC counties on a indoor antenna?

CQ WPX CW 2015 with an indoor 15" Cylinder dipole PA1B
Worked DXCC's in the CQ WPX CW 2015 with an indoor 15" Cylinder dipole PA1B

Solar Eclipse WPA of WSPR spots by PE4BAS

Solar Eclipse WSPR Propagation Analysis (WPA) of spots by PE4BAS.
The spots were made on 160 mtr, during daylight hours.
The lower the Lowest Possible Power, the better the propagation.

woensdag 3 juni 2015

10 dB attenuators of Stefano IZ1OQU

On my Blog and website I show information, on how I work with QRP and QRPp and the use of attenuators for more than 1000 Miles per Watt QSO's.

Stefano IZ1OQU built a 10 dB attenuator, that I described in an earlier post. (Click to read) With this attenuator Stefano made QSO's with 50 milliwatt in SSB from his home over more than 2000 kilometers, using vertical antenna's.

With a difference of 13 dB between SSB and CW, the 50 mW in SSB can be compared with 2.5 mW in CW.
Congrats to Stefano, for this great achievement.

Stefano has recenly built a light weight attenuator with two sections of 10 dB. He wants to use the attenuator in SOTA and portable operation.
Here is the interesting e-mail from Stefano with photo's of the light weight attenuator.

Dear Bert,
I'm IZ1OQU Stefano. I wrote to you some months ago for the attenuators on your website.
With the 50 mW of the first attenuator that I built, I had my best Miles per Watt SSB QSO's with Finland, Russia and Georgia, over 2200 kms with the top-score of 2700 kms with Georgia: 
54.000 kilometers per watt.

I'm writing again to show to you the new step attenuator that I've made: with switches and 2x 10 dB steps to reach the 5 mW output with my FT-817.
I attached some images of the new toy, made with pcb enclosure. I left one removable side just to shot some photos. You'll see, It's tiny (about 6x3x3 cms size) and low-weight. With that small space it was hard to solder everything but I did it!

I'll look forward to find ways to reduce again the size wile adding more steps but not before some testing: you know, SSB is not the best way to play MxW with such little power but I am still newbie with CW.

I keep following your blog, I shared it to some friends because they also like MxW, QRP and homebrewing things. The MxW comunity in Italy is slowly growing thanks to the WxM (watt per mile, or mile per watt... anyway we call it, it's the same thing) contest.
Go on with your good job

73 from Italy
Stefano IZ1OQU 

Light weight 2 x 10 dB attenuator IZ1OQU 
Stefano will use the attenuator on SOTA and portable operation. FB.
To read more, visit Stefano's interesting QRZ page by clicking on the link.

zondag 31 mei 2015

Cylinder dipole at 21 MHz

Click on the pictures to enlarge
After the experiment with the Red Bull antenna, I built a second Cylinder Dipole with two energy drink cans of 500 ml. The cans together with the coil resonate at 16 MHz.
The 300 ohm ribbon is connected to the point at the top of the coil (in the picture) with the red and yellow alligator clips (See the white arrow in the top of the picture). The antenna is hanging from the ribbon. I can tune the cylinder dipole for the a SWR of 1;1 with my symmetrical tuner.

Update 2015-10-30:
The coil is wound on a pvc tube of 80 mm and has 9 turns
Update  It's best to make the cans open.

Update on the drawing.
PA1B Cylinder Dipole.  The current at the surface of the cylinder generates the field.
Update    Tap: 1 or 2 turn(s) apart at the middle of the coil.

Closed cylinders  
In this antenna I used the complete can, without removing the top and the bottom of the can, to keep the construction simple.
A week after the construction I saw a program on the construction of large cargo planes on the Discovery channel. They showed that closed cylinders are much stronger than open cylinders.
The same goes for the fuselage of very large cargo airplanes,
I discovered that the closed cylinders of this antenna radiate just as good as the open cylinders of the Red Bull antenna.

500 ml cans
Although it is not easy to compare two antenna's, that were used in two different contests a week apart, the cylinder dipole with the 500 ml cans is probably better than the Red Bull antenna.
In general the cylinder dipoles are very quite on receive.

On the air
In the H.M. King of Spain contest I made QSO's on 7 MHz, 14 MHz and 21 MHz.
Most QSO's were made on 21 MHz with a power of 3.6 W to 360 mW all over Europe.
This cylinder dipole with two 500 ml cans works better on 21 MHz than on 14 MHz.
The antenna is "detuned" to 21 MHz with the symmetrical tuner.
On 7 MHz it was very difficult to make a QSO. The QSO's on 7 MHz were made over a short distance. NVIS. I estimate that the lower efficiency at 7 MHz reduces the signals with 10 dB.
The table below shows the DXCC countries per band and per power category.

Across the Atlantic
I very much enjoyed the QSO with N1KWF in New Hampshire over a distance of 3490 Miles, with a power of 3.6 Watts.

Please notice that that the cylinder dipole with 500 ml cans:
 * has a length of 15" (38 cm)
 * is placed in the shack,
 * at a height of 4 meter above the ground.

Click on the table below, to read the hand written log, in which I write down the power in each QSO.
List of QSO's with the cylinder dipole, with cans of 500 ml PA1B
The QSO's in red are more than 1000 Miles per Watt QSO's.
DXCC's per band and per power category PA1B

woensdag 20 mei 2015

Red Bull Test Antenna

When I putted the Red Bull test antenna into use during the ARI DX 2015, I was aware of the controversial nature of short antennas. But I had absolutely NO doubt about this short antenna, with it's "wingspan" of just 12 inch.

I was convinced that I could make QSO's with QRP or even QRPp from the shack.
I was curious, whether I could use the antenna on 14 MHz, although it was tuned at 26 MHz in stead of 14 MHz.
Further I was curious, whether I could use a symmetrical tuner to get a SWR of 1:1

I clamped the PVC tube of the antenna between the books and the bookshelf and connected a 300 ohm ribbon between the symmetrical tuner and the coil of the antenna. 
The coil had 14 turns on a 40 mm coil former. I did not bother to change the coil to lower the operating frequency, which was 26 MHz and thus much higher than 14 MHz on which I would operate. The 300 ohm ribbon is is equipped with two alligator clips, which are connected to two connection points on the coil one turn apart.

Red Bull test antenna May 2015 PA1B
The tuning runs smoothly. It's easy to get a accurate SWR of 1:1 So I could transmit with the antenna. I only tried 14 MHz, because that was, where the action was and I wanted to make QSO's immediately. I did not try 21 MHz or even better 28 MHz.. 

Does it work? Yes.
I convinced myself. Not with a power of 360 watts, but with 360 milliwatt, with the antenna indoor, at a height of 4 meter above the ground.  Isn't it amazing.
The first QSO that I made with this 12 inch antenna, was a more than 1000 Miles per Watt QSO.

On the air
After adjusting the SWR, I heard the special station of the DX Club Tortoreto II6T
I could easily make a QSO, using a power of just 360 milliwatt. I tried to work them, earlier in the contest, on the damaged inverted V. But they could not copy my RST on the inverted V.
I am very pleased, with this first QSO on the Red Bull antenna. Later I realized that this QSO is a more than 1000 Miles per Watt QSO.
I made QSO's with EA, YU, SM, YL and LZ with 3.6 W
With 800 mW I managed to make a QSO with HA and a QSO with UR.
Further I made a QSO with 360 mW with an other station from Italy.
IK0YVV copied my call immediately, when I answered his CQ. His signal was strong, it was over S9.

On receive
There a large difference between wire antennas like the dipole or inverted V and short antenna's. The signals that are received on this short antenna, are much weaker. But also the short antenna picks up less noise. I noticed that it takes some time to got used to the weaker signals. 

ARI DX contest 2015  -  Red Bull test antenna  - May 2015  -  PA1B
Improvements and Next steps

  • The next step is building the same antenna with larger cans and a larger coil former, so the antenna will resonate at 14 MHz and therefor has a good efficiency.
  • Test the antenna on 28 MHz. This frequency is near the actual resonance frequency.
From one moment to the other
I decided to put up this antenna this antenna in the ARI DX contest 2015, when my inverted V let my down. I constructed the Red Bull test antenna to test the properties of symmetrical feeding, a few months before. The test showed that the cable, which is connected at the middle of the coil,
has no hand effect on the cable.  The antenna lay around in the shack.

Was it properly tuned to the operating frequency? NO. I advice you to tune the antenna to the frequency of the band you want to operate on, to get a good efficiency.

Red Bull test antenna - May 2015  PA1B
Connecting the ribbon. One turn apart 

**  I don not intent to upset other HAM's, with this amazing 12 inch antenna, made from wast, ran with QRPp at a height of 4 meters and by doing so, also breaching the 1000 Miles per Watt boundary. **