Ham Radio – a hobby that is enjoyed by many – and endured by their family, friends and neighbours.
Having got my “ticket” in 2001, taking the Morse test but doing very little of it (or any HF for that matter) until a several years later – my interests started with VHF “square-chasing” before moving to HF, QRP /P and using CW a fair bit.
Although chasing the DX makes my logbook stats look pretty, I’m happy to have a chat if conditions allow – if I’m on CW, I usually call at around 18wpm but will QRS if asked.
- 160m Inverted-L (seasonal) – 9m up, ~30m long with 20 or so buried radials varying 10-20m each
- 80m Doublet @ 30ft – can be switched to a 160m “Tee” fed against some ground radials
- 80m End-Fed Halfwave – presents a low SWR on most bands
- 20m Loop @ 15ft – Runs around the roof of the Shack/Workshop
- 6m 3-ele LFA Yagi (seasonal) – 15-20ft. Rotator by “Armstrong”
- VHF/UHF “White-Stick” – for the local riff-raff
If I’m out portable, then I’ll typically be using a 40m Doublet for HF, a home-made Slim-Jim on 2m FM, a 5ele yagi for SSB, plus simple dipoles for 4m+6m. Portable logging via my own tabLog Android app.
How are the bands? I often use the NOAA website to see how HF is looking – if there’s a colourful “splodge” (what I like to call a Jackson Pollock) on the map then things may not be good. The Solar Levels here also give a good indication as to conditions.