Sunday, August 21, 2016

24 Easy SOTA Chaser Points

Phil, KK6YYD, activated three summits today: W6/NS-179 (Signal Peak), W6/NS-389 (Buzzard Roost), and W6/NS-155 (Sand Ridge). I logged contacts with him on all three summits, which are in the northern Sierra Nevada and well over 90 miles away from my home QTH (station). Each of them was worth 8 points; I was able to more than double my chaser points, from 15 to 39. He was working 146.520 MHz FM.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Shack: A Work in Progress

W6SAE ham shack: a work in progress
Shown are my awesome Yaesu FT-857D transceiver and a Diamond SX-1100 SWR meter. The antenna cable is connected via an MFJ-4601 FeedThru Window Panel. An MFJ-4125 switching power supply powers the radio. My rig is very simple because I'm only set up for VHF and UHF so far. Once I add an HF antenna (for long-distance "DX" contacts), an antenna tuner will be added to the equipment on the table.

To the left, on the window ledge, is my trusty Radio Shack PRO-651 handheld scanner. Posted on the bulletin board is my first  QSL card (!).

When I get around to finishing the shack, there will be a small bookshelf next to the table for my growing collection of amateur radio literature, and the bulletin board and various certificates will be on the wall.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The First Antenna is Up

Station W6SAE: 2-Meter J-Pole Antenna
The mast--a 10-foot length of galvanized conduit--is mounted to the 4x4 railing corner post of the landing, which is just under 10 feet above the ground. I attached it with two large screw-type hose clamps, one at the top and one at the bottom of the post. It seems secure and has held up well, so far, in the winds that are common here. The cable runs through a window on the far side of the building; I used an MFJ window pass-through.

My ham shack is located on the upper floor of a detached garage to the rear of our house. My rig consists of a Yaesu FT-857D HF/6m/2m/70cm transceiver, along with an MF-4125 switching power supply and an LDG Z-11 Pro II antenna tuner. Photos of the inside of the shack to come soon (hopefully).

The antenna is a KB9VBR J-Pole, tuned for the 2-meter band (VHF); it also works well on the 70-cm band (UHF). I'm still researching HF antennas for those long-distance (DX) contacts.

The two satellite TV dishes are inactive.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

My First QSL Card!

I just received the first of what I hope will be many QSL cards over the coming years. It confirms this Summits-on-the-Air (SOTA) QSO (contact) with Phil, KK6YYD, of Placerville, California.
Along with this card comes the realization that I should start thinking about designing my own card.