The MTR-5B arrived!

I bought a MTR-5B from Kanga UK which arrives yesterday! 🙂 🙂 🙂

I must mention Dennis Anderson, from Kanga UK, which was helpful and very professional unlike Royal Mail (for them the parcel is still on it’s way to my QTH…)

Thank you Dennis!

The assembly of the kit was easy, with the exception of the soldering of a wire, damn wire…

The manual is good and a normal skilled person would be able to do it in a couple of hours, at most.
Don’t forget of the ESD protection….

It worked first time, flawless.

Now all it takes it’s a SOTA activation!

Vy 73

Vy 73

 

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Wow! Sotabeams Digital Audio filter

It all started with a 49er kit bought from China (ebay)
Its power output was 550mW. So, I made a few modifications and the power output raised to 2 W.

That was great but RX is a mix of signals.

It needed an improvement but build an effective filter will take a lot of time and effort.

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Just after finish the 49er I bought a Foxx-3 (20m) from Kanga UK.

Rx is better but as AF filter will be a added value…

Just about that time, Sotabeams announced a new pcb populated with SMD components without disclose the use.
Shortly after, Sotabeams stated that PCB is, in fact, a digital AF Filter.

Just about that time, Sotabeams announced a new pcb populated with SMD components without disclose the use.

Shortly after, Sotabeams stated that PCB is, in fact, a digital AF Filter.

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Was the this the answer that my TRX kits I needed ?
So, I bought one.

When it arrives I assembled it but until yesterday I hadn’t the time to fully test it.

Fully testing it means to me be on the air with it.

So, yesterday evening I went to 40 m band and no sound on my headphones…
What a hell is happening ?…

Cautious, I check the connections and, after sometime checking and rechecking, I found the guilty piece: A 3.5 mm female audio jack !
I picked another one from the junk box and “hellas” I have dits and dahs on my headphones. 🙂

Testing mean try which I did.

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I choosed the Elecraft KX-1. Filter set to 1 Khz (+/-).

First tried to change bandwdith with the switch.
Wow!  I even called Mrs DBS to notice the difference!

I had 3 stations in my headphones but when I narrowed the filter 2 are missing.
And now the small frequency steps aren’t useless…

From Sotabeams site : “The 1,000 Hz bandwidth filter is great for tuning around while the 300 Hz filter allows the user to “home in” on a signal of interest.” – Checked! And wow!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

I noticed that I could use the signal led (green on my set)to decode visually once the cw signal was tuned.

The overload led is also very effective. With it is very easy to set the AF input level.

The I tried the gain switch. Not a big deal but it was useful with some sort of signals. Another tool in this little device…

I measured the consumption. It was 31mA@12.5V DC with gain=1 and 35mA with gain=4.
Change of the bandwidth (W to N) just added 1 mA more.
So, considering the possible error in my multimeter, the consumption is within the range publicised by Sotabeams .

Now it goes to proper box.

For sure, it will be used in some SOTA activations, especially in those ones that occur simultaneously with CW contests!

Another good job from Richard G3CWI!

The summit of the summit, CT/DL-001, Serra do Marão!

 

May 1st, 2016

The activation of this summit is the follow-up of the SOTA National Meeting (or National SOTA summit…).

Actually, this is the last activity of the National SOTA meeting (or summit, as you would prefer)…

So, in the morning of that sunny sunday, CT1MH, CT1BHG, CT1DBS, CT2IUV, CT2IWW, CT2JLS, CT2HMR, CT7AGT, CT1BWW and families went to CT/DL-001, Serra do Marão.

This is an easy 10 pointer and he had to make shifts to use the bands because we were too many in the summit.

At one point, António, CT1MH break in and I tried to make a SOTA contact with him.

When I asked where he was, he reply “50 m away from you!!!!”.

Then I realize the reply station is at the same SOTA point and we are together… A laugh after everything is ok and I QRT on this band.

It was a very nice activation in the true spirit of amateur radio and SOTA: plenty of contacts in HF, VHF and UHF, using CW, SSB, FM, PSK and DMR!

At lunch time we are all set for lunch: Activators and families.

A lot of social interaction with all attendants ended the National SOTA meeting.

All agreed that was a very nice and enjoyable meeting for amateur radio operateurs and families!

What else we want for a National Sota Meeting ?!… 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

Photos by Mrs DBS and CT7AGT

 

 

Sunny activation – CT/BA-001, Serra de Montemuro

April 29th, PM

On this activation I had a very special companion, i e, Mrs DBS!

She was with me, on route to the National SOTA Meeting, which was held in Amarante, on Douro Region.

Douro is well known by it’s most famous product: Oporto Wine.

On this region all landscapes are gorgeous and a surprising landscape is waiting for us in each turn of the road.

I had to to work, so the activation take place on late afternoon, despite the temperature is getting lower and lower. 😦

So, we arrive to the mountain dirt road by 17h. We walked for a while before the peak and the trig point was visible.

In this case, due to inherent characteristics of the summit where the trig stands, the AZ is a very small area.

So, we climbed to the top, trying to avoid the natural ponds (snow melted) and cautious of the poisons snakes that lives in this area.

When we got to the top the day is falling (sunset at 20h+ local time…).

Because of the narrow AZ area the endfed antenna was mounted downhill. I started calling on 7 MHz but some Spanish and British stations are using too much bandwidth…So, I called on 20m band quickly I got 11 QSOs in 27 minutes. (all CW)

I tried other bands, namely 2 m, because other activators were on the journey to our annual meeting and they took the opportunity to activate some summits.

With the 2m transverter of the KX-3 and the slim Jim antenna (home made) I made a QSO with CT1ZQ, in Lousã (100 km away).

I start to feel like a SOTA activator…I’m saying this because the first question that CT1ZQ asked is “in which summit are you ?”…

Last time we had a QSO (20 m, CW) was on April 16th. I was at S. Miguel, Island, in CU/SM-009, Pico da Cruz, with the MTR-3B and the trapped dipole.

After exchange RS I was informed that CT2JLS, Sergio was climbing CT/BA-013, Nossa Senhora do Castelo, and asked to do a S2S QSO with me.

The sun set was approaching and we started packing.

Then CT2JLS call me and we made our first S2S, on the 2 m band. Sergio was also en route with his family to our annual meeting. His last words before closing down were: See you later!

Packing take only a few minutes with the great help of Mrs DBS, who did all the rolling of the endfed wire like a SOTA pro!

She did a great job I should thank her for the great support on all my activations.

This one is different because she helped a lot on the radio stuff.

Also, she was the official photographer on site!

When we get to the car the temperature had dropped a while. Accordingly, the car thermometer show that we had a bright sunny day with 7 C, at car position. There were a light and cold wind, from south.

My guess is that at the top the temp should be around 4 to 6 C while we were there.

While on route to Amarante we had the chance to see the summit from different locations. Serra de Montemuro is a one of a kind!

By the way: ANACOM (Portuguese Ofcom) has a remote monitoring station in this mountain, in the line of sight of the summit. I guess they were looking who’s the powerful station that saturates their RX front ends…

Anyway, that powerful station is using 3 W, on 40, 20 m and 2 m bands!