Videos uploaded by user “vk3ye”
Tests with magnetic loops 1: Is height might? Are two loops better?
Some receiving tests with HF magnetic loops on 28 MHz. Is height might? Are two loops better than one? Find out by watching! (info on VK3RMH http://www.qsl.net/vk3rmh/ )
Views: 28530 vk3ye
Amongst the kilowatts: 14 MHz SSB QRP DX with a delta loop
Is mixing with kilowatts on 14 MHz SSB during the ARRL International DX Contest a futile exercise when running 5 watts to simple wire antennas? Or have we stumbled across one of the great low-cost antennas for over water portable QRP DXing? Find out when we put a $20 wire delta loop through its paces at a beach near Melbourne, Australia. We'll tackle what others say is impossible and discuss the merits of horizontal versus vertical polarisation. Feeding and impedance matching is also covered. Watch this video if at all interested in portable QRP operating, DXing or simple wire antennas.
Views: 21632 vk3ye
Triband end-fed half wave antenna for portable use
Describing and demonstrating an end-fed multiband antenna for portable use. It's a full-sized half wave on 20 metres and a loaded half wave on 40 metres. The antenna also works on 10 metres. It's not recommended for use on other bands. A broadband transformer replaces the antenna coupler. While it's likely less efficient than an L-match antenna coupler this arrangement allows instant band changing. Its only disadvantage is that its bandwidth on 40 metres is somewhat narrow (150kHz approx) when used with the loaded half wave wire described. Similar to the Par Endfedz design this transformer will work on other bands with a half wave wire. With 10m of wire I could get low SWR (as indicated by the FT-817's indicator) on 20 and 10m. 20m of wire gave those two bands plus 40 and 15m. Some variation of the trimmer will however be necessary so it's worth carrying a small screwdriver, preferably attached to the transformer unit to prevent loss. There's a bit of cut and try in construction. Those wanting a premade unit should investigate either the Dutch HyEndFed or the American Par Endfedz 40/20/10m end-fed models. Both have received good reviews on eham.net . Check these links for further info: * http://pages.suddenlink.net/wa5bdu/efhw.htm * http://pa-11019.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/149-transformer-for-endfed-antennas-35.html * http://www.hamradio.me/antennas/lnr-precision-ef-102040mkii-examination.html * http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php?topic=56161.0 * http://pa3hho.wordpress.com/antennes/multiany-band-end-fed-english/ * http://www.hyendfedantenna.nl/joomla/blog/17-multi-band-hyendfed.html * http://www.parelectronics.com/end-fedz.php * http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/5105 * http://www.mwrs.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Three-band-End-fed-Half-wave-Antenna.pdf The USA contacts included were on 20 metres, made in the morning. Good contacts have also been made within VK on 40 metres.
Views: 77916 vk3ye
How directional is one radial? (when all but one are removed)
Experimenting with a ground plane antenna from which all but one or two radials have been removed. Is the antenna directional with just one?
Views: 7513 vk3ye
Yet another QRP L match antenna coupler
Details of a 7 - 30 MHz L-match for portable QRP operating.
Views: 13421 vk3ye
100 watt 7 MHz magnetic loop for units and apartments
A description and demonstration of an ultra-simple but 100 watt capability 7 MHz magnetic transmitting loop for units and apartments. There are no hard to get parts or complex workshop skills required to build. Instead of the expensive vacuum variable capacitor, the loop is brought to resonance with a length of RG213 coax (approx 1.85 metres for a 3m circumference loop for 7 MHz). The sliding capacitor's dimensions are not critical but are approximately 6 x 8 cm. As demonstrated performance is excellent and would be significantly better than lighter and more portable loops. It would thus make an excellent project for apartment or unit dwellers who have limited room for other HF antennas. CAUTION: Hazardous high voltages can develop across the capacitor on transmit with this (or any other) magnetic loop. Hence the loop should be operated in an out of reach location. For the same reason the loop should not be adjusted with RF applied even if only QRP. A full article on this loop appears in November 2014 Amateur Radio magazine. Also some notes at http://home.alphalink.com.au/~parkerp/projects/projloop.htm
Views: 145865 vk3ye
Do small tuned counterpoises work with HF vertical antennas?
Long radials are a hassle with vertical antennas. Can short tuned counterpoises work? Find out as I try a dual band 17/20 metre antenna at the beach.
Views: 23827 vk3ye
Using salt and vinegar to clean corroded wire
Using salt and vinegar to clean corroded wire as per Instructables at http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-perfectly-clean-wires-in-minutes/
Views: 24222 vk3ye
How a seperate receiving antenna helps HF reception
A demonstration of how a seperate receiving antenna can help HF radio reception, particularly in urbanised areas where noise is a problem. A large outdoor antenna is best for transmitting but for receiving a small loop can often pick up less noise and allow clearer reception. This is a demonstration of the difference an indoor loop antenna can make when listening to a ZL station in a contest on 160 metres.
Views: 11015 vk3ye
Crystal oscillator modules: how far will they transmit?
Range tests on a 28.571 MHz crystal oscillator module putting out a few milliwatts of power. The module was keyed with its output fed to a 1/4 wavelength antenna plus radial. The module is fed with 5v via a 7805 voltage regulator. A microcontroller keys it. For anything other than a quick test the use of a low pass filter (100pF x 2 & 0.2uH) is recommended to attenuate harmonics. This test was with Morse. Modules can be made to transmit AM if their supply voltage is modulated but their transmitting range will be less. DSB should also be possible if their output is fed to a balanced modulator. Similar unit built by others http://www.ae5x.com/docs/Fire-Ball_QRP_Rig.pdf
Views: 9760 vk3ye
The 'Bigger Toy' 7MHz QRP Txcvr on the Sunday CW Net
You'll remember the 'Tiny Toy' pocket sized 7 MHz CW transceiver previously featured. This is its bigger brother, named the 'Bigger Toy', as described in September 2012 Lo-Ley. It's more powerful and has a better receiver but still uses just 8 transistors. This video demonstrates it on air, participating in the 7025 kHz Sunday morning CW net. This long-running weekly net encourages CW contacts by pairing stations off on different frequencies. A variety of signals are heard, including VK7LF who was running QRP.
Views: 5369 vk3ye
Experiments with UHF data transmitter modules: Part 9 pulsing beacon
Adding a flashing LED to a UHF data transmitter to form a frequency shift keying pulsing beacon.
Views: 3821 vk3ye
Portable QRP with a Moxon Rectangle
Few antennas offer better than dipole performance at an acceptable weight for the HF portable QRPer. The Moxon Rectangle is an exception. This video demonstrates a vertically polarised Moxon Rectangle on 20 metres CW from locations near Melbourne.
Views: 7900 vk3ye
'Tiny Toy' 40m CW QRP transceiver
For many years I've derided QRP crystal controlled transceivers (eg the Pixie) as toys. There'd be kits, people would build them, make a contact or two, and then they'd gather dust on a high shelf. Which is not a bad thing given the price of the nine volt batteries some of them use. But you'd have to say that there's a novelty factor about a cigarette-pack sized rig. And their low power consumption is in start contrast to a hungry beast like an FT-817. Here is my own novelty rig for 40m CW. Its clunky t/r switching (flip a switch and turn a dial) and a wide direct conversion receiver does not make it a DX machine. But in other respects it is a little less toyish. There's a wide-swing VXO (nearly 20 kHz) and a usable receiver (stable, unmicrophonic and free of broadcast station breakthrough). Plus the 4 x AA batteries provide longer life and cheaper running. Power output is around 100mW (or a bit more). Under good conditions this is capable of contacts up to around 800km during the day. This video provides some footage of contacts made on its first day, a description and, at the end, a circuit. Note the drawing errors in the Colpitts VXO circuit; 1. add a 1k resistor from emitter to earth, and 2. move the lower 1n capacitor's top lead from the 33k resistor to the emitter/1k resistor/220pf capacitor's junction. UPDATE: Two 7030 kHz crystals were substituted in place of the 7040 kHz initially used. VXO coverage is now 7005 - 7028 kHz. The unit is described in detail in Lo-Key March 2012 and Sprat Summer 2012.
Views: 35051 vk3ye
A demonstration of a crystal radio - Part 1
This video demonstrates a crystal radio similar to that used in the early days of broadcasting. Crystal sets are powered from the signal being received - no batteries or amplifiers are used. The incoming station comes via a wire antenna (not shown) and is selected by a tuned circuit. A tuned circuit comprises a coil of wire and a variable capacitor. Moving the variable capacitor knob changes the station. A diode detector converts the radio frequency signal from the tuned circuit (which we can't hear) to a sound signal that we can hear through headphones. As crystal sets are self-powered, signals on them are often weak and they might not receive all signals that a more sensitive radio would. Several stations were heard on the set demonstrated but only a couple were loud enough for this demonstration without an amplifier. The stations with the time pips were the ABC about 40 kilometres away. The later stronger station with the news bulletin was 3MP, about 20 kilmetres distant. Other stations were heard in the headphones but background noise was too high for them to be picked up by the camera. The antenna was about 20 metres of wire. If you want to build one, crystal set circuits are readily available on the web. A search will reveal both simple and fairly complex designs, with performance varying accordingly. Part 2 follows with the improved signals obtainable with a better antenna and altered coupling into the receiver.
Views: 71351 vk3ye
How does 'any old bit of metal' go as an HF antenna?
Sometimes you don't want to carry all the things needed to support an antenna and just want to plug in to what's there. In this video I walk along a local beach and try to load up various poles and signs on HF.
Views: 5244 vk3ye
Using two radios to receive HF SSB
A look at how an AM broadcast receiver is used to allow an AM-only shortwave receiver pick up SSB signals (this is how I used to listen when starting out). The demo shows reception of 80 metres. The BFO signal is the second harmonic of an AM receiver's local oscillator around 1.8 MHz (approx 1300 kHz on the dial). 40 metre reception is similar but requires a different dial setting on the AM receiver.
Views: 17230 vk3ye
Receiving experiments with the PA0RDT Mini Whip
Many amateurs in urban areas suffer high noise on reception. A well-located second antenna may help. This video shows my construction of the PA0RDT Mini Whip and demonstrates how moving it around can affect reception. Sometimes 'in the clear' is not the best spot and having it near the ground can be more effective on some signals. Search 'PA0RDT Mini Whip' for construction details as there are numerous published circuits and modifications.
Views: 33385 vk3ye
Adjusting the BFO on the uBitx transceiver
A demonstration of the different effects on transmit audio that adjusting the BFO of an SSB transceiver. I do tests with both a local receiver and remote SDR 2500km away.
Views: 4103 vk3ye
Minimum QRP - Part 1 (HF portable)
Some tips for the lightweight QRPer. If you like what you see buy the book! Visit http://home.alphalink.com.au/~parkerp/miniqrp.htm
Views: 14850 vk3ye
Tune for max brightness: LED RF current indicator for end-fed antennas
Building an RF current indicator for end-fed wire antennas. Uses just three parts.
Views: 12878 vk3ye
40m QRP with an end fed wire antenna along the ground
No antenna support available? Here's an attempt to make SSB contact on 40m with a half wavelength of wire laying on the grass. VK2MG, about 700km away, was worked with a weak signal report received. As you will hear much better results will be possible if the wire is raised.
Views: 2099 vk3ye
Foundation guide to the amateur radio ten metre (28 MHz) band
An introduction to the amateur ten metre (28 MHz) band. Describes a simple antenna, propagation, common frequencies and activity. Further reading is available at http://home.alphalink.com.au/~parkerp/gateway/nooct98.htm
Views: 2779 vk3ye
A ground tuning unit for 14 MHz pedestrian mobile
A ground tuning unit for HF QRP pedestrian mobile. A useful accessory to get the best from your trailing counterpoise. The 300pF capacitor came from an old AM radio. The toroid is a T68-2 with taps every 4 turns for each of the connections on the 6 position rotary switch. The variable capacitor and inductor are in counterpoise wire line.
Views: 8099 vk3ye
12 metre Spiderbeam mast used as home station wire antenna support
Using the 12 metre Spiderbeam mast at home. Video covers the timber support cable and mount for a wire dipole with tuned feeders.
Views: 4717 vk3ye
Fishing poles vs the Spiderbeam mast for supporting antennas
Should you buy a cheap 9 metre telescoping fishing pole or a heavy duty Spiderbeam mast to support your radio antennas? Get the lowdown from someone with both. Haverford - Australian fishing pole source: http://www.haverford.com.au/ TTS Systems - Australian Spiderbeam agent: http://www.ttssystems.com.au/ Spiderbeam direct: http://www.spiderbeam.com/
Views: 21151 vk3ye
A simple case for the uBitx transceiver and other projects
It's nice having a good case for the uBitx. But commercially available type may the wrong size and you might wish to try making one yourself. Here's an idea for a no-bend case using commonly available angle aluminium and chopping board.
Views: 1862 vk3ye
Compact telescoping poles: how good for portable antennas?
Normal squid poles are fairly heavy and, at 1.1m long, bulky as well. However compact poles, extending up to 5.4 metres, are now also cheaply available. At just over half the length and a quarter the weight they look ideal for the travelling ham. But how useful are they for supporting portable wire antennas? Watch this video and find out.
Views: 31276 vk3ye
How long can an FT817 run from 8 x NiMH AA batteries?
Going portable with just 8 x AA NiMH batteries. How long do they last? In this video I test two packs of Ladda low discharge NiMH batteries from IKEA while portable operating SSB and WSPR.
Views: 3218 vk3ye
Upgrading an old homebrew QRP rig
Sometimes improving an old project can be just as fun as starting afresh. Here I take one of my earliest homebrew rigs - a 7 MHz 1 watt VXO direct conversion transceiver made in 1991 - and give it a makeover. The rig now covers more frequencies, can operate split frequency, is more powerful and features a sidetone. These suggestions could be applied to many similar QRP rigs now gathering dust, which is why they're presented here.
Views: 3056 vk3ye
Bitx40 to Bitx40 contact with VK3SL/P
Making QRP SSB contacts is good, but QRP to QRP is even better. Video shows a 500km contact with VK3SL, also using a Bitx40 transceiver. Both have had the 4.92 MHz ceramic resonator modification (for improved frequency stability) and the carrier oscillator adjusted (for more highs and punchier transmit and receive audio). Details of the modifications are elsewhere on this channel. VK3SL's recordings can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5gYBwKvo5Q https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZPsOqvibzk
Views: 4115 vk3ye
Review: The WSPRLite Flexi from SOTABeams
A review of the WSPRLIte Flexi from SOTABeams. Testing a palm-of-your-hand 200mW WSPR transmitter for 630 - 6 metres and comparing it with the original WSPRLite (reviewed last year - see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oz5a93rupjs ). Product details at https://www.sotabeams.co.uk/wsprlite-flexi
Views: 2977 vk3ye
7 MHz WSPR with a kite supported vertical antenna
WSPR can work with inefficient antennas. But what if you use a good antenna - such as a half wavelength vertical? Video shows a test with a kite supported wire antenna from a local park. Exploiting greyline propagation, 200mW on 7 MHz is sufficient to be spotted as far away as North America and the Canary Islands.
Views: 1611 vk3ye
Making the Pixie QRP transceiver kit slightly less appalling
The Pixie QRP transceiver kit is super-cheap but comes with some performance compromises. This video discusses crystal and ceramic resonator VXO circuits to add frequency agility and make contacts easier. Coverage of the SSB portion of the band also makes it an attractive receiver costing under $20 for the kit plus extra parts needed. Source for 7.16 MHz ceramic resonator: http://www.minikits.com.au/
Views: 35405 vk3ye
How good is the FT817's MH-31 stock standard microphone? (Part 2)
Another look at the modified MH-31 microphone as used with the Yaesu FT-187. Here I reduce the value of the 47nF series capacitor to 22nF and do some crude white noise tests to examine the difference in frequency response compared to an unmodified MH-31 microphone.
Views: 2920 vk3ye
A wet string SSB QRP experience on 80m with the uBitx transceiver
Sometimes you can do everything wrong and still get results. The antenna was half down and the antenna plug only half in. Yet Peter VK6APZ, over 2600km away, still heard me from his quiet country location.
Views: 2581 vk3ye
Do you get many questions?  (when operating ham radio portable)
Whenever I go portable the most common question I'm asked over the air is whether passers by ask many questions. This video answers this and gives some examples. Some thoughts on portable station setup and operation in public areas are also provided.
Views: 2584 vk3ye
A low power radio beacon inside a solar garden light
Running the previously described 1.5 volt battery powered VHF beacon transmitter off a solar cell which also houses it. The circuit is the same as shown except the redundant LDR is shorted.
Views: 2735 vk3ye
Testing a 1.5 volt / 1 transistor  pulsed VHF beacon
Possibly the simplest possible pulsed beacon transmitter. Video describes where I got the circuit from, modifications to make it light dependent and complications along the way. I then do a range test on a local beach and get a surprising distance for a 1 transistor circuit powered by 1 x AA battery. The beacon operates just below 37 MHz using a commonly available 36.864 MHz crystal. In Australia frequencies around this are allocated to 'low interference potential devices' with a 100mW EIRP power limit. This transmitter would have an output of a few milliwatts only.
Views: 8437 vk3ye
Water's Edge Portable DX: A half square antenna on 14 MHz
Testing a half square antenna on 14 MHz. Comprising a wavelength of wire bent into a wide inverted U, the half square over a good ground can radiate a low angle signal suitable for long distance HF contacts. Construction is simple. Just take 22m of wire and string it up on two poles 11m apart, with equal lengths hanging down. Connect one to an antenna coupler and load it against short counterpoise wire(s).
Views: 6771 vk3ye
NEW EBOOK! Hand carried QRP antennas (operate from almost anywhere)
Hand-carried QRP antennas: Simple antennas and accessories to operate from almost anywhere. Info at: http://home.alphalink.com.au/~parkerp/handqrp.htm Whether through choice or circumstance, more radio amateurs than ever before are enjoying portable operating. Suitable equipment is widely available but what about antennas? Manufactured antennas exist but only some suit lightweight portable activity. And, it's easy to overpay for something that's too heavy and too lossy for successful QRP. Hand-carried QRP antennas takes the mystery out of portable antennas. After inviting you to assess your needs, it discusses the pros and cons of popular types. Its style is brisk and practical with almost no maths. Many ideas for cheap but good materials suitable for portable antennas are given. Beginners and those returning to radio after a break should especially find this section handy. Finally there's construction details on a variety of simple but practical antennas and accessories suitable for portable operating. All have been built and tested by the author over almost 30 years of successful QRP activity. Hand-carried QRP antennas is an ebook readable on most devices. It's the author's second book, following on from the top-selling Minimum QRP, released in 2015. VK3YE Radio Books on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vk3yeradiobooks/
Views: 2802 vk3ye
Review: Low cost Bitx40 7 MHz SSB transceiver module
Reviewing the Bitx40 7 MHz 7 watt transceiver module available from http://www.hfsigs.com Modifications at http://bitxhacks.blogspot.com.au/ N6QW's Bitx page http://www.n6qw.com/Bitx40.html Bitx email list for ideas and questions at https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/BITX20/conversations/messages QSO Today with VU2ESE http://www.qsotoday.com/podcasts/vu2ese My first Bitx https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pB1IC2qRw6g Please note that if you add an external VFO and use the onboard local oscillator as a buffer the capacitor to remove is C91 - ie the 1000pF between base and emitter of Q9. My ceramic resonator mod for better stability https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10109ueIEO0
Views: 17155 vk3ye
Less stress for your FT817's external power connector
A simple tip, involving a kitchen chopping board, to reduce stress on your FT-817's external power socket.
Views: 4143 vk3ye
Repairing a Bitx40 QRP transceiver
A repair of a 'no power on transmit' fault suffered by a friend's Bitx40.
Views: 5017 vk3ye
Testing the uBitx transmit audio modification
Testing a uBitx transmit audio modification using a remote SDR
Views: 1618 vk3ye
Portable QRP locations that look good but are not
A portable radio transmitting location can look good but end up unusable. Here I visit one site that's full of promise but has a very major shortcoming.
Views: 3059 vk3ye
The best way to connect a trimmer capacitor in an RF circuit
Connecting trimmer capacitors in circuits. There is a right way if you want easy adjustment of them.
Views: 7752 vk3ye
Minimum QRP - Part 2 (HF portable)
Some tips for the lightweight QRPer. The second part of a quest to reduce the size and weight of an HF QRP station. Some tips for the lightweight QRPer. If you like what you see buy the book! Visit http://home.alphalink.com.au/~parkerp/miniqrp.htm Watch Part 1 if you haven't done so; this describes a backpack station. Part 2 goes further, shrinking everything to pocket size. There's also a demo of a compact L-match suitable for rigs like the FT-817. I've dubbed this the 'Match 22' because it works well with 22 metres of wire, end-fed. Micro radios often mean fewer bands, fewer modes and less power. And cutting things back too much makes contacts harder if not impossible. The setup was tested from the beach on an unseasonally warm winter's day. Sunday morning was chosen due to the level of CW activity, thanks to the 10am 7025kHz CW net. Distances up to 800km were spanned with 100 milliwatts, again proving that the 'Tiny Toy' could make useful contacts. It was described in 'Lo Key' March 2012. After noon the Match-22 was tested with the FT-817. Contacts across Australia were made on 20 and 40 metres. The ATU, in conjunction with 22 metres of end-fed wire tunes up on all bands 40 - 10 metres. But unlike 3 months ago, ten metres was dead so no higher bands contacts were made. Part 3 follows and is about QRP portable VHF operating.
Views: 30736 vk3ye
Testing the $1 range tester for VHF/UHF transceivers
Testing the range tester described in the previous video by taking a walk along the beach. Two handheld UHF transceivers are used - 20mW and 2w - to demonstrate the difference between low and high power.
Views: 3079 vk3ye
The difference a microphone can make to SSB readability
A different microphone can make a huge difference in your readability at the other end - especially if you're running low power. Here I compare two electret microphones. The winner is the one with less grille and covering between your mouth and the element.
Views: 2449 vk3ye

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