Not On The Air

Not On The Air is a new awards program designed to facilitate contacts between hams who are no longer active in the hobby, because we know that being heard is important and so lets earn awards while we tell others what is wrong with the hobby.

To qualify for this award, you need to have a qso with at least 10 inactive hams online on social media. Valid QSO’s may use any of the following modes: ARRL hate, FT8 hate, newbies hate or someone touched me on the frequency and Baofengs, using on the following bands, QRZ, Eham, Facebook, Reddit, Twitter and Email.

The rules of NOTA are simple, you may not use any ham radio gear to make the qso, full size keyboards count for regular contacts and smart phone predictive text counts as qrp contacts.

Send your completed logs to the awards manager ThisIsNotReal@NOTA.com

Not On The Air: We’re not listening.

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Necessity The Mother Of Invention

So somewhere along the line, I broke one of the retention tabs in the charger base for the DMR radio. Got to thinking, i can buy a new one for $20 off ebay or I can Aussie it right up and just make it work. So with a bit of metal that came off the mower, 3 zip ties and a wedge of wood, I got the radio to sit in the right place to charge. HAHAHA

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40m Vertical Tests

Antenna is a little bit long, but not much i can do to shorten it now, its a helically wound wire up a 10m pole. There are currently 3 radials under the antenna. 3 is obviously not enough, 8 would be minimum and 36 would be adequate, but after the following tests, I am pretty much settled now on building a 40m vertical out of aluminium tube and putting down 36 plus radials.

+7 in the Canary Islands, I doubt i have ever been that strong before and I know that the spots from the USA are all higher than I would typically expect with my low power operation.

The real clincher was the RBN spots. I have never had so many spots from a couple of calls.

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Antennering

Needed an antenna back up for 40m since i broke the portable dipole and cannot find the parts in my moving boxes to fix it. 40m vertical it is then, 3 radials for sub par performance and a can do attitude to make it happen. Ok, its windy, not just any old wind, its Ecca wind from the west so strong it would blow your panties off as you can see by the bend in the sotabeams mast looking more like a fishing pole with a 100kg tuna than a 40m vertical.

I was able to leave it up long enough to run some tests and see that it works, that the noise floor here is so low that a vertical is useable and that a 40m vertical made out of aluminium and a heap of radials might just be the answer to my antenna problems. More to come on that.

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