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Activating Hardown Hill. G/SC-011.

SOTA activation: Hardown Hill

Hardown Hill (G/SC-011) is another local hill, with fantastic views over to Golden Cap and across the sea. However, that was not what greeted me… but more of that later. There is ample space for parking just outside Ryall… and I do mean “just outside”. Where I parked, I could see the village sign about 25m in front of me! You can reach this spot… Read More »SOTA activation: Hardown Hill

Summit of Lewesdon Hill, SOTA G/SC-009

Activating Lewesdon Hill

Lewesdon Hill is a small lump just to the north of Bridport, Dorset. Rising up to 286m, it’s not exactly like scaling the highest peaks, but I was still breathing quite hard when I arrived on the summit… that last bit is quite steep enough! If you want to find your own way to the top, I can do nothing else than recommend G0POT’s activation… Read More »Activating Lewesdon Hill

Home brew diode ring double balanced mixer under test.

Diode Ring Double Balanced Mixer

The diode ring double balanced mixer is a simple device which can be used in receivers and transmitters. In this article, we’ll be testing a homebuilt mixer for a 20m transmitter. The mixer consists of four Schottky diodes – I used BAT28 diodes – and two coils wound on toroids. The coils need to be trifilar wound and I used 10 turns of 22AWG on… Read More »Diode Ring Double Balanced Mixer

Learning Morse with a Morserino

Learning Morse Using the Morserino A Morserino (or similar alternatives including the Club’s Morserino Lite) can help you to learn morse code, using the Koch method. This article is a quick primer on how to use this useful function. After powering the unit up, you’ll need to select the Koch Trainer from the top menu. Learning morse using this is a 3-part sequence. Choosing Your… Read More »Learning Morse with a Morserino

NanoVNA-H displays VSWR for an antenna on the 40m band.

Using The NanoVNA

Introducing The NanoVNA The NanoVNA is an incredibly versatile test and measurement tool, at a very attractive price point. There’s a place for one of these tools in every ham shack, but when you purchase one, they often don’t come with any instructions. The NanoVNA is not a particularly intuitive piece of test gear, especially when you first come across it. This series of articles… Read More »Using The NanoVNA

Beginners Guide To Satellites (Part Five)

Working ‘DX’ In this article, we’ll take a look at how we can utilise the satellite footprint to maximise our chances of working some ‘DX’ stations on FM satellites (although the same will hold true for the linear sats too). Linear satellites tend to have a larger footprint than FM ones. The greater the footprint (that area of the globe where stations can access the… Read More »Beginners Guide To Satellites (Part Five)

Beginners Guide To Satellites (Part Four)

Working The Satellites Over the last three articles, we’ve taken a look at the types of satellites, how to track them and what frequencies to use, and finally the minimum equipment required. In this part, we’ll get to accessing an FM satellite and working some stations. If you’ve not already listened to a couple of passes before transmitting, can I recommend that you do so?… Read More »Beginners Guide To Satellites (Part Four)

Beginners Guide To Satellites (Part Three)

Equipment One of the surprises about working the satellites is just how accessible they can be. If you have visions of top-end radios, masthead pre-amps, rotators that can control azimuth and elevation, and quad Yagi arrays, then forget all that. That gear would be lovely (and is possibly required for moonbounce – or EME – working) but is not needed to get started. Radio You… Read More »Beginners Guide To Satellites (Part Three)

Beginners Guide To Satellites (Part Two)

Satellite Tracking In Part One of this series, we introduced some of the basics regarding the types of satellite. If you’ve made it to this part, I’m going to assume that you’re interested enough to start working them! Unless you are only going to access the QO-100 geostationary satellite, you’ll need to know what time they will be available to you, and where in the… Read More »Beginners Guide To Satellites (Part Two)

Beginners Guide To Satellites (Part One)

Overview After 35 years away from the hobby, I returned to find that the world of amateur radio had changed significantly. I knew I wanted to make the most of the VHF/UHF bands and was surprised to find that what had once been very active, was now quiet and under-utilised. That is except for contest evenings! Still, I was disappointed but looked forward to working… Read More »Beginners Guide To Satellites (Part One)