Well its about time…. Its taken me way too long but…
This Saturday (August 27th) plans have been made for a couple of Parks on the Air Activations…
George VE3SIQ and myself VA3QV will be (plan to/should be) activating POTA VE0023 and POTA VE4882 along with Canadian Island ON 294 (Upper Brewers Mills Island).
We will be be participating in the W/VE Island QSO Party and as that Island ON 294 is in the Rideau Canal (POTA VE4882) and the island is also part of the Frontenac Biosphere (POTA VE0023) it gives us a chance for a POTA 2fer as well.
I will be operating QRP SSB With my Xiegu X5105 and will have antennas set up for 6 to 40m (6-60m for POTA and/or 6-40 for Island work) depending on the conditions of the day at the time
George (Ve3SIQ) will be operating with a Yaesu FT450 from the same island and his station will have antennas set up for 10 to 40m once again depending on the conditions of the day
IF YOU HAPPEN TO HEAR US PLEASE RE SPOT US ON POTA SPOTS
If things go according to plans we should have both stations on the air by approx 1500 UTC (11am EDST) and as well will be operating until the batteries die or the weather turns bad or the bugs come out and lastly if the bands die out…
My logs will be uploaded to POTA and the W/VE Island QSO party as soon as possible after the activations…
In addition I will be uploading to EQSL, Logbook of The World and QRZ.com. Sorry folks but no Direct or Buro QSL’s
Its not really spring cleaning or adding to the collection but more aiming my Amateur Radio gear towards a goal….
That goal is to prepare for the eventual move that we are planning in about a years time. We are not sure where we will end up but…. We need a place that is “Senior Friendly” which loosely translates to no stairs… The Condo Garden home we are renting is the right size (in sq feet) but that is shared between 4 floors and the stairs are killing us… Also having to be a bit “stealthy and creative” in my antenna systems here is making me believe a move would mostly be a good thing… With any luck we will find a small bungalow that has a yard that’s antenna friendly at a price that’s pension friendly. Failing that then I guess it will be Seniors Apartment (top floor please) with balcony antennas.
I was thinking that Mag Loop for the HF bands and the existing Arrow GP would be acceptable if I had some altitude…
So getting back to the big change… Where the Yaesu FT950 and the FT7250d used to sit on my desk has been now given over to my new Yaesu FT991A.
It has a much smaller footprint and the radio can operate on 70CM, 2M ,6m and the full HF bands of 10m to 160m including 60m. Its modes are FM,C4FM,SSB and CW with provisions for the various Digital Modes
So far its working fine with the SGC237 autotuner I have mounted outside on my fence. I do have an Arrow dual band (70cm/2m) groundplane outside as well but I would prefer at least a couple of horizontal loops for 2m and 6m SSB but they will have to wait for now.
Its really a radio that you should read the manual for so for now its working fine for me and once I actually RTFM it will be even better. So far my received signal reports are almost identical to those I received when using the FT950 so I am more than pleased.
I am still active on HF and C4FM (PiStar Hotspot) so its all good…
A much better review of the FT991a will be posted once I RTFM and figure out what I am doing
ps…. and IF I have the urge to activate a POTA Park or just work the world from my neighborhood park I do have my XIEGU X5105 along with my choices of the EFHW antenna or the SOTA Beams 6-60m antenna
Well recently I have been shuffling gear around to take into consideration my new interests in our Amateur Radio hobby along with the retirees budget….
Yesterday this rig made it into my shack:
The Yaesu FT2DR is a dual band (2m and 70cm) dual mode (FM and C4FM) 5 watt handheld radio.
I bought it used from a ham in Ottawa and so far I am more than pleased with my purchase. It also has a built in GPS and an AX25 modem so eventually I will figure out how to access the APRS Network.
For now I have been able to program the memories with the limited frequencies needed for Kingston and as I also have the programming software and cable (not needed yet) eventually I will have it working to its full potential.
I still have my FT70D handheld and my FTDM7250 and plan to keep them both doing duty in the shack. The “70D” is currently monitoring my NNMDM Hot spot and the “7250” is connected to my 1/4 wave dual band groundplane giving me local VHF/UHF coverage
So for now I will be using the FT2DR for my daily use rig when not in the shack. Walks around the block or out to some POTA Activations should make use of the APRS Features and the ability to send SMS and APRS Text messages from areas where the cell service is limited could be important. Hopefully the GPS stuff along with the APRS stuff will be just as easy to set up as the memories were.
If you want to track the progress of this check out APRS.FI on line and search for VA3QV. Once I get it functioning the SSID for the FT2DR will be VA3QV-7
There will be a few more changes coming… I am looking for another portable hf rig (FT817 or 818 or even a KX3)to keep the XIEGU X5105 company and I will be sending one of my 100W HF rigs (FT950 or the FT450) on to a new home (but not quite ready to say goodbye yet)
Other stuff— Still hunting lots of POTA with just over 1200 Parks confirmed so far. Only done 2 activations so far but once the bands get stable then the Xiegu will be getting lots of fresh air