Posts Tagged ‘VE3MAZ-L’

Update on the noise/antenna issues

May 29, 2009

Well as most of you know by now I have switched home HF antennas to an Inverted “L” style of antenna from the infamous folded vertical that I used to operate with.

The change of antennas was brought on by an attempt to improve my signal going out and hopefully improve my receive by lowering my noise floor.

After about a month of messing around I am partially successful.  The signals out have been fantastic and some people have even used the term “armchair copy” to describe my signal.  So far I have been able to make contacts and break pileups on 20, 40 and 80m.  Although the antenna loads up fine using my LDG Z100 auto tuner on all bands 10m to 160m I have yet to make any contacts on 10,12,15,17 and 160m.

On the receive side I have been able to slightly lower my noise floor down to around a S7 to S9 on 80m compared to the +20 plus that I was getting in the past.  The noise level drops greatly the further away from the 80m band I get…  The 80m noise level seems to drop more later in the evenings which makes its easy for late night ragchews but rough for early evening nets…

On that topic I do have a problem hearing the Net Control Stations for the Ontario Phone Net as most of them are in southern Ontario and as I’m in eastern Ontario some nights it becomes rough copy…  To help myself hear whats going on I have been operating  by multi moding….  I transmit on the assigned frequency but in fact am operating split by using a remote reciever that I can access via the internet using ECHOLINK.

I am using the facilities of VE3MAZ-L in Niagara Falls Ontario for receive and the system works great.  Only drawback is that I can hear myself talk (full duplex like when you work sats) and that takes time to get used to.  Good sides are that I can hear all the net along with my own signal so I know how everyone else should be hearing me as well.  Thanks Ken for offering such a wonderful service to the amateur community.  As long as my internet connection is stable I can hear whats going on…

I am still working on the noise issue but so far I seem to be stuck at the S7 to S9 level for 80m.  I have added chokes, ferrite beads and extra grounds and extra radials and to be honest I think thats about as good as it gets.  My last hope is that I have been informed that HYDRO Ottawa will be in later this summer to replace/upgrade some underground wiring and I’m hoping that the work they do will help out with my noise…

Enjoy your weekend and more later


Working 80m with a big split

May 23, 2009

I figured out how to work around my noise problems that everyone who will listen to my whinning knows I have…  Its a merge of the new and the old…

I transmit from my QTH using my normal FT 847 and the Inverted L antenna along with my LDG Z100 Autotuner.

I then recieve off my laptop using the ECHOLINK and the VE3MAZ-L remote receiver in Niagara Falls Ontario.

I have used this system in the past just to listen to various nets but this is the first time I actively participated in a net. The net I chose to test things out on was the Ontario Phone Net which is on 3.742 at 1900 hrs local time.

Tonight I recieved 3 pieces of traffic via the echolink hf link and transmitted via 80m hf.  Outside of some getting used to hearing myself talk (full duplex as I can hear what I am saying via the Niagara Falls remote base) it was not that bad.

There was an approx 1 second delay between the RF side of things and the ECHOLINK side of things…  The Net Control Station VA3PB Paul was good enough to slow things down just a bit to account for the delay on the “overs” and after that all was easy to follow.  As I have done some SAT work since I got the FT 847 working full duplex was not that hard…

It was nice to participate in the net from the comfort of the shack and its also nice not to be feeding the skitters in the park….