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Author Topic: A pileup I could have done without!!  (Read 1495 times)

Offline G0BVZ

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A pileup I could have done without!!
« on: January 31, 2014, 21:40:55 UTC »
 I wanted to operate CW.  The daylight was fading: I'd spent (wasted?) too much time in digi lately so I tuned into 40m and cruised smoothly down to 7.030MHz.  There was a honking great pileup. I couldn't believe it, a pileup occupying around 6kHz of bandwidth centred on 7.030. 

I wondered what the cause of the ruckus was so I hung around; then I noticed the antics of station "X" who had a good, big, strong signal. X was absolutely ruthless. He'd send his callsign a couple of times, QSY a few Hz and send his call again, then QSY a few more Hz and call aga.... you get the idea. This op didn't do this just a few times: I was fascinated enough to keep an ear on him and I am certain he progressed right across the pileup, top to bottom, looking for the dx's listening frequency.

Then -get this- he'd wind back up to the top frequency and wend his way back down again.  He kept doing this for well over 40 minutes. It didn't matter who was on frequency, he'd call right over 'em. He didn't hang around listening for long: it went call call qsy, call call, qsy... with an indecently short intervening listening space.

As an exercise in futility it was great, could not have been better.  As an example of self centred, ruthless yet bone headed operating bad manners it was pretty good.  I don't like pile ups one bit.  Pile ups stomping all over a qrp centre of activity frequency ain't agreeable even if the DX is qrp.  I reckon moving around is a reasonable plan: it spreads the grief, shakes off the crowd and gives the dx op a bit of a breather.

Now you're waiting for me to tell you how I cracked this pile up and came out triumphant, aren't you? Well I didn't.  I did the sensible thing and QSYd to 80m and enjoyed a natter with a nice old G3 op: good manners prevailed and as far as I can tell both stations were content.

I'm sure glad I'm not so obsessed with making dx contacts that I forget what few remaining principles I have  ::virtuous glow::  ::)

Vic /nipping aloft to polish his halo...


Offline GM0LVI

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Re: A pileup I could have done without!!
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2014, 22:51:25 UTC »
Oh you have my sympathy Vic. For the past few days I've often been forced to abandon QRP sections of several bands (Ok I know they are just  'advisory') due to the massive pile ups and over-wide spreads being operated by the FT5ZM expedition. Like you I've listened to the crocodiles with big mouths and tiny ears, and probably little grey matter betwen the ears, and who call without pause. In some respects it amuses me to think 'what a lousy operator', but the 'me, me , me, attitude of an increasing number of operators is what's made me take up QRP.

Don't 'need FT5 anyway as I've got it confirmed way back in the 1990s  :D
Dave

Offline G0BVZ

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Re: A pileup I could have done without!!
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2014, 23:01:50 UTC »
Don't 'need FT5 anyway as I've got it confirmed way back in the 1990s  :D

Can't beat a good GM!!  ;D

Offline VE2TH

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Re: A pileup I could have done without!!
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2014, 23:42:35 UTC »
I agree with you all , right now , the QRP frequency 10,116 is actually full of callers up to 10,125.

And the same on 40 meters, between 7,032 up to 7,041, all the QRP part is blasted!!

It is really crazy, unbelievable!!!  :-\

72 Michel
I love QRP/QRPp & CW

Offline ve3lyx

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Re: A pileup I could have done without!!
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2014, 00:42:12 UTC »
I flipped on the big rig yesterday while I was working on the QRP rig. Big pile up on 20M with the afore mentioned kind of operators. You know. The ones you can almost hear the lights dimming in their house when they talk. They have a triple beam at 150 feet and are running hi $$$$$$$$ everything. I did a quick check of my tune to the side, All was good so spun the dial back on the Kenwood TS830S barefoot running into a plumbers delight 20m vertical (Marconi antenna) that hides in the flowering crab tree about 10 feet from the house. I waited for a hole and gave it. "Victor Echo Three Lima Yankee Xray, Lima Yankee Xray." Lifted the button in time to hear the dx station returning to me. Said my report and 73s and went back to working on the QRP rig (installing a C1306 final I liberated from a neighbours scrapped CB) grinning while I worked. Not all QRP is done at  5 watts perhaps.
Now that this little HB QRP rig has a good receiver and now a bit more stomp hopefully I will have some joy with it on 80 AM or CW
Don.

Offline G0BVZ

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Re: A pileup I could have done without!!
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2014, 13:53:51 UTC »
.....Not all QRP is done at  5 watts perhaps. ......
Don.

Way back when, 100w was regarded as QRP!!  It's still kinda encouraging to hear of a skilled op + barefoot rig getting one over a bunch of highrolling $$$$$ ops with no clue.  If you scale their kilowatts +  lofty stacked yagis back to 100w ERP, by comparison you were doing the equivalent of milliwatting.  ;D

Floreat QRP!!

Vic /wondering who's trying ssb on 14.070

Offline ve3lyx

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Re: A pileup I could have done without!!
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2014, 17:35:26 UTC »
However my actual miliwatting doesn't go as well. I have worked some with three of my tube type rigs but not a lot. One I also had AM contact with it. my transistorized transmitter has yet to get a contact. I boosted power to about 4 watts. today I tuned it up , popped in a crystal in an empty section of the band and did a walk around to check field strength . Seems as good as my tube rigs but so far no joy. Meanwhile my pal VE3XFE has been operating on 20M with his ICOM and has become obsessed with trying contacts on SSB with it at the 100MW level. He gets two or three a week with a couple even DX. I asked him what it was like on 5watts. he said he didn't want to know as he is committed to the 100MW setting. Meanwhile I have been talking mostly to myself. Could be because I use AM although I have tried it on CW (3555) and also I am not on 20M with it. Could be I am severely limited by being rock bound. I designed and built a receiver for it recently which works very well (two transistors) and can hear anything my big rig can hear in side by side comparison tests. I am tempted to design a simple 5watt vfo transistorized transmitter for 20M . Everything I found on line did not appeal as it needed strange parts I don't have. In fact already working on prepping an experimenter board. Probably a Hartley as it is my favourite osc . Permeably tuned with fixed cap and three or 4 stages. We will see. In the meantime I try several times per day.
don

Offline G0BVZ

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Re: A pileup I could have done without!!
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2014, 18:59:09 UTC »
However my actual miliwatting doesn't go as well. I have worked some with three of my tube type rigs but not a lot. One I also had AM contact with it. my transistorized transmitter has yet to get a contact. I boosted power to about 4 watts. today I tuned it up , popped in a crystal in an empty section of the band and did a walk around to check field strength . Seems as good as my tube rigs but so far no joy.  ..<snip...>   Could be because I use AM although I have tried it on CW (3555) and also I am not on 20M with it. Could be I am severely limited by being rock bound. I designed and built a receiver for it recently which works very well (two transistors) and can hear anything my big rig can hear in side by side comparison tests. I am tempted to design a simple 5watt vfo transistorized transmitter for 20M . ....
don


This is hardcore stuff, Don, I take my hat off in salute! ;D  I'm pretty convinced that being rockbound is a severe disadvantage, even more so with AM as the mode. I understand the 'strange parts' problem: some things are just not being made any more, variable capacitors for instance. Now they attract high prices second hand on Ebay. 

The world went digital while I wasn't looking: even though I knew my malfunctioning rig had a rotary encoder, it was a bit of a shock when I actually handled it. On the other hand it was cheap to replace and no soldering involved.  No big caps = much smaller rigs, that's the tradeoff.  Now homebrew is marching boldly into digital territory.

Let me give you a bit of advice:  never take much notice of me when I veer into territory I've become  aware of only recently. Because I'm only just beginning to get my head around the digital thing, let me point you at the link below: this guy is actually doing the business so it may be worth the 12 min watching time.

HomeBrew AD9850 Arduino DDS VFO on the Cheap!


Vic / sloping quickly off before he gets himself into deep water...... ;D


Offline ve3lyx

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Re: A pileup I could have done without!!
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2014, 21:25:28 UTC »
Thanks
Actually I have recently built the receiver with no variable caps. It was featured on the DX unlimited show by prof Arno Coro. It works better than any other rx I have for SSB. (including my TS830S) Before I go totally digital I need just one more trip through the analog park.
I am smiling though because my spotting osc I use for putting my Hb rigs on freq is based on a 7400 chip and I built it in the 1980s. I must be in regression ;>). I am searching for 1920s technology but with solid state.
Don

Offline G0BVZ

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Re: A pileup I could have done without!!
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2014, 22:50:19 UTC »
Thanks
Actually I have recently built the receiver with no variable caps. It was featured on the DX unlimited show by prof Arno Coro. It works better than any other rx I have for SSB. (including my TS830S) Before I go totally digital I need just one more trip through the analog park.
I am smiling though because my spotting osc I use for putting my Hb rigs on freq is based on a 7400 chip and I built it in the 1980s. I must be in regression ;>). I am searching for 1920s technology but with solid state.
Don


Permeability tuned, maybe? Drake did a few rx with permeability-tuned VFOs. viz:-

Drake R-4B Ham Band Tube radio Receiver Demo


That classic was 1970s vintage and still well regarded today.  Come to think about it,I think the TT Century 21 used a pto too.  I think Rev. George Dobbs, G4RJV, founder of the G-QRP club and an entertaining speaker experimented with permeability tuning in the early '80s.  I can just about remember a simple atu desigh in the first GQRP circuit handbook that featured a ferrite rod sliding around inside a coil.  Everything was possible for giants like him, Doug De Maw et. al..  All we lesser mortals could do was stand around in slack jawed amazement, and then try for ourselves.

Enough of this nostalgia stuff, my eyes are beginning to mist up!!  ;D

Vic /If I'm 'way off course, don't hesitate to come back: curiosity duly piqued.....

Offline ve3lyx

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Re: A pileup I could have done without!!
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2014, 23:09:04 UTC »
You're right on. Perm tuned BUT the real trick is it is a regen but with absorption coil regen control. (passive , no active parts. Self contained) An idea by the way patented in England around 1926 by WA Clough but never saw the light of day.
I combined the two ideas just to see how it would work. Now I spend a couple of hours listening to SSB on it. no Donald Duck, no wiggle, no constant re-adjustment as you tune.
Here is a pic. It aint pretty but it sure works nice.
Already started on the new tx . Got the slug tuned coil, the grid leak done, the MPS102 mounted and am looking for the source resistor and bypass cap in my junk box. (1K and any reasonable value cap to bypass it. )

Offline G0BVZ

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Re: A pileup I could have done without!!
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2014, 23:25:10 UTC »
You're right on. Perm tuned BUT the real trick is it is a regen but with absorption coil regen control. (passive , no active parts. Self contained) An idea by the way patented in England around 1926 by WA Clough but never saw the light of day.
I combined the two ideas just to see how it would work. Now I spend a couple of hours listening to SSB on it. no Donald Duck, no wiggle, no constant re-adjustment as you tune.
Here is a pic. It aint pretty but it sure works nice.
Already started on the new tx . Got the slug tuned coil, the grid leak done, the MPS102 mounted and am looking for the source resistor and bypass cap in my junk box. (1K and any reasonable value cap to bypass it. )

It may not be pretty but it sure is a thing of beauty!! ;D  Well done Don, that is so cool. Reckon the passive nature of the beast probably keeps the 'noises off' to a healthy minimum.

Fantastic!

Vic /lost in admiration of a doughty pioneer...

Offline ve3lyx

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Re: A pileup I could have done without!!
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2014, 02:56:30 UTC »
You are right about noise. It is really quiet other then the signal. I kept thinking there is something wrong with it but some of my radios cant hear those same signals so I had to accept that it is fine. So you think it is probably because of the passive nature of the controls? Could be. I hadn't thought of that. This is more an accidental success then a good design. I have a soft spot for regens and always have several running. Some are very good some just passable but they are my favourite receivers. I also like AM so I was playing around with loop modulation, a forgotten technique from near the end of WWI. I remembered that I had read of Cloughs patent for using an absorption coil to control regeneration. I had read it in a 1920s radio news. It was because of reading that that I was able to understand how the loop modulation worked. Same principle just different application. In the meantime I was working on a 211 tube QRO oscillator. I built a spiral rather then round long coil to see what the hand effect was. I tested with a 45 tube adapted to the 211socket and discovered the spiral didn't care about your hand. It was the capacitor that was bothered the most. That led me to using a fixed capacitor across the slug tuned coil. (meanwhile wen the 211 tube arrived it fired up easily and promptly ran away with its self on key down and melted inside . End of that project!)
Anyway I needed a rx for my three transistor QRP tX which I think was a Doug DeMaw design. I had built it in the 1980s. I whipped up this little regen pretty well free style and the very first was a rats nest but it worked right away and was very stable and easy to tune. Comfortable to tune would describe it better. I work on it everyday to try and improve it. Most often I ruin it and have to return to almost original design but I still try. Today I monkeyed with the receive antenna coupling. It is more sensitive now but too much in one spot so I have to split the difference and try again. I also have played with audio gain. If I get too much it become sensitive to a nearby very high powered MW broadcast station.(My grundig digital portable can also not deal with this station)  however I have found the right spot where it becomes of no significance. You try stuff knowing it probably wont work but you cant see not trying since you know how to return to where you were. More then once I have put it back in the case saying it done but an idea comes along and I have to try it. I guess I find it fun and interesting
Don