SOTA – Homebrew 23cm 12 element Yagi Antenna

Get out of the Radio Shack and Live Life

Sunday 18 June 2017. I recently purchased a new 2.5 watt 23 cm transverter from SG-Lab in Sofia Bulgaria. The package includes a 2el HB9VC PCB yagi which has turned out to be a great addition for portable work, particularly from a hilltop with a good uninterrupted view of the horizon. Today from the summit of Mt Taylor VK1/AC-037 locator QF44MP, I worked Rod VK2TWR in Nimmitabel over 130 km, not bad for 2 watts in to a tiny PCB antenna.

While the PCB antenna is a great addition to the SOTA kit, be it for local summits or perhaps on a long hike 10 km or more, what I really need is an antenna with a fair amount of ‘oomph’ that’s non-techo speak for antenna gain, whilst keeping weight and size or length within reasonable limits.

For SOTA purposes, keeping antenna construction as simple as possible is a…

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13 Colonies Special Event

Once again the annual (the 9th) ’13 Colonies Special Event’ will take place between 1300z, July 1st and 0400z July 7th.

The certificate is printed on heavy card stock. Stations working one state or, as many as all 15, will be eligible for the certificate.

A “Clean Sweep” indicator will be affixed for those lucky enough to “Q” all 15. A special endorsement will be attached for stations contacting their sister operation, WM3PEN, in Philadelphia, PA, where independence was declared. New since 2015, the 13 Colonies have added a second sister event station. GB13COL will operate from Durham, England.

The 13 Colonies certificate will have a Liberty Bell added for a contact with WM3PEN. They will also offer a special QSL card printed just for this event. There should be at least two stations from each on the 13 colonies on the air, as well as Super contest stations, multi-operator Club stations and OM and XYL teams.

The U.S. original 13 colonies are CT-DE- GA-MA-MD-NC-NH-NJ-NY-PA-RI-SC-VA.

Special events stations mentioned are: K2A (NY), K2B (VA), K2C (RI), K2D (CT), K2E (DE), K2F (MD), K2G (GA), K2H (MA), K2I (NJ), K2J (NC), K2K (NH), K2L (SC), and K2M (PA). All HF bands will be in play, including the WARC bands, with the exception of 60 meters. 2 meters and 6 meter simplex are encouraged. All modes of operation should be represented – SSB, CW, RTTY, Digital, and the Satellites. The mode of operation is up to the individual colony state station.

For more details on the stations, suggested frequencies, QSL info and on how to obtain the special certificate.

Atmospheric radiation update

For years, and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus have been using space weather balloons to monitor cosmic rays in the atmosphere above California.

We previously reported that dose rates have been increasing over the Golden State, more than 13% since March 2015. Now we know the same thing is happening over New England–only more so.

Balloons recently launched from the Atlantic Coast of the USA have detected even stronger and more rapidly intensifying levels of cosmic radiation. What’s causing this continent-wide increase?

Visit today’s edition of for the full story.

(As viewed on Southgate ARC)

A hole in the Sun’s atmosphere turns toward Earth

Spewing a stream of solar wind as fast as 700 km/s (1.6 million mph), a hole in the sun’s atmosphere is turning toward Earth.

Forecasters expect the stream to reach our planet on June 15th or 16th with a 40% chance of minor G1-class geomagnetic storms when it arrives.

High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras in the nights ahead, especially in the southern hemisphere where deepening autumn darkness favors visibility.

Visit for more information and updates.

(As seen on Southgate ARC)

Upcoming events ARDF Fox-hunting in the Lower Mainland

Happy Friday!

After a record breaking participation ARDF event in Surrey (on May-20th), we are holding next events as bellow.

Jun-17 -> ARDF practice fox-hunt event, 80m.
At Byrnecreek Park in Burnaby.
Please go to site for more details.

Jun-24 -> ARDF demo fox-hunt event, 80m @ RARC Field Day.
At Gary Point Park in Richmond.

To those who just joined us, at the last SARC ARDF event we wish you the warmest welcome.
Thank you all for your support. Again should you have any questions/comments/suggestions feel free to contact me or Les (

Cheers, and many 73s.
Have a great weekends!