CounterPoise Directionality with Compromise Antennas


Many compromise antennas are the 6 to 12 foot variety. The Buddistick, SuperAntenna MP1, Pac-12, and a Chameleon (it has various variants) all offer a short antenna with multi band capability.

The key to these antennas is to have an elevated counterpoise. I have done several Field Strength Readings in the field and in a controlled location to try to understand if there is any directionality to its placement.

YES I have found that there is!

Point it towards the station you are trying to work. There is noticeable improvement in the transmit signal that it would be worth the effort to locate the counterpoise accordingly.

I dont think I am seeing much in the way of reception of signals.

A gain of 3 db is the equivalent of doubling or reducing by half your power.


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“It’s not real Ham Radio!” by Chris G7DDN

(This a a bit of a long read, but it opens up a lot of questions where this hobby is going these days.  Comments are open on this – what’s your opinion?)

A Pioneering Background

I was musing recently on the wonderful history of Amateur Radio, from the early pioneers with spark transmitters and the race to get the first signals across the Atlantic, up to the Microwave enthusiasts who developed the way forward for space communications and satellite technology (and, whisper this, mobile phone technology!) Continue reading

Yaesu FT-891 HF Mobile Current Drain and life as a Portable operator


You can wait forever to have the Yaesu engineers design a replacement radio for the FT-817**. It turns out they were too busy working on the brilliant FT-891 radio that has become my replacement for the FT-817 (I am still keeping my 15 year old radio). Yaesu sold a ton of 817s, 857s, and 897s to many hams that used it for mobile and qrp activity.

Why the 891 you ask?

At $600 USD its a steal. The new DSP chips make it a wonder to behold and fix all the DSP issues the previous models had. Add in the speech compressor, scope watch and a sensitive receiver at that price and there is no question why they were sold out by christmas time pending another production run. Thanks to my friends at HRO in finding me a radio in time for my 6Y5 dxpedition.

Sure there is no built…

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Digital Voice Hotspot Frequency Band Plan


Please not the band plan guidelines for digital hotspots as there has been interference issues of late.

The following frequencies are being used in Canada and US for DV Simplex (Hotspots).

Band     Frequency 

2 m     145.670 MHz 

2 m     145.750 MHz 

2 m     145.790 MHz     

70 cm 433.300 MHz     

70 cm 434.400 MHz     

70 cm 445.800 MHz     

70 cm 446.500 MHz     

The suggested Canada  bandplan has designated these frequencies for Digital use:

2 m     144.300 – 144.500

        144.900 – 145.100 (Packet 144.970-145.090)

        145.590 – 145.790

        147.435 – 147.585 (Simplex)

70 cm   433.000 – 434.800

        445.800 – 445.975

        446.500 – 446.975

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WSJT-X Version 1.9.0

The WSJT Development Group is pleased to announce a Release Candidate of WSJT-X Version 1.9.0. This is a second beta release, so it’s called v1.9.0-rc2. A first candidate release, v1.9.0-rc1, has already been tested in the field by a small test group. A General Availability (GA) release of v1.9.0 will be announced at a suitable time in the near future. After that time you should no longer use any -rc# candidate. Continue reading

BC clubs: Log deadline for BCQP 2018 is March 5, 2018


This is a general reminder to clubs in BC about the log submission deadline for BCQP 2018. The deadline is March 5, 2018.

If anyone in your club participated in BCQP 2018 and intended to but has not yet submitted a log, please encourage him/her to send it in before March 5. Continue reading

New FT-818 Yaesu is not really a New QRP rig its the same rig with a new Battery


Yaesu has released their new update to the FT-817 after over 20 years and it’s a boring update and may not be a big success as hoped to be.


Martin Lynch and Sons the largest UK stockist for Yaesu is accepting deposits for this $600 British pounds sterling ($1100 CAD)

The new FT-818 incorporates all the many basic and attractive features of the ever-popular FT-817ND while providing upgrades desired by many existing owners.

The FT-818 provides 6W of solid output power with external DC power source. The supplied Ni-MH battery pack (SBR-32MH) has been upgraded to now provide larger battery capacity – 9.6v/1900mAh. The FT-818 includes the build in TCXO-9 oscillator that gives the FT-818 fantastic frequency stability (+/-0.5ppm). 5Mhz band (WRC-15 frequency is also available on the new FT-818.

The FT-818 includes all the…

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