I just got back from a couple of days on the South coast. I spent a day at Birling Gap and walked up the chalk cliffs at Beachy Head, then on Monday, I spent the afternoon at Dungeness. My plan was to do some photography during the day and some HF operating at night.

After a day of strolling around this strange landscape, I finally got round to setting up the HF station. I used an 85AH Leisure Battery, Yaesu FT-897D at 100W and the antenna was an inverted V for 80m up on a 9m fibreglass pole. I was facing a fantastic sunset (and the two nuclear power stations) as can be seen below.

Parked up at Dungeness for some HF operating whilst watching the sun go down.

Parked up at Dungeness for some HF operating whilst watching the sun go down.

I used a few different bands, 40m, 60m and 80m. Conditions on 60m and 80m were great for local contacts and I got good signal reports.  It was an interesting spot to operate from. The sea was only 100m or so behind me and Dungeness is a large area of shingle which pokes out of the south coast into the English channel.

Sunset at Dungeness

Sunset at Dungeness

I operated until after sunset, and it was the night of the ‘supermoon’, which made the location more surreal! I got a few night shots and then headed home about 11pm. It was certainly an interesting place to visit and I will be sure to go back again! Thanks to all those I worked…

Dungeness Lighthouse (The new one)

Dungeness Lighthouse. This one was built in 1961 because Dungeness A Nuclear Power Station obscured the old lighthouse of 1904 which is behind me here.

Here is a short video of the HF operating:

I built a website when I got my full licence in 2007 as a place to show a little bit of information about myself. Over the years, more and more content was added.

I thought it was about time to give the whole site a new fresh look and also to start posting regular blog updates of the things I get up to in radio / electronics; this post being the first!

I hope you enjoy browsing this website.

73, John M0UKD.

EDIT: After making this new site in March 2013, I have finally decided to switch over to it today (15th September 2014), over a year later! Most of the old content should still be here, some of which will be removed soon and replaced with much more up to date items. Please contact me if you are looking for something and cant find it, or if you notice any errors :)

On July 20th 2009, AMSAT marked the 40th anniversary of the linar landing, by transmitting a looped audio and SSTV image. Here is the audio and SSTV image I recieved from AO51 satellite, 435.300MHz on 20th July 2009. 1729 GMT.

SSTV Image received Robot 36 format.


Press PLAY above, to hear the audio I received with an FT-817ND and homemade 7 element handheld yagi 435.300MHz

This is my homemade beam for receiving AO51. Wooden boom with bicycle spoke directors/reflector and a coathanger as a driven element! 4:1 coax balun. AO51 is a signal 7 on a good pass with the FT-817ND.

Amsat control team’s schedule page screenshot

I always wanted to try something other than an antenna as an antenna, so I decided to try to join our clubs topband net, whilst out portable and using a wire fence. I spent the morning modifying my MFJ-971 portable tuner, by adding an extra inductor in the form of a T130-2 torroid, with 29 turns, in series with the main inductor inside. This is only in circuit when the tuner is in the highest inductance setting, where it will use the whole wire inductor and my torroid. MFJ say this tuner is for 1.8-30MHz, but its really 3-30MHz, unless youre tuning a 50Ω load! It now works nicely with most things on 1.8MHz.

So, over to the country park I went, set up this tiny station, clipped my feed to the top piece of galvanised wire, and my ground to the lowest piece, and the mesh. To my surprise, it tuned easily, and worked ok to the local contacts. This fence is 1 metre high, and around 150 metres long. Now, i’m wondering what I can use next! John.

FT-817ND and Tuner

The general setup

The general setup

Here is the feedpoint!

Here is the feedpoint!

I connected the ground to the lower part of the fence.

I connected the ground to the lower part of the fence.

It went left and right from my feedpoint a long way, around 150 metres total.

It went left and right from my feedpoint a long way, around 150 metres total.

Here is my homemade extended inductor for topband, inside the MFJ-971 tuner. 29 turns on a T130-2 core (9.25uH). This works only when on the highest inductance setting.

This modification is shown in detail here.