Author Archives: Gavin, M1BXF

2m EME (Earth Moon Earth)

May 1st, 2012 | Posted by Gavin, M1BXF in General - (0 Comments)

John G4BAO has been having a great time working 2m Meteor Scatter on our MS working frequency of 144.375MHz but, as moonrise in IO66vh is late morning John, thought we would have a go at some EME (Earth-Moon-Earth).  Well, the results were fantastic with 3 stations, JE1TNL, UA3PTW and PA2CHR, being worked using WSJT JT65b in quick succession.  The signals were actually audible at times which, considering the GS3PYE/P 2m setup is a single 17 (beaten up) element Tonna, an SSB masthead preamp and 400w on TX (with no elevation), John and the team are very happy!

Here is what the WSJT trace looked like at times when we worked JE1TNL in Higashikoiso near Tokyo, Japan. The direct terrestrial distance from Mull to Japan is 9342Km. Via the moon it’s 737,782Km.



And here are the traces from our contact with UA3PTW, in Bogoroditsk south of Moscow, Russia. The direct distance between us is 2799Km; via the moon 737,782Km




GS3PYE/P Antennas (at distance)

April 29th, 2012 | Posted by Gavin, M1BXF in General - (0 Comments)

Here is a picture of the GS3PYE/P antennas from one of the small hills next to the cottage, open in full size for better viewing…


VHF Setup

April 29th, 2012 | Posted by Gavin, M1BXF in General - (5 Comments)

So we are now on the island and as usual the weather is very good!  Just look at the sky in the below photo of the VHF antennas!


Left is the 60ft mast of Flossie with a 2m 17 element Tonna on top, and a 60cm dish for 10GHz under.  To the right is the 4m 7 element YU7EF EF0407 beam on the top of the 40ft trailer mast and a 6m 6 element YU7EF EF0606  element below.  All are fed with Ecoflex-15.


Next is the 2m station consisting of an Icom IC-910 and above the M1BXF data interface for JT modes or similar.  We are also QRV for voice and CW.



Also run by the 2m op is the 10GHz station of which most is at the top of the 60ft mast of Flossie.  the driver is an FT-817.  Under the FT-817 is the CW keyer/beacon and above the Softrock to monitor the IF for 2m.



6m and 4m are run from the same operator. 6m on the left is an Icom IC-756pro3, the white box is the M1BXF data interface for JT modes. To the of the Icom is the Flex-1500 which is the IF for 4m with the transverter and 300w PA in the box above the rotator controller to the right of the Flex-1500.  To the right of those boxes is the 48v PSU (on the bottom) for the 4m PA, above the M1BXF SOMR box (to combine/split audio/mic between 6m & 4m) then an M1BXF voice keyer above that.



And then come the amps… Smile  Left of the 2 is the Yaesu Quadra for 6m and the right is a Sagra-600 for 2m.  Both easily produce UK legal output.


Camb-Hams on ICQ Podcast

April 24th, 2012 | Posted by Gavin, M1BXF in General - (0 Comments)

Martin Butler (M1MRB) and Colin Butler (M6BOY) produce a great podcast for radio hams and for some time the Camb-Hams have been talking with them regarding an interview which Lawrence M0LCM, Dominic M0BLF and Gavin M1BXF managed to have a few weeks back.  The podcast has just been released S05E09; http://goo.gl/NgL7K

VHF Operating Frequencies

April 23rd, 2012 | Posted by Gavin, M1BXF in General - (0 Comments)

We have never done schedules before as we are very adhoc in our operation which is very open to what we want to do on the day and how the HF bands are going, plus my (M1BXF) fishing schedule Smile  The general VHF operating schedule will be starting around 6pm on Saturday, all day Sunday then mornings and evenings during the week, or when there is a scheduled contact or an opening, fingers crossed.

Our preferred frequencies (all +- QRM) and modes are;


Band MHz Power/Elements
6m 50.215 400w / 6
4m 70.210 160w / 7
2m 144.325 400w / 17

We may transmit a CW beacon on the above frequencies when no scheduled contacts are being made.


Band MHz Mode(s) Period Power/Elements
6m 50.235 JT6m/ISCAT 2nd 400w / 6
4m 70.230 JT6m/ISCAT 2nd 160w / 7
2m 144.375 FSK441 2nd 400w / 17

Other data modes on request. The 6m and 4m antennas will both be on the same mast and therefore must point in the same direction.

Reflectors wise we will be monitoring ON4KST. We will (subject to abuse) have an IRC chat running on dx.camb-hams.com and we can be emailed skeds2012@camb-hams.com.

Takeoff from GS3PYE/P

March 25th, 2012 | Posted by Gavin, M1BXF in General - (0 Comments)

Here is a link to the obligatory HeyWhatsThat site profiler so you can check our radio horizon for your QTH…


Microwaves on Mull!

January 31st, 2012 | Posted by Gavin, M1BXF in General - (0 Comments)

If all goes according to plan (and see from the picture that the transverter needs some work still), we will be taking a state-of-the art 10GHz system to Mull.

It will consist of a DB6NT transverter driven at 144MHz feeding a Micom 10 Watt SSPA and has a GPS locked G4HUP DFS Local oscillator. The antenna is a 60cm "Sky" dish with a W1GHz dual band horn feed.


Most of the parts for this equipment have been kindly loaned by UK Microwave group awards manager Dave Powis G4HUP, in return for me assembling them so that he can later use them from home.
10GHz will be a challenge from Mull as it is far from any activity centres but with suitable conditions and enough publicity I hope to make a few QSOs. I for one will be praying for rain so we can do some rainscatter, but with the right stations we may also be able to do aircraft scatter and normal tropo contacts.

I’ll keep the website updated as the transverter build continues.

John G4BAO  

Arran 2011 Log Analysis Part1

May 29th, 2011 | Posted by Gavin, M1BXF in General - (0 Comments)

So I’ve done some basic log analysis for the Arran DX’Pedition, more will follow but for now I’m looking mainly at the QSO rates vs time.  You can see the full analysis here in PDF form.


To keep things easier to display [in the graphs] the report is based on 30 minute snapshots i.e. 09:00 till 09:30. 

Note: All times are UTC.

The analysis starts with a graph showing the total QSO number in the log overlaid with the total number of QSOs being made per time of day for all stations, It’s interesting as it shows the operating pattern for the whole week.

The second graph again shows the total number of QSOs being made per time of day for all stations but this time averaged for the whole week which highlights the operating patterns such as lunch at approx 12:30 each day and then dinner at 17:30 to 18:00. No QSO were made at all about 05:30.

The third graph titled ‘Operator [Week] Averaged QSO Count vs Time Of Day’ shows the individual operators QSO count averaged over the whole week. This is interesting as it shows things like the majority of Colin G4ERO’s QSO were made between 23:00 and 03:00 UTC, Martin G3ZAY and Steve M1ACB were the only 2 operators to work anything between 03:30 and 06:00

After that we have all the individual operators QSO count vs time of day for each of the days of operation which clearly shows the different operating habits of each person.

This is only the first part of the log analysis and more will come with details of trends like countries worked vs time of day and similar…

DX crew at the Magnum radio rally

May 16th, 2011 | Posted by Gavin, M1BXF in General - (1 Comments)

As you might know on our way back from Arran we popped into the Magnum radio rally where we met a few known callsigns and as Gavin is from these parts as few familiar faces too…  One face was Dick GM4PPT who we regularly work on the 2m RSGB UKAC who took this picture.

Cambs Hams 1

Left to right: Terry G3VFC, Mark M0MJH, Colin G4ERO, Rob M0VFC, Pete 2E0SQL, Gavin M1BXF, Bob G1SAA, Lawrence M0LCM, Steve M1ACB, Martin G3ZAY and [other] Colin G8TMV

Station Teardown

May 7th, 2011 | Posted by Gavin, M1BXF in General - (0 Comments)

So we have to leave the cottage by 9am tomorrow, we need to be at the ferry port about 1 hour away by 10.15 so we started taking antennas down today.  So far the 80m vertical is down, we still have an 80m dipole up. The Spiderbeam is gone so we have have lost 10m and 15m. The 4m and 6m beams and the 160m long wire is down.

We still have verticals up for 40m and 20m and dipoles for 80m and 30m. So tonight look for us on 80m, 40m, 30m and 20m.