25 November, 2012

The most interesting contact in the CQ WW Contest

Sometimes looking up remote stations on QRZ.com or other sites gives a glimpse of the person behind the callsign. I did this for the Chinese station BY5CD which I contacted on 40 m during the CQ Worldwide contest this weekend.

It turned out to be a club station called "YinZhou Middle School Amateur Radio Club Station" which is located just south of Shanghai.

It is interesting to consider the age of the operators as one can see from the picture. More pictures and some information can be found on their QRZ.com website. With this many young people entering ham radio in China, maybe we will see more stations there in the future. The number of stations is unreasonably low compared to the enormous population of China.

And the most interesting signal was that of GM5X on 21 MHz at 1207 UTC on 25. November. It had a distinct echo which seems to indicate that the signal travelled both on the direct path of about 800 km and the long path of about 39200 km.

The image shows "GM5X GM5X Test". The long path signal seems to fade in and out as there is much less of it in the last part, the word "test", than in the second "GM5X".

18 November, 2012

F/LA3ZA on Long Delayed Echoes

Laurent, F6GOX, who is one of the primary forces behind the ARP, Radio-Club de Paris, has written a nice little French-language presentation of me since I am a former member of the club. It also includes my interest in Long Delayed Echos (LDE).

Here he also talks about the presentation I gave for the Paris club of radio amateurs on 18 March 2009 on this subject during my year-long stay in Paris. That was a very nice evening which I remember with pleasure.

I also talked then about the interest that the French general Gustave Ferrié (1868 - 1932) took in this phenomenon (The link is in French, but read about Ferrié here in the English Wikipedia). There were French studies of LDEs in Indochina, Senegal, and Mauretania, French territories at the time, which he played a major role in.

Merci Laurent!

17 November, 2012

Visiting 409shop in Hong Kong

A stop-over on my way from Sydney to Oslo gave me the opportunity today to visit Apliu street in Hong Kong. This is where all the electronics products are found. As I had purchased a Baofeng UV-5R from them before it was fun to stop by the 409shop as well. Their address is on their web site, and the word "showroom" really made me expect something larger than what I found. It turns out to be just one small store among hundreds of others in this street.

I bought a handheld frequency counter, Yaege FC-1, and a better antenna, Nagoya NA-666, for the UV-5R and got a good deal - I like to think that it is because I presented myself as a previous internet customer.

On the other side of the street there was another store with communications equipment as well, Yee Fu Technology Shop, where I bought a 13.8V/20 A switch mode power supply, HK Products Electronics SPS-200MA.

It even had a noise-offset control which I have come to appreciate in my other power supply, the Alinco DM-330MV. It is particularly nice to have on 160 m. How they avoid Alinco's pending patent on this feature is something I don't know. There seems to be several other supplies on the market with this feature also, such as the Watson Power-Mite-NF (NF for Noise offset Function), so maybe Alinco's patent application hasn't been granted?