Sunday, June 17, 2012


For most guys, shopping is a chore, unless it means a day at a radio shop or a hamfest or similar. I am not exception to the rule.

Yesterday however I'm glad I accompanied my wife to Jysk, a danish furniture and home accessory shop in the outskirts of Valencia, where my eyes fell upon something I just HAD to have. I took it home and out of the box and it looks like this:

On the box it says its a fold-out parasol base. But I reckon it'll probably make a pretty good base for a portable fishing rod antenna holder on a concrete pier.....

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

IARU 2012

As already mentioned last week, the Spanish HQ team for the IARU 2012 HF championship has been named! Details are here

For me, its an honour to participate once again on the national team, this time under the guidance of URE HF manager Raúl, EA5KA, and together with some of the big contest guns. I will be operating 15m phone together with my colleagues from the Torrent Contest Club from the ED5T contest station, and are really looking forward to the weekend of July 14th/15th. We hope to work lots of you and give you an HQ multiplier on 15.

As in previous editions, URE has organised a diploma, here are the details:

1.- Open to any licenced radio amateur or short wave listener.

2.- The objective is to contact special event stations EF1HQ, EF2HQ, EF5HQ and EF7HQ, which are the stations representing URE in the IARU HF championship 2012.
3.- Valid contacts are those made with the above stations between 1200 UTC on Saturday 14th July and 1159 UTC on Sunday 15th July, 2012.
4.- For each contact with the URE HQ stations, send RST and corresponding ITU zone. We encourage those participating in this diploma to also operate actively in the IARU HF contest and to contact any other station of any kind in the contest.
5.- There are three categories for this diploma:
Diamond category: For contacting all the EFxHQ stations on the 6 bands (160, 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 metres) on both SSB and CW (a total of 12 contacts)
Platinum category: For making 10 contacts (no dupes) with the EFxHQ stations on any band and mode.
Gold category: For making 5 contacts (no dupes) with EFxHQ stations on any band and mode.
6. All categories of this diploma are free for URE members. No request is necessary and diplomas will be sent automatically in .pdf format by the URE.
7. For non-URE members, the cost is 5 euros, 5 IRCs, or 6 USD. Non-URE members should send their requests to URE, P.O BOX 220, 28080 Madrid, España.
Happy contesting!

DVGE Contest

On Sunday I partook for the first time in a Trig point contest, the VGE sprint, organized by the Radioclub Henares.
Trig point activity in Spain is something that’s been going on for a number of years now and is similar to SOTA (Summits on the Air) activity. RCH organizes a diploma for this and their web gives very comprehensive information about all the trig points in Spain, including a searchable list by provinces, both alphabetically by town names and also on a google maps application. Pablo EA4TX has inputted all the information, with links to the Spanish ING, the organization responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the points.

I had first heard about this on the Spanish contest reflector last year, when RCH organized the first Trig Point Sprint contest. It seemed like everyone was very enthusiastic about a back-to-basics contest, locally based, with a meaningful multiplier base and an emphasis on QRP (low power) and CW (morse). This year, the second edition was duly posted and around the same time I got an email from my friend Kees PA5CW asking if I wanted to go hiking that weekend. I asked if he was interested in making a joint hike-and-contest and he said sure.
As things turned out, the forecast for Sunday was for 35 degrees and we decided it wasn’t the best day to head for the hills. Kees came round for lunch on Saturday instead but when he left, I still had the idea in my head of perhaps seeing if there was a trig point accessible by car that I might activate. I mentioned it to my wife, who said that since I had to head up to La Eliana to check the swimming pool at our villa, weren’t there any trig points there? I checked the web and sure enough, at the top of a hill on the other side of town, there is a trig point which is actually on top of somebody’s house!

So on Sunday morning, after stopping off at the villa, I headed to the trig point and indeed, there it was, perched on top of the villa. Rules state that expeditioners should take a photo of the op and station at the point, so here’s the mug shot:

If you look verrrry carefully, you can see the trig point on the flat roof at the top left of the photo.

I fired up on 40m with the mobile vertical and 100w and was surprised at the low noise and lack of stations. Then I saw the high SWR. Oops. A PL259 not screwed in toght somewhere  in the back, which was quickly fixed and then the band was a bit more lively. The first hour of the contest was fairly quick but I didn’t manage to get through a lot of the pileups, seems like there were more QRO than QRP stations out there. Although its also true that a small vertical whip in an urban area is not the antenna of choice for making local contacts on 40m. Halfway into the contest I went up to 20m, the other band used in this contest, there were a few strong stations but nobody answered my CQ calls so back to 40 it was, until 15 minutes before finishing (the contest is 3 hours long) I made a last few contacts on 20. 

91 contacts is not a good score, at least by the standards at ED5T, but I had fun and will probably do it again, although next time probably from a battery powered mountain top trig point. I’m not sure I’ll ever get converted to some of those other Sunday morning activities that Spaniards are so fond of, such as contacting railway stations and castles and what have you, but the odd jaunt up a hill with a mast and a wire dipole for a few hours fun, why not?

Tuesday, June 05, 2012


It's official, and now availabe at the URE website , the spanish HQ team is officially unveiled!

More info to follow.........

Sunday, June 03, 2012

The quest for wifi continues! Here's Paco, EB5TC, trying to configure things now that we are getting a signal:

Once he gave up, it was time for Juan Carlos EA5UF to step in and configure the filters in the FT-1000MP mark V field which now replaces our FT-1000MP. Belar EA5YI was impatient for him to finish so he could get down to serious business of working A5A on 20m phone:

Not often we see Belar with a microphone in his hand :).

If anyone is interested in buying the FT-1000MP, drop me a line.