simplifying the complex

Category: Ham Radio

CHA F-Loop 3.0 POTA

I had an opportunity to take out my Chameleon F-Loop 3.0 to park VE-1187 near Lethbridge, Alberta on January 22, 2022 and it did not disappoint. This was my first time operating the loop outside my QTH. I paired it with my trusty tripod in the parking lot and mounted it approximately 2 meters in the air.

I orientated the loop to face SE and tuned SWR to 1.5. The IC-705 was at max capacity outputting 10w. Over the course of the activation SWR crept up slightly but nothing that required retuning. I could have placed more effort to lower the SWR initially but I was more interested in getting on the air and I’ve found that being near-field affects turning so you can spend more time if you want but its somewhat diminishing returns for me.

Since I was not hiking in anywhere I left the steel loop on vs. the included coax which is very high quality iteself. The overall construction and quality of Chameleon products seems to be worth the premium price in my experience but your mileage may vary.

I was able to activate the park in approximately 15 minutes but stuck around to get a few more contacts making 14 on the day. I’m new to CW so a few contacts didn’t make the final cut most likely due to me flubbing a sign or two. I’ll include the QSO map which shows an interesting distribution.

International Space Station (ISS) Slow Scan TV (SSTV) Ham Radio Adventures

The ISS is currently (at the time of writing) broadcasting lunar exploration images throughout Dec 26 2021 – Dec 31 2021. They broadcast on 145.8 FM with a 25 watt output making receiving the transmissions a relatively easy affair.

It has been unusually cold here in Southern Alberta (-40c) but I thought I would bundle up, risk frostbite and make my way outside to capture some audio. Unfortunately, my first attempt on the 29th was spoiled as I attempted to record the transmission on my FT5DR but ran into and issue. I rectified this today and was able to capture two images on a short pass, one much better than the other.

While this was my first time dabbling in SSTV I found the process to be relatively straight forward. Receive audio -> Record Audio -> Convert Audio to an image. I used YONIQ as my program of choice and had little issue downsampling the wav files for decoding.

Below is the second image of the pass which suffered from poor reception. Ultimately the cold weather caused an issue with a crimp in a cable which introduced noise coupled with low angle in the horizon.

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