Amateur Station Setup & Frequencies

 

Licensing

First got my amateur radio license in January 2008 with the callsign VK4FSJL.  I upgraded about 6 months later, and have held the callsign VK4MSL since then.  I am looking to upgrade in the more distant future.

Privileges

  • Band access on
    • 80m (3500kHz to 3700kHz)
    • 40m (7000kHz to 7300kHz)
    • 20m (14MHz to 14.350MHz)
    • 15m (21MHz to 21.450MHz)
    • 10m (28MHz to 30MHz)
    • 6m (52MHz to 54MHz)
    • 2m (144MHz to 148MHz)
    • 70cm (430MHz to 450MHz)
    • 23cm (1240MHz to 1300MHz)
    • 13cm (2400MHz to 2450MHz)
    • 6cm (5650MHz to 5850MHz)
  • Modes:
    • All modes including CW, AM, FM, SSB and digital modes
  • Power Output:
    • 30W average output power
    • 100W peak output power

Equipment (in order of acquisition)

  • Kenwood TH-F7E (now off air)
    • Receive:
      • 100kHz to 450MHz: CW, AM, SSB, FM
      • 450MHz to 1300MHz: CW, AM, FM
    • Transmit:
      • 137MHz to 174MHz: FM 5W
      • 410MHz to 470MHz: FM 5W
    • Notes:
      • Has a faulty antenna connection, and thus no longer in active service.
  • Kenwood TS-120S:
    • Transmit/Receive:
      • 3500kHz to 4000kHz: SSB/CW 100W
      • 7000kHz to 7500kHz: SSB/CW 100W
      • 14MHz to 14.5MHz: SSB/CW 100W
    • Receive only
      • 15MHz to 15.5MHz: SSB/CW
      • 21MHz to 21.5MHz: SSB/CW
      • 28MHz to 30MHz: SSB/CW
    • Notes:
      • The TS-120 is normally able to transmit on the 15 and 10m amateur bands, however my unit has a fault in the ALC circuit that leads to instability above 14MHz.  It is a little glitchy on 20m, getting progressively worse as the frequency increases… 10m is unusable.
  • Yaesu FT-290R II (with 25W linear option)
    • Transmit/Receive:
      • 144MHz to 148MHz FM/CW/SSB 25W
  • Yaesu FT-897D
    • Transmit/Receive:
      • All amateur bands between 1.8MHz and 54MHz: AM/FM/SSB/CW 100W
      • 144MHz to 148MHz: AM/FM/SSB/CW 50W
      • 430MHz to 450MHz: AM/FM/SSB/CW 20W
    • Receive:
      • 100kHz to 470MHz: AM/FM/SSB/CW/WFM
    • Options:
      • LDG AT-897 Automatic tuner
      • 2x Yaesu FNB-78 4.5AH NiMH battery packs with charger
  • 2x Wouxun KG-UVD1P
    • Transmit/Receive:
      • 137MHz to 174MHz: FM 5W
      • 400MHz to 480MHz: FM 4W
    • Receive:
      • 70MHz to 108MHz: WFM

Antennae

  • Homebrew 2m vertical
  • “G5RV”-like antenna:
    • Inverted V with 16m legs, 300ohm ribbon fed, 1:1 voltage balun near transceiver tuner.
    • Apex at gutter line of 2 story house, ends about 6ft off ground.
    • Good for 80m/40m bands, a little low for 20m and above.
  • Homebrew 2m dipole antenna
    • Constructed from two ~50cm solid copper wires soldered to a BNC connector.
    • Good for 2m/70cm
  • “Squidpole” antenna
    • 8m of speaker wire strung up the squid pole itself, twisted onto the end of a length of RG-213
    • 2x 2.5m long radials soldered to braid of RG-213
    • PL-259 termination at opposite end of RG-213
    • Results dependent on installation, but usually good without tuner on 10m/6m, works well on 20m.
    • Considering more permanent connections (as opposed to twisting cables together)
  • 27MHz 6ft CB stick
    • Appears to work on 6m/10m.  Will try it bicycle mobile sometime with the FT-897D.
  • Hand-held/portable antennas:
    • Stock Kenwood rubber ducky antenna
    • Comet SMA3
    • 2m homebrew whip (VK4MSL design)
    • 2m/70cm homebrew whip (VK4FSTC design)
    • 2x stock Wouxun rubber ducky antennae.

Activity

I participate mostly on the 2m band these days, but will also lurk on 80m, 20m, 10m, 6m and 70cm.  Frequent spot frequencies include:

  • 3595kHz LSB
  • 28.450MHz USB (for Brisbane Amateur Radio Club 10m net; Monday 2000 UTC+10)
  • VK3RHF 29.640MHz FM (when propagation permits)
  • VK4RBX 53.925MHz FM
  • 144.300MHz USB (mainly for Ipswich & District 2m SSB net; Thursday 1930 UTC+10)
  • VK4RBS 146.875MHz FM
  • VK4RAI 146.900MHz FM (most mornings for Ipswich & District 2m nets at 0800 UTC+10 and Tuesday evening 1930UTC+10 for “Feather Duster” net)
  • VK4RBN 147.000MHz FM (mainly for Brisbane Amateur Radio Club 2m net; Wednesday 2000 UTC+10)
  • VK4RBC 438.525MHz FM