The photos above show
Ralph's portable station on Kit Hill, Cornwall, IO70UM. It consists
of a 60cm offset Lakenheath satellite dish with Chaparrel feed using a
round to waveguide transition and a short length of semi-circular wave
guide to the 3cms DB6NT transverter. The transverter includes a DB6NT
preamp and a 1 watt Qualcom amplifier, with a Yaesu FT290 Mk1(with Mutek
preamp) as the IF.
The two meter talk back is a Yaesu 290 mark II, a BNOS 100watt linear amplifier with preamp, all into a 9 element horizontal beam. Maximum RF output on 2m is about 60watt due to low level drive. The single 40 ampere hour battery has now been upgraded to a 75 ampere hour leisure battery for 2001.
Completing the portable station is an Electronic Samson keyer (ex GLD!) This can be programmed to send limited text out of memory to save on tennis elbow. In addition he uses various other items in my field kit ..... compass, laptop, etc.
This is a picture of some
of the aerials at G4ALY. The mast carries a 5el X beam for 2m,
a 19el X beam for 432 and next to the 70cm ant is a pair 27 elelement of
JVL loop yagis in phase, stacked one over the other and fed with a tubular
Top centre in the photo shows a 144/432 colinear for local talk back on ATV etc. Adjacent to the main mast is a stub mast with a 23cms horizontal yagi fixed on the ATV repeater GB3WV at Princetown. The doublet aerial is fixed to this pole and fed with 300 ohm balanced feeder to a balanced aerial matching unit with plug in coils in shack. The aerial is full size for 80m but the legs are at 90 degs to each other instead of 180. At the back of the house is a 35ft mast with a 5 element 50MHz beam, above which (this spring 2001) will be a 10 el horizontal beam for 2mtr and a 21 el horizontal beam for 432 to go above the 50MHz one. These will be for microwave talk back.
Ralph will be shortly be removing the colinear from the front mast and putting a 67el horizontal Wimo beam for 1296MHz in its place. He also has 2 helicals to go up, one for 1296MHz and one for 2.3GHz as well as a 67el 2.3GHz beam waiting to be erected!
This photo shows some of Ralph's test gear:
Left to right, top row:
200MHz HOP oscilloscope, Racal-Dana 9915m freq counter, Marconi 2022E signal
generator 10kHz-1.01GHz, Wavetek sweep generator 1-1400MHz, a Halcyon off-air
freq standard with 1,5 and 10 MHz outputs. locking to either Droitwich
Behind the video mixer (ATV use) is a 1711 microwave measurement receiver by Scientific-Atlanta - The use of which Ralph has yet to find out. It was bought recently at an M.O.D equipment sale and has a range of .1 to 20GHz. This appears to be working ok but Ralph cannot find any documentation for it. The monitor is for a computer which resides under the bench. This controls the aerials, modems and radio transceivers for satellite work and logging facilities on all bands via RS232.
To the right of the old ships clock is the rotor controller, a Texscan VSM-1 field strength meter 1-300MHz (which is in effect a visual display of the frequency spectrum - tunable) and provides indications of activity on various bands 50/144MHz .... without the white noise!!
The small 'scope is an Hitachi 20MHz dual beam type which is used for displaying TV wave forms for setting up a TX and also eye patterns for digital data satellites and to assist in setting up and optimising the RX on 9K6 and 38K4 bd data sats.
This is the shot of the main
operating position for HF to 23cm. The far end is the ATV set up while
under the bench you can just see the 30amp ATV amplifier which is driven
by a Solent 1 watt TX just to the left of it on a back-to-back N connector,
under the TV screen with test card, is another video mixer (master) which
controls all inputs from 2 cameras,vcr, two computers and audio. Under
that is a 8.2-12.4GHz Sivers Lab sig generator.
The HF transceiver is a Yaesu 1000MP. Sat transeivers are a Yaesu FT726 (much modded), a Kenwood 790E modded for 9K6/38K4 data, various amplifiers (100W 2m, 70 Watt 1.2GHz, 120W 70cm, 250W 50MHz (4cx250b). Above all that is a part finished 1296 2C39(pair in cavity) 1296MHz amp.
Ralph concludes with this "pen portrait" of himself:
SWL1950-1963 First licensed
as VQ8BY Island of Mauritius 1963-65. Licensed UK 1968 G4ALY. Joined
the RN 1953 as a Telegraphist left 1967 serving on Submarines Frigates
and a cruiser.
Went to New Zealand 1974 and worked as a radio operator near Waiouru, on the North Island's Volcanic Plateau. Volcanic activity unnerved the XYL so went to Wellington and worked as a Radio officer at Wellington radio, Passed my PMG2 then PMG1 at Wellington Polytech was sent to Auckland Radio, Though offered manager of Chatham Island radio (turned down by XYL) just a sand bank in the middle of nowhere - great as a DX location though! I held the callsigns of ZL1BLW and ZL2AVG during that period.
Returned to the UK in 1979 went to Portishead radio to work, They offered me the premier coast station, "Landsend Radio GLD" so of we went again and worked there for 9 years. Privatisation of BT caused to demise of the coast station service.
On early retirement I returned to my roots with the Royal Navy and, at the age of 52, got a job at Plymouth Nato Maritime HQ where I spent the last 11 years as computer operator and mainframe maintainer.
I retired December 31st, 2000 for the second time, at 64, so now have time for real radio again.
Main interest CW (wonder why?!) Digital satellites. HF-Microwaves, Some people have said that's too wide, ...concentrate on one or the other ... but with all this variation I can chop and change as the mood takes me and don't have to spend months listening to white noise. My hearing has been damaged enough in my professional life!
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