Radio active on 6 Meters 

Thursday, February 8, 2018 1:49:00 PM

Finally got around to sorting out an antenna for the 6 meter band.

I've ended up going with a 5 element yagi for 6 meters from JK Antennas in the USA (

The antenna arrived yesterday and after receiving the assembly manual from Ken at JK antennas I hope to assemble it and install it onto the tower soon.

Really looking forward to playing around on the 'Magic Band'

Ham Call Lookup - coming to Android and iOS 

Thursday, June 29, 2017 3:15:00 PM

Quick update on Ham Call Lookup - I'm in the process of building an Android and iOS version of the application.

Android first, then iOS.

I will post further progress notes as development continues.

Nally tower support pole erected 

Thursday, December 22, 2016 11:50:00 AM

With many thanks to Steve (VK3NF) the support pole for my 'main' Nally tower was erected last weekend (17th of December).  This marks a major milestone in getting the tower erected, after some 5 months of dealing with the local council.

The concrete is now curing and the next step will be to attach the tower sections to the support pole.

Collins 1:1, ugly balun 

Sunday, July 3, 2016 8:48:00 PM

Not a great deal to report at present.  I recently completed a 're-winding' of the 1:1 co-axial balun in use with the HyGain yagi.  The previous incarnation was a simple 'air loop' and didn't look too pretty, although it worked, it was a quick fix at the time and left alone as it seemingly did the job.

Over the weekend I re-wound the balun over a PVC pipe former.  The co-axial cable is held in place with a series of cable ties and has resulted in around 12 turns of RG-213 cable in a nice neat fashion circular and uniform pattern.  As the cable was already terminated and water proofed, I had to be careful and ensure that nothing was disturbed.  Balun will be placed below the yagi and affixed to the stub mast when it goes back up in the air.

Reference URL:

Refurbished dipole 

Sunday, June 26, 2016 8:26:00 PM

After 16 or so years of almost continuous duty the Diamond W-721 trap dipole has been overhauled.  The traps had deteriorated to a point that any moisture would cause serious de-tuning and require an ATU to be switched in-line to use.

The Diamond balun was still OK as were the plastic insulators.  In fact, apart from the traps the antenna was still quite OK - a very good effort considering the amount of time the antenna has been slung outside and subjected to all sorts of weather in Japan, Australia and the UK.  Therefore I went with a 'kit' from Rippletech consisting of two 40 meter traps and new wire radiating elements to allow operation on 40 and 80 meters.

Thus far works a treat, tunes up nicely in the SSB portion of 80 meters and covers almost the entire 40 meters band.

Tower bolt cage completed 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 9:04:00 PM

With many thanks to the father-in-law the bolt cage for the tower has been completed.  The cage is for a 2 stage tilt-over tower.

Next step is to complete the tower refurbishment with a set of brand new 5:1 brake winches and wire rope.  Once this is complete there is a bit of welding and repainting with some cold gal paint.

Here are a few photos of the completed bolt cage


And the yagi is back down again 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016 11:29:00 AM

How time flies -  We are moving in five days.  The decommissioning of VK3GYH at the current QTH is in progress ready for the relocation.  Last night the HF yagi and dipoles were taken down, cleaned up and packed ready for the move.  All the radio equipment will be boxed over the next day or so along with the remaining antennas, feeder cables, mounting brackets and so on.

That means no radio, apart from when mobile, for a little while....

Hopefully it will be worth it.  We are moving to a much larger plot of land, with a lot lower house density in the surrounding neighbourhood.  Ultimately this should help in three ways:

  1. I am hoping that the noise levels on HF shall be less.  The noise levels at the current QTH are pretty bad almost 24/7.
  2. Much more space.  I am intending to install two towers (my old tower from the UK and a recently acquired 'Nally' tower).  With the amount of space I can also position the towers away from the house to hopefully reduce pickup of noise from the house.
  3. Lots of tall trees.  Plenty of options for slinging wire antennas up nice and high - well away from the house.

Fingers crossed.





Since when did suggested price suddenly become a firm price? 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015 6:52:00 PM

I'm on the lookout for a couple of antenna mounts to fit some antennas to my four wheel drive.  So, I thought that it would be a good idea to place a wanted advertisement on a popular Australia site that caters for amateurs,

The first responder, a VK2 was an absolute delight to deal with.  Within a couple of hours a deal was done and the first mount was sorted out, payment made and such.  

The second response came from a VK5 who had a used version of the other mount I am seeking.  He had suggested a price of $30 including shipping.  In reply, I noted to him that I had purchased the other mount, as new-old stock (NOS) and asked would he be willing to match the price of that deal, at $26 including postage.  In my books, this seemed a reasonable proposition - the VK5's mount was used (but supposedly in good condition) compared against a NOS item.  I'm certainly not expecting it to be sold for $1, but his price was a little high considering it was used.

In response to my offer the VK5 informed me that it was his "policy" to state a price and to stick by it.  Err, hang on a moment - your "policy"?  I don't remember you stating this when you sent through your original email.   Furthermore you used the word "suggested".  In my books that means "a starting point", a figure at which to begin negotiation.  What you may consider a fair price is, maybe, just maybe not fair to me.  Hence we negotiate!

Now, to be fair, if the original email had included this policy or stated "$30 firm", then so be it. But I am sorry - I didn't receive a copy of your "policy" with your initial offer and you stated "a suggested price of $30".

I've had a reasonable run with dealing with people on VKClassifieds as well as some other similar sites in the UK.  In fact, pretty much most people I have dealt with have ended in a successful transaction.  Shame about this one...




And the Yagi is back up again 

Monday, July 6, 2015 8:02:00 PM

Over the last two weekends I have managed to get my HyGain TH3-JRS yagi back up in the air.  

It has been packed away since prior to moving from the UK to Australia.  Very little maintenance required, just one PL-259 soldering job and some minor work on the antenna itself.  Pretty much tuned up exactly as it was in the UK when reassembled, lucky that I marked everything clearly prior to taking it all apart.

Installation wise, it has been mounted onto a 5.5 metre aluminium scaffold pole.  All said and done, including stub mast and rotator the yagi is about 6 metres in the air.  Not ideal of course, but 6 metres and operational is better than 0 metres and packed away in the box.

I will put some pictures up shortly.

New version of Ham Call Lookup 

Friday, January 16, 2015 11:27:00 AM

Version 1.9.0 of Ham Call Lookup has been released into the Windows Phone marketplace.

This release contains a couple of UI tweaks and now retrieves Solar data from a new source.

Further details here:

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