Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Mountain Topper 5B from LNR - Test Drive

Ok so my buddy Steve W9BRI calls me up and says he just got his hands on a brand new radio called the Mountain Topper 5B from LNR Precision.  Not only that, he offers to let me borrow it for a few days to test it out.  How am I so lucky? 
LNR Precision Mountain Topper 5B 

The radio runs off a single 9v radio battery if you want...since that is what I had on hand that is what I used.  I found the manual online at LNR and read it and learned how to use the switch banks to change bands and perform other functions on the radio.  Before getting on the air though I wanted to take measurements, so using my WM-2 Wattmeter and my OHR dummy load, I did.

Brand New Battery Energizer 9v black and silver alkaline

40m - 2.4 Watts and battery showed 9.2Vdc
30m - 3 Watts and battery showed 9.1 Vdc
20m - 3 Watts and battery showed 9.1 Vdc
17m - 2 Watts and battery showed 9.1 Vdc
15m - 2 Watts and battery showed 9.0 Vdc

I called CQ a few times on 7050 KHZ...the battery voltage dropped down to 8.4 Vdc while transmitting, came back up to 9 Vdc after I stopped sending my CQ.

So I connected it to my 40m attic dipole and started sending CQ on 7032 Khz to just see what I could get.  The band was quiet and I did not hear many signals.  I was running 2 watts and the MT5B showed a voltage of 9.1vdc.

My second CQ was answered by Dick K8WHA in Lansdale PA.  Dick was running a TS 590S to a vertical and we traded 599's,  Lansdale PA is about 600 miles from my QTH, I was impressed and the receiver was fantastic.  Dick has been licensed since 1960, and he is a contester and award winning operator.  Lansdale is in the far eastern part of the state, almost bordering New Jersey. 

When that QSO was over I moved to 7050Khz looking for an SKCC contact. Hugh AE5VB from Covington Louisiana answered me and gave me a 519...said I was weak but solid copy.  This is about 800 miles and power was a smidgen under 2w now.  The receiver can't be beat.  I switched from my Vibrokeyer to the Nye Viking Master Key so we could exchange SKCC numbers.  QSO lasted about 25 mins and it was great. 

All in all I am impressed with this little radio.  Steve W9BRI is going to have more fun than a human should be allowed. 

Best 73 de KB9BVN
CW is my only mode

Friday, August 10, 2018

Technician to General Class

The Indiana Elmer Network will be hosting a Technician to General Upgrade Class for three Thursday nights in a row.  Class starts on October 25th, and ends on November 8th.  We will have VE testing on November 8th.  This is your chance to upgrade, don't miss it. 

This is a FREE class, there is no charge. 

October 25, November 1, November 8

6PM to 8PM at the latest

Aviation Institute of Maintenance 
7251 W. McCarty St, Indianapolis IN 46241
Room 10

Get your Technician to General Training Guide, and bring it to class.

Go here to register for the class, seating is limited so don't delay. 

Good luck on your upgrade! 

Brian Murrey

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Ever get side tracked by life?

Here it is, Field day weekend.  I will most likely not be participating.  This has been a very busy month around here and I have too many non-radio related things to get done.   So what have I been up to? 

On Father's Day weekend, My brother, my son, my nephew, and a couple of friends and I drove four hours to Lake Erie for a Walleye fishing trip.  We hooked up with Sea Breeze Charters out of Oak Harbor and man did they show us a great time.  We caught our limit in the blazing sun, with little breeze and temperatures in the low 90's.  We drove up on Saturday the 16th, stayed in the lodging provided by the charter, and went fishing at 5:30AM on Sunday morning.  Corey was our boat captain and his mate Bud knew where the fish were.  By 9:30AM we had caught our limit and by noon we were back on the road back to Indianapolis. If you have ever considered doing a Walleye trip, contact Sea Breeze and request Corey. 

Walleye Fishing - June 18 20168 - Lake Erie
Then this week, something even more exciting took place.  My newest grandson was born! John Paul came into the world on Thursday night and I got to meet him for the first time yesterday. 

KB9BVN with baby John Paul  - June 22 2018
So as you can see I have been pretty busy this month. I go on call next week so will be closer to the shack all week.  I hope to get on the air and grab a few more states.  If I get everything done today that needs done maybe I can get on the air and work some CW Field Day contacts. 

Best DX to everyone!


Sunday, June 3, 2018

Where does the time go...

One day it was April something and I was making QSO' thing I know it's June 3rd, and I have ZERO QSO's logged for May.  I have plenty of excuses.

May was very busy for us.  Lot's of family birthdays, lots of family cookouts, weekend trips to here and there, new challenges at work, I just didn't have time.

So I fired up the K2 this lazy Sunday afternoon and noticed the bands seemed a little weak but I still got a QSO in the log book.

I worked Lester W8BJO at about 19:06z, he's almost my neighbor since he lives in Springfield Ohio, a mere 120 miles due east of me.  He was 599 on 7030Khz when we started out, but within 5 minutes or so the QSB on my end was so bad I had to sign off with him.  He has a good fist and I was hoping for a bit of a rag chew...but not today it seems.

Springfield is a city of about 60,000 people, and was formed in 1801 by James Demint.  It is located in Clark County and is the home of Wittenburg University, and Clark Community College, and is the birthplace and former home of comedian Jonathan Winters.

Best 73 de KB9BVN

Friday, May 4, 2018

QSO Party Weekend!

This weekend, May 4-6, is one of the biggest QSO Party weekends of the year.  We will have the Delaware QSO party, the New England QSO Party,  the Indiana QSO Party, and the 7th Call Area QSO Party.  The time will be ripe to log some of the rare states for 2018 and I hope to be on the air a good part of this weekend. 

For more info:

Delaware State QSO Party Rules and Details 

New England QSO Party Rules and Details

Indiana State QSO Party Rules and Details 

7th Call Area QSO Party Rules and Details

I hope you get a chance to spend some time making contacts this weekend, there shouldn't be a shortage of operators to QSO with! 

Best 73 de KB9BVN

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Great Weekend

I was on call this weekend so I couldn't get too far from my computer and the internet but I did manage to still get a lot done around the castle.  One of my four handsome grandsons (KD9JID) stopped by on Friday, and I put him to work mowing the lawn.  He's going to Canada in July for a 10 day  canoe trip and is working odds jobs to have some spare change for the voyage.  I am not afraid of hard work, I can watch it for hours.  

Hard Work in Progress
When we got that done, his Mamaw found a few other yard jobs that needed to be done, so we so worked hard and pulled out a couple of shrubs that she needed to have gone so they could be replaced with CONCRETE flower pots. He stayed the evening and prepared for the labors of Saturday.  On Saturday we headed to the hardware store, bought some manure, some dirt, some paver stones and then hit the Asian Buffet for lunch.  The kid could be a contender.  Pretty sure he consumed 3 gallons of ice cream.  Finally made it home, and set the pots where she wanted them.  Meanwhile Mamaw (my wife) was treating his sister (KD9JIE) to toes and nails at the local beautification place, while we slaved away.   Dinner was home brew pizza and we took them home. 

So my phone is going off about every 20 minutes all night Saturday night,  I get paged when important servers get rebooted, and this is patch weekend.  So I didn't get much sleep last night, it's about 8:30PM now I am looking forward to getting some sleep tonight and few interruptions.  We'll see. 

I fired up the K1 at about 6:45PM while I was doing some other work and manage to reel off three QSO's before going QRT at about 8PM. 

My first QSO tonight was Susan W7KFI and she was calling CQ MM...and I spaced it an answered her.  She was kind enough to give me a 589 to her 599 on 7051 and went separate ways.  She is a retired Army Master Sergeant.  She was signing with a /5 so she was operating from her home in Gulfport Mississippi.  Great FIST!! 

W7KFI loves to Sail the World - Check her QRZ BIO 
Next up was Steve NN0SS up in Minnesota on 7052.  This was 2 way QRP as he was on his KX3.  Band was very noisy and I was getting some static crashing, although there is not a storm in site.  Steve belongs to SKCC and the NAQCC and is an active QRP CW operator.  Thanks for the contact Steve!  I got a 589 and he was 589 as well. 

Last but not least was Mike AA9AA up in Mantiwoc WI.  Mike was running a home brew QRP rig to a dipole, the QRM was fierce for the first half of the QSO...I guess two QRP ops having a QSO are tough to hear.  Mike has been a ham for 29 years and has a great fist.  Mike has quite a shack setup as you can see. I love the old telephone!  We traded 599's on 7058 and chewed the rag for a bit. 

Mike AA9AA - Ham Shack and QRP Laboratory
Well that's it for this weekend. No new states this time. I am on call tomorrow and then I am free for 5 more weeks.  WEEEE

Best 73!