Articles

DX Summit Users Training Guide

Here is a link to the DX Summit Users Training Guide

DX Summit Guide KI7DG & N7GCO

VE7CC (CC User) Training Guide

Here is the link to the PDF VE7CC (CC User) Training Guide

CC User

DX Commander Classic Review

The DX Commander is a ~ 33 foot vertical fiberglass pole. I have three guy lines keeping it in place which are about ~4 feet from the base and attach at ~4 feet up the pole. There are 6 wires cut for specific bands which also give you a few others. I have wires for 40-30-20-17-12-10 and due to harmonics I also have 15-6-2. 6 meters is pretty close to 3:1 at the 50-51 MHz area, so a nudge from the tuner helps there. All the other bands are tuned for 1.0:1 to 1.3:1 in the portion of the bands I currently use. The instructions tell you what length to cut for each band and to fine tune it, there is a handy Excel calculator that assists you with finding the precise length. Give it its current resonant frequency and your desired resonant spot and the it’ll tell you to cut or add a specific length from that wire. Pretty easy to get it exactly where you want it.

I purchased the DX Commander Classic with the 80m option. This option adds a second 100m roll of wire to the kit, beautiful memory free wire. When you add the 80m as an inverted L you remove the 30m wire but I believe you still get 30m due to harmonics, but just might need help from the tuner. I have not added the 80m inverted L yet, but may this summer. The price was close to $400 which includes FedEx shipping from the UK which isn’t cheap these days. They do have other options including the Nebula which is an 60 foot pole that gives you quarter wave on 80m plus a lot of other bands.

The setup took two enjoyable afternoons to cut, solder, shrink wrap, etc all of the wires needed for the verticals and radials. My daughter was a big help on the build with measuring all of this. I decided to do 21 radials at ~10 feet. Initially when I set the antenna up the yard, the ground was still frozen so I placed the radials on the grass. Now that spring is here, I have the radials buried an inch or two under the grass so I can mow around it all.

The fiberglass pole telescopes out to the 33 feet. Currently using the nice zip ties included with the kit, the sections are kept extended or you can go with hose clamps tightened just enough to not damage the fiberglass. I have had to adjust a few times due to the section slipping, but I “think” I have it all figured out now. During the storm we had last week, I did lay the pole over for the day but I suspect that it’ll survive most moderate storms/winds we get here. I recorded gusts to low 30s yesterday and had no issues/concerns with the antenna nor its guying. It is virtually a very large fishing pole and it does flex as such. I do plan on placing a 1.5″ pvc pipe in the ground and slipping the antenna over this just to keep the bottom from kicking out in higher winds. The pipe will stick out of the ground only a few inches, this will allow me the security while still making it very easy to lower the antenna to tinker with it or for a strong storm.

Prior to this antenna I was using the Wolf Creek Coil and as soon as I changed, even when feed with my IC-705, the difference was impressive. Now that I have a FTdx10, I can work 95%+ of all those I can hear. So far the only issue I have noticed was today with the moderate winds. The wind was blowing the pole around and as the wires go around the pole, they flex/move with it. With this flex the wires start to play (inductance?) with each other differently and making my SWR fluctuate more than desired. The winds have since calmed down and my SWR has stabilized. I do suspect this antenna will serve me well until I get to start working on a tower in late ’23 or early ’24. After that time, it will be an amazing POTA antenna. Speaking of, they do sell a few smaller versions as well that can be easily used for POTAs.

There is a great community on Discord for the DXC, they provide lots of help and insight. The customer service from Cal and Loki are also top notch.

David Trotz, W7DCT, also recently purchased the antenna and has too been pleased with its performance.

More specific antenna information can been seen here: https://www.m0mcx.co.uk/

Thanks,
Brandon
W7BKS

Contest Online Score Board

Here is an article that explains how to set up Contest Online Score Board with

  • N3FJP
  • N1MM+
  • Writelog

Link to article: ContestOnlinescore

Links & Notes for N1MM+ Setup From Beginner to Intermediate

Here is an excellent resource for anyone learning to use N1MM+ Contest Logging Software by Randy K7TQ. It is a companion to his workshop video “N1MM+ Setup from Beginner to Intermediate.

LinksForN1MMBeginnerVideo

Introduction to Contesting

This “Introduction to Contesting” presentation was given on Zoom September 16, 2020. Here is a PDF of the presentation:

Contest Workshop 2020

Here is a handout on the language of contesting:

The Language of Contesting

Here is a handout on how to set up “Contest Online Score Board”:

ContestOnlinescore

Station Notebooks

Your station is one-of-kind. You need a notebook that shows how you have put it together. What connects to what?  It shows the evolution of your station. Here is where you capture important details about your station for future reference.  Whenever you add a piece of equipment, wire a gadget, note a problem, or fix a problem write it down.

I recommend you develop two notebooks:

  • “Station Notebook”
  • “Resource & Reference Notebook”

Handout: Station Notebooks

6 Meter Mod to SteppIR

John (K7KB)  made the GM3SEK’s 6 meter MOD to his SteppIR antenna. This mod adds a a new reflector as well as the extra director, making it a four element yagi on 6 meters.

Here is a link to the modification instructions:

gm3sek-steppir-6m

Modifications to Astron Power Supply

Jeff (NZ2S) has made a number of modifications to Astron Power Supplies. Check out Jeff’s description of his updates.

Modifications to Astron 50A PSU

 

Icom 7100 Automated Logging to Amateur Contact Log when using WSJT-X and JTAlert

David Oglesby (N7LL) has created an excellent guide to using “Icom 7100 Automated Logging to Amateur Contact Log when using WSJT-X and JTAlert”. It is well written and illustrated. If you are using the Icom 7100, you will find it very helpful.

Here is the link to the Guide Automating logging IC-7100 ACLog WSJT-X JTAlert

 

CC User & VE7CC Spotting Guide

Gary (K7GS) and Mel (N7GCO) created a Spotting Guide to “CC User” and VE7CC. This is a great tool for finding DX stations.

We encourage you to download it and keep it handy in your shack

Download the guide here:

CC User

DX Summit Guide

Chuck (Ki7DG) and Mel (N7GCO) has created a Spotting Guide to “DX Summit”. This is a great tool for finding DX stations.

We encourage you to download it and keep it handy in your shack.

Download the guide here:

DX Summit Guide KI7DG & N7GCO

New to HF

“New to HF” Seminar

The SDXA offers a “Getting into HF” seminar after each General License Class in Spokane area. Del (WA7AQH) leads this program.

The Workshop covers:

  1. Why Get into HF, at all?
  2. How does HF differ from VHF/UHF?
  3. Equipment needed for Getting into HF?
    1. Antenna options and recommendations
    2. Radios options and recommendations
    3. Power Supplies guidelines
    4. Computer Logging software examples
    5. Computer Spotting software examples
  4. Sample Getting Started
  5. Questions and Answers

An extensive handout is made available.

The Workshop is FREE.

Instructors: Del (WA7AQH) and Mel (N7GCO)

You can download the PowerPoint and handout used if you would like to see them.

Link to Powerpoint Getting Started in HF 6

Link to handout Getting into HF 6

Link to Mentors/Elmers Elmer Resource Page

DX Expedition Card From Bob K7TM

Hints:

  1. Fill out one card for each upcoming DX Expedition.
  2. Mark out all previously confirmed contacts
  3. Add the frequencies they will be using beside band and mode

Link to download master you can use to print your own: DX Expedition CARD #3- 2 per page

Elmer’s Resource Page

The members of the SDXA are available to help. Many have skills in particular areas. Here is a link to our current Elmer’s

https://sdxa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Elmer-Resource-Page-1.pdf

If you would like to be added to the Elmer’s Resource Page, please let Mel (N7GCO) know.