Daily Blog

Daily Blog

Read the latest news from Panglao Island on a daily basis. 

November 15.:
The team is back home after a long journey via Manila and Hong Kong. Thanks to all of you calling us and our apologizes go to those that didn’t make it into the log. We could have worked at least 50 stations more on 144 if only the QRM had been weaker and a lot more on 432 if only the rig had survived the tropical climate. We’ve learned a lot for our next trip. Stay tuned, there’s something in the pipeline already :-).

November 9.:
We are QRT now. 432 MHz was very disappointing. We found our RX chain to have at least 12dB loss. This might be caused by t-storms which are around almost 24/7, either a relay or pin diode switch inside the transverter died. This is the world capitol of t-storms.
Since there is no spare we go QRT and dismantle. 73 from the island from the team.

November 8.:
We are back in business. The output relay in the 432 amp has died for unknown reasons. Since we do not need it we bricked the relay and the system works again. Will be on at moonrise today.

November 8.:
We are sorry but there is a major damage on 432. We are investigating. No more TX. Either amp or on or both coax relays damaged. That happened in the middle of the night.

November 7.:
GM/GE Gents,

432 MHz is up and running. See you at moonrise.

November 6.:
Today Nov. 6 we will be on 144 MHz again at moonrise. This is the very last chance for the US east coast. Tomorrow Nov. 7. we will start on 432, weather permitting. We have a lot of rain and T-storms again.

November 6.:
Today we found the source of the noise. It’s all coming from the strange 230V power line in the house. We’ve checked with the Spectrum Analyzer and we found a clear peak on 145.060 with wobbling side noise up and down. Turning the power line connectors by 180 deg. reduces the noise by 6dB, very funny….There’s no ground, just voltage almost everywhere on the two lines. This is why we have some kind of voltage even on every screw on the Elecraft K3 and the transverter.
See the short video attached.

 

November 5:
Last moon pass was rather good, we added 70 initials to the log. Unfortunately there was the 2017 Marconi CW Contest going on in Europe causing strong QRM over there. We are still investigating the nasty and strange QRM, it’s not made by our own stuff (DC-DC converters, PS, A/C), it’s sure from the neigherbood and still sounds pretty much like digital voice. We have to live with it, even filters won’t help since it’s close inband.
The group on the roof, photo taken by Gabi, XYL de DK5YA:
From left: DU7/DL8FBD, DU7/DK5YA, DU7/DK5EW, DU1EV


November 4:
Moon pass on day 3 was not bad but still not satisfying. At 21.00UT we had power outage for severals hours.  We still have that strange kind of broadband noise from unknown origin but we’ve learned, that locals are re-broadcasting TV signals on 144. Imagin this. That might be the suspect since the noise sounds like digital voice

every now and than. The noise has a huge peak around 144.100 with wobbling sounds weakening higher at the band. The band starts to be silent at 144.250, unfortunately. This is why we changed our QRG to 144.144 where it is not as strong as on 144.114 before. In addition we become perfect ant hunters. These nasty beasts are everywhere now and they are millions. Every part of the equipment is housing huge families….grrr. They are looking at us from the backside of the LCD inside of the K3. And they don’t pay no fee. Wait…we gonna buy some Philippine Ant Killer Spray. Har har. 🙂

November 3:
Here we have two fine videos made by Eddie, DU1EV:

 

 

November 1 night:
Rig working fine, unfortunately we are struggling with close bye strong T-storms every now and than. Since we are sitting on top of the tower it’s pretty dangerous and we have to QRT and disconnect everything immediately.

November 1 morning:

System up and running on a 16 meter high building overlooking all the surroundings.

 

November 1.:
Work in progress:

31. October 2017:

Dear friends,
after a 26 hour journey we arrived in PJ19VN while it was constant raining. There will be more rain tomorrow says DU wx forecast. Humidity ist almost 100% and temps close to 30 deg. Celsius. Tropics…I don’t care much but struggling and fighting the heat with San Miguel straight Lager 😁
We found our equipment sent in advance in perfect condition, thumbs up for UPS.
A huge hug to all those helping to make this expedition come true with their kind support via PayPal.
Tomorrow will be the day to make the stuff working weather permitting.

28. October 2017:
2 Days prior to our departure the forecasters say we will have permanent t-storms and a lot of rain in our first week. Hope these guys are wrong.

11. October 2017:
All parts sent bei UPS in advance arrived save and secure at the property.

6. October 2017:
Antennas, frame tubes, feedlines and some more are en route to the Philippines now by UPS. We keep our fingers crossed that the parts will arrive save at the property. Parts are scheduled to arrive on October 10. Thanks to our sponsor DF7KF who helped a lot.

4. October 1017:
We will also do some CW EME for those who are in need of. JT65B prefered.

26. September 2017:
Our plans to activate also 50MHz had to be cancelled due to weight problems, sorry.
We have to send several parts in advance by UPS since luggage restrictions by the carrier are rather harsh. Keeping our fingers crossed that all the stuff will arrive just in time and still ‚alive‘.

20. September 2017:
Test setup with 2x8el Xpol went well last weekend. We heard some good signals off the moon even in a very noisy environment at the QTH of DL8FBD. Our signal was up to -12dB at PA9DX with app. 800 Watt at the circular feed point. Thats promising even that the 2×8 Xpols show rather poor RL (just -17.4dB at 144.150). There’s more to do with fine tuning later since best RL is at 143.560, kinda strange. Next step will be testing of the 2x32el. Xpols for 432.

Testing 2x8el Xpols

RX4CQ/6 peaking -21dB Vpol

27. August 2017:
Relay box incl. preamps finished and working, image shows box with 144 preamps. For 432 we just have to replace the preamps, thats all.

Feedlines measured with VNA and finished.
75 Ohms feedlines for circular TX measured wit VNA and finished for 144 and 432.
Antennas build and checked.

Relay and preamp box for 144 and 432 MHz.
Relay and preamp box for 144 and 432 MHz.

20. July 2017:
Received individual licenses with all the stamps and tax fee sign. 🙂

17. July 2017:
After HamRadio fair in Friedrichshafen we’ve got almost all parts together. Bought a lot of stuff there.

11. June 2017:
All flights are booked and confirmed and so is the QTH on Panglao Isl..