Sunday, 30 November 2014

DIY - Ultralight Radio Carry Case

Back in March 2014 I designed and built a custom "stealth ultralight dxing bag", this was designed to carry my 7.5" loopstick Tecsun PL-380 ultralight radio, my AR1733 radio and the various other bits and pieces I carry for portable ultralight dxing sessions. The details of this can be seen here: (http://ultralightdxing.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/diy-stealth-ultralight-dxing-bag.html)

Since recently returning to the ultralight DXing hobby after a few months being away, I decided to try and find a better carry solution, while the bag served me well and was cheap at around a $50 total cost, I have changed my approach and having to carry a separate bag (especially when also carrying other bags) became an issue to the point that I stopped carrying it as often.

Yesterday while shopping at our local Ship Loads I came across this case: (http://www.dinga.com.au/tackle-box-jw-197-utility-box-large.html) for $9.95. When I returned  home I found that it was the perfect size, however the foam sheet I had at home that I was planning on using for this was about 1cm too small the whole way around. 

After going to Bunnings to try and find some suitable foam and not having any luck, I happened to call past Kmart on the way home and found a Yoga block for $6 which was the perfect size. 

When I returned home I sat down to work on it and within 3/4 of an hour  I had the case set up how I wanted it. Materials used were:
- Jarvis Walker 197 Utility Box Large: $9.95
- Yoga form block: $6
- Black tape: $2.95
- Bubble wrap: $0.50

The foam block was cut to suit the size of the case and then I cut out sections to allow me to securely store both my AR1733 and 7.5" loopstick Tecsun PL-380 ultralight radios plus my aerial, notepad, pens and ear phones. This fits nicely in my backpack where I keep my logs sheets and larger accessories. It is still very 
stealthy and much easier to carry. I am really happy with how well this has turned out and for under $20 it is great value.









Update: 29/01/2015.
After using this for a couple of months I have now made some changes as can be seen in the photos below. These changes include:
- Added a rubber-band to hold my logging notepad and sheets. This is attached to the rear of the case via a cable tie which has been drilled in to the case via two small holes.
- Added one of my stickers to the top :)
- Replaced the bubble wrap with a better fitting and quality type.
- Added earphones to my kit.








Portable Ultralight DXing Session - Queechy Lake

On Saturday afternoon I spent an hour sitting at Queechy Lake undertaking a portable Ultralight DXing session. This was my first portable Ultralight DXing session since April. I had a couple of spare hours and felt like trying a new location so late yesterday afternoon around 4.30pm I headed down to Queechy Lake, I grew up close to this location so know the area well and spent my childhood playing in this park.

In the hour I spent listening to the band I logged 17 stations using my 7.5" loopstick Tecsun PL-380, these were mostly around the bottom half of the band with signals dropping off above 900kHz. Full details are below:

531 3GG
540 7SD
558 7BU
585 7RN
594 3WV
621 3RN
693 3AW
747 7PB
774 3LO
828 3GI
855 3CR
864 7RPH
900 7AD
936 7ZR
1008 HPON - Launceston
1080 HPON - Hobart
1341 HPON - Geelong

Overall this was a very enjoyable session and a good way to get back in to portable operation. Photos and a video are below.







video


Saturday, 29 November 2014

Ultralight DXing Report - 28/11/2014

Ultralight DXing Report - Launceston Tasmania

Date: 28/11/2014
Time: 21:10 – 22:00
Location: Home, Launceston Tasmania
Radio: 7.5” Loopstick Tecsun PL-380
Total stations logged: 122
New stations logged: 1071kHz – 4SB Kingaroy (Local weather)

Notes: Over the past few months my ultralight DXing time has been limited, I have spent a lot of my hobby time working on some programming projects which have now all come to an end. Even with this I have still been able to undertake a few sessions, these have normally been around our local sunset time, I have logged most of the normal stations but nothing of any note or any new stations.

Yesterday was my last day of work for the year (our baby is due soon) so not having to be up early this morning meant that I was able to devote some more time to ultralight DXing last night. Overall I logged 122 stations in just under an hour, this included a new station of 4SB on 1017kHz which is station number 200 in my Ultralight log.

A part of the band between 603kHz and 666kHz was full of band noise which made receiving stations between these frequencies harder than normal, I have not had issues around these frequencies before. 

Overall it was a good session and adding a new station to the logs is always a good feeling.

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