Every year, on May 1st, the Austrian Amateur Radio Society (Österreichischer Versuchssenderverband) organizes the All Austrian Contest 80/40m which also serves as an exercise for emergency and disaster relief radio services. Alas, our work horse, the SteppIR DB36 Yagi-Uda antenna for 40m-6m is currently under repair and the Inverted-V antennas for 80m and 40m cover mainly a North-South direction. Not exactly, what we would call an ideal outfit for the contest.
On April 25, we therefore hastily erected a second 40m monoband inverted-V antenna with look direction East-West on the roof of the Institute of Telecommunications.
The OE1XTU contest team for AOEC 2017 consists of Dieter OE1KDK, Stefan OE1SCB, Stefan OE1ABU, Gerald OE1GAQ, and Chris OE1VMC. Wishing all radio friends great many contacts and a lot of fun in the heat of the contest.
The 10 GHz rover station OE1XTU will be upgraded with an offset feed dish, 57cm diameter in May. See the mockup of the new setup on the photo above: just the feed horn and the coax relais for Tx/Rx frontend switching are still missing … the feed horn will be designed and manufactured by a group of students in the elective course „Antenna Design and Realization“ (LVA 389.104). The rover station itself is used in the elective course „Centimeter- and Millimeter Waves“ (LVA 389.190).
The December 2016 storms have destroyed our pneumatic „BigLift“ antenna tower. The result was that the pneumatic mast leaked air and lost its pressure quickly. Today, the construction crane helped with decommissioning the broken BigLift antenna tower. Rest in peace. Not all is lost, however: After the tower, is before the tower!
In the winter term, the Radio Amateur Club of the TU Wien supports the elective course „Short Wave Radio“ (LVA 389.030) in the practical part where we go „on air“. Here you see OM Stefan OE1ABU operating the club station OE1XTU while talking to OM John OF2K in Finland on the 40m band. His fellow students are fascinated, but (still) unlicensed.
All radio contacts of the OE1XTU club station are logged and archived electronically since the early 1980s. Below, you see an excerpt of the club’s logbook for all radio contacts made on January 19, 2016 during the course. Contacts were made in both analog (SSB) and digital modes (PSK31, PSK63, and JT65).
Heavy winds destroyed the N-connector of the elderly balun feeding our 40m/80m/160m triple band dipoles during December 2016. Foto of the newly installed balun and the corresponding VSWR measurement below. GDX de Stefan OE1ABU and Chris OE1VMC
On Dec. 29, 2016, interesting microwave QSOs were in the air: Mike, OE3MZC was on air as OE16YOTA on the 3cm band from Buchbergwarte (Locator:JN78xe). Gerald, OE1GAQ and Stefan, OE1ABU activated OE1XTU (QRG 10.3681 GHz, 250mW, 16dBi horn antenna) on the roof of the Institute of Telecommunications, see fotos below. Other stations heard by OE1XTU: OE1TGW/1 and OE4WOG/p. Below you see Gerald, OE1GAQ and Stefan, OE1ABU while listening to OE16YOTA in SSB using the Schneeberg as scattering object. Although OE1YOTA was clearly heard, a QSO with OE1YOTA was not accomplished. At least one QSO with Gerhard, OE1TGW/1 was completed. Next time better using directive antennas with significantly larger gain.
During the Winter Term 2016/2017 four groups of 2-3 students participate in the short wave radio classes (LVA 389.030). After the lectures on HF propagation and antennas, radio block diagrams, modulation and coding, we enter the OE1XTU shack for gaining some real-world experience. We demonstrate J3E (aka SSB), A1A (aka CW), and various digital communication forms. The foto below shows Angelika and Valentin practicing their CW skills with the paddle: CQ CQ DE OE1XTU …
Today was the last microwave activity day of the year. Vienna was cold and somewhat foggy. Nevertheless, OM Gerald OE1GAQ, Taulant, and OM Chris OE1VMC withstood the creeping cold on the institute’s roof for two hours and OE1XTU made three SSB voice contacts on the X-Band at 3 cm wavelength (10368.1 MHz +/- 6 kHz, H-Pol.) using 0.25W Tx power and 16dBi horn antennas. The OE1XTU transceiver was identical to the setup used on Sep 18 and yields 40 dBm EIRP.
Below left, you see the original paper log and on the right-hand side, the QSL card from OM Gerhard OE1TGW.
During the night from Thursday Dec. 01 to Friday Dec. 02, there was heavy weather with wind speeds up to 120 km/h. Unfortunately, the resulting torsional oscillations of our pneumatic BigLift mast caused too strong forces for both the mast itself and the fiber glass tubing. The mast is now leaking air and the SteppIR DB36 reflector element cracked at two places near the end of the boom. Likely, the copper-beryllium tape is undamaged because the SDA100 controller was set to 14.100 MHz. Thus, the crack in the tubing was far away from the CuBe-tape. Currently, we are preparing the repair of the reflector element and replacing the broken mast, but it will take at least until summer 2017.
On November 23 and 30, two groups of first year EE students soldered their Pixie 2 do-it-yourself kits. The photo below gives an impression of soldering fun. Then they listened to live CW transmissions at 7.023 MHz in the 40m band using the rooftop antennas at the Institute of Telecommunications: the 40m/80m/160m fan-dipole and the 4 element SteppIR DB36 Yagi-Uda. Dah-di-dah-dit / dah-dah-di-dah / dah-di-dit / dit / …