Monday, 21 May 2012

MTR Field Trials

I took my MTR out on a SOTA activation to give it a proper workout in the environment it was designed for.
I elected on my local SOTA Summit, Cleeve Hill.
The rig performed flawlessly and I was happy to notch up 43 contacts with 13 DXCC entities worked.
Yet another winner from the stable of KD1JV.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

MTR by Steve Webber KD1JV

Steve Webber has produced a new transceiver, this time a dual band TRX covering anywhere from 80 metres through to 20.
He has named it the Mountain Topper Radio (MTR) and it is primarily designed for low weight hiking, back packing and SOTA type activities.
MTR Kit of parts.
It's very similar architecture to the ATS4, but uses a different processor and lower speed DDS.
I managed to get my hands on one before they all sold out (on day of release) and it arrived on April 21st.

I had to put the build on hold for a while until I had some free time to set aside for the construction.
Altoids tin bashing.
 I started metal bashing the Altoids tin on the 7th May, making sure all the hardware fitted before starting construction of the electronics.

Over the next 2 nights I mounted all the componets. I opted to hand solder, like I had done with my ATS4. I built for 40/20 metres.
I completed one side of the board in one sitting, and the next evening completed the opposite side.

So on the evening of 9th May, a quick test and basic alignment ensued followed by a quick lash up on the bench to an antenna to see if it works.
First QSO.
A call on 40 Metres netted an Italian station who gave me a resounding 599 Report. Moving to 20 Metres, my call was once again answered by an Italian Station, this time with a 559 report . All that is required now is to box it up properly, complete proper alignment  and then take it out on field trials to give it a good workout.

Side by side. ATS4 and MTR

Saturday, 5 May 2012

International SOTA Weekend - 5th/6th May 2012

Well it's my first year as a SOTAer so thought I'd better get out and do something rather than just chasing. Yesterday evening 20 metres was open late on into the States, so I decided that I'd make an assault on my local hill and maybe find some Stateside S2S. (G/CE-001)

I was QRV by 16:15z and started the batting on 15m. Third call in the log was Rich, N4EX, followed by N1EU, so at least we were making the trip. This was good news for me as only yesterday I realised that my ATS4 was completely deaf on 15m. I had the top off to do some drastic realignment last night so I was pleased to make 5 debut 15M contacts.

After that it was 23 QSOs on 20m, 14 on 30m and 11 on 40m.

Back on 20metres again after 2100L netted VE2 but no sign of any Stateside S2S.

By 2200 it was cold,dark and my fingers frozen so I called it quits and packed up.
Only when I got home and checked SOTAWATCH did I realise that W7CNL had been calling me. The QRM was pretty horrendous, but had I known I would have made more of an effort to pull him out.
Still a nice evening out.

60 contacts (cw)