Timeline – June 2012 – Feb 2013

WebSDR is the first exposure to SDRs – wow.

6/5/12 ordered SR-40-R

6/9/12 received kit –  I realize my soldering equipment is not going to do SMT

Download project build instructions from wb5rvz.org.  http://wb5rvz.com/sdr/  – these are excellent instructions – very detailed with testing procedures.

6/9   order hakko fx-888 soldering iron from ebay (B+D Enterprises) and a T18-D12 1.2mm tip and also some solder from ebay (kyle jones – kester .015 63/37 eutectic solder

6/13 solder and hakko arrive in mail

6/17 start build.

6/21 complete build

6/22 download SDR# and test with wire antenna – first signal – very poor signal and not enough for a good test

6/23 start running long wires around the house for a better antenna and soon after, construct a crude 1/2 wave dipole with each half  5 meter long running about the house.  Test on the back porch (where the antenna is).  Picks up signals but it’s a touchy deal.

Commence a better antenna construction after picking up some hookup wire from radio shack.  This wire antenna works well and is stable mechanically.  But temporary.

Wayne KH6TZ lends me his TenTec Scout 555 radio as a baseline.

6/29 lunch trip to IC Supply with Wayne and Gerald and buy 30′ of rg174/u coax and hook up to the 1/2 wave dipole.  Subsequently mount the dipole center connector on a center pole and experiment with this antenna.

First live PSK decodes using the Win7 computer and Rocky software.

7/1  comparison with tentec radio doesn’t correlate with frequencies

Frequency mystery!

7/2 Wayne lends me his MFJ-269 SWR Analyzer which puts out an RF signal.  This straightens out the frequency mystery in a couple of minutes.

Tony also returns my post on the softrock group about 1/3 harmonic radios having I/Q backward.  Easy fix- reverse I/Q on the SDR radio  software – most have a toggle for this.  So that’s it.

7/2 Antenna measurements  13.9 MHZ, 1.0 SWR, 52 ohm

Radio testing.

Laptop audio out to Mic Audio in on the Gateway XP computer for two soundcard operation.

First live PSK decodes from the laptop to the Gateway XP

7/5  Test WinRad 1.6.1  on the Vaio – so far the best featured SDR (but it doesn’t have Rocky’s PSK decoder)

7/8  Move antenna to the center position  to eliminate the pole.
Antenna measurement:  12.75 mhz 1.2 SWR 50 ohm

Start the SDR Works wordpress blog.
7/14-19 combined Lite II build and 40 m setup

7/22 Sunday
– work on a 40m dipole extensions with deans plugs for extender section gives  6.87 Mhz 1.4 SWR 50 ohms,   7.0 mhz, 1.5, 40.

Very difficult to measure any change between the 20 and 40m dipole configuration with the 40 m softrock.

Tested the active loop antenna but could not get it to work. Possible that the signal strength overall is too low for it.  With WWV there did not seem to be any difference with or without the antenna turned on.

around 2200 7.010 cw activity.

August 2012 – take and pass the Technician Amateur License exam during the 2012 QSO party at KH6IB’s house.  Meet KH7MU for the first time.

September 2012- receive my ham license and callsign WH6EAU

Sept/Oct 2012 – setup ham operations around the TenTec 555 Scout for 10 meters. Softrock RXII Ensemble used for band monitoring.  RG174 cables and dipole antenna used for first contacts and DX into CA, AZ and S. America.

OCT 10 2012: first 10m qso’s

February 2013: Yaesu 857 D purchased

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