K1N Navassa DXpedition Official DVD Trailer

I had a blast working K1N earlier this year and from this trailer it looks like the DXpedition team did also. Apparently the DVD is 44 minutes in length and the initial production run is around 1000 units.

I might have to get myself a copy of this video.

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I finally got my call plates!

It took me two attempts to get the paperwork right and 6 weeks of waiting but they are finally here!

Call Sign License Plates

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Lets pickle some beets

As you can probably tell from the title, this is a bit off topic for me. However, every year I like to make a few batches of pickled beets. This year, thanks to my in-laws, I got a nice big basket full of beets. Having the day off from work today, means that I had plenty of time to devote to this process.

After about 4 hours (give or take) of work, I ended up with 13 jars of yummy pickled beets. I use a very simple recipe that my wife’s mother passed along to me and it has turned out great each time. I’ve included this recipe below along with some pictures of the process.

20 Medium size red beets
2 1/2 cups vinegar
2 1/2 cups beet juice
1 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
10 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks

  1. Scrub beets and remove tops. Cook beets until tender. Drain and reserve beet juice. Remove skins and cut beets into chunks
  2. Combine vinegar, juice, sugar, and spices. Bring to a boil. Remove spices. Add beet chunks and boil again. Pour into jars and seal.


Looks like a massacre

Looks like a massacre


Peeled and chunked up waiting for the sauce

Peeled and chunked up waiting for the sauce


Halfway done

Halfway done


The second batch waiting

The second batch waiting


All done

All done


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ICOM unveiled IC-7300 at Tokyo Ham Fair 2015

ICOM has unveiled the IC-7300 transceiver. It is an all mode (SSB / CW / RTTY / AM / FM), HF + 50Mhz radio that comes in the 3 models listed below.

IC-7300 – 100 W
IC-7300M – 50 W
IC-7300S – 10 W

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Cancelled – 2015 NSARA Picnic

Please be advised that due to circumstances beyond our control, The Greenwood Amateur Radio Club has been forced to withdraw its sponsorship of the NSARA Picnic this year. Could you please notify as many people as possible about the cancellation of this event.

We deeply regret this, and apologize for any inconvenience it has caused.

Thanks and 73
Al Penney

Posted in Uncategorized

2015 NSARA Picnic

— I am not affiliated with the Greenwood ARC, but I am an NSARA member, so I wanted to pass this along —

The Greenwood Amateur Radio Club is pleased to host the 2015 NSARA Picnic!

The event will be held at the Clairmont Provincial Park, 1405 Hwy 1, Kingston, on Saturday, 22 August. The park is on the north side of Hwy 1, about midway between Kingston and Auburn. The picnic will start at 1000, and should wrap up in the late afternoon.

Activities will include a BBQ, CW copying competition, foxhunt, homebrew competition, and various demonstrations and other contests.

Those attending the picnic may be interested to learn that the Annapolis Valley Exhibition will be held August 17th-22nd. If anyone wants to make it a weekend holiday there is live entertainment featuring Dave Gunning August 20th, Platinum Blonde August 21st and George Canyon August 22nd. For more info on Valley EX check their Website:


So, let’s head down to the Valley that weekend and have a great time!

Questions may be directed to Al Penney, VO1NO, at (902) 847-0554.

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APRSdroid gets an Easter weekend update

After what seems like a very long time, Georg Lukas (DO1GL) has pushed out a new update to this awesome APRS application for Android (APRSdroid). The UI has been modernized a bit, some bugs have been fixed, and there has been a3rd party API added.

Official ChangeLog


  • Modernized User Interface
  • Fixed AFSK operation resumption
  • 3rd Party App API, see doc/API.mdwn
  • Bluetooth crash fix

Here’s a few screeshots of it from my Galaxy S3. For a while, it seemed to have stopped working but now that I have a TinyTrak I didn’t bother looking much into it but not that the new update is out it seems to be working well again.

One thing you’ll see below is that if you are on the map, the menus have a white background and black text. If you are on most other screens, it will be a black background with white text.


aprsdroid (11)

aprsdroid (10) aprsdroid (9) aprsdroid (8) aprsdroid (7) aprsdroid (6) aprsdroid (5) aprsdroid (4) aprsdroid (3) aprsdroid (2)



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70 cm Crucifix Antenna

So I recently decided that I to build a new antenna for my 70 cm rig to replace the dual band magnet mount that I was using as it did not fit well in my new shack. I ended up building what I like to call the 70 cm crucifix. It’s nothing really new or exciting as far as design goes. It is based it off of this by PA1CA. However, I did modify the design a bit.

It’s a full wave quad so the wire is 70 cm long and each side of the square is about 17.5 cm in length. I used two ring connectors to make terminals that I could solder my coax to. Measure from corner to corner of the square is about 25 cm.

Rather than using PVC pipe, like in the original design, I used a 1/4″ wooden dowel and left the bottom longer as I had anticipated mounting it at the peak of the roof of my shack (thus creating the crucifix look). I used plain old wire ties to hold it all together. The wire I used is 14 AWG electrical wire that I stripped the jacket off of.  You should be able to use just about anything that you have laying around  though.

If you want to change the polarity of the antenna you should be able to feed it from the bottom rather than the side, where I did.

Keep in mind that this type of antenna is directional. In this case, it would be bidirectional since it does not have a reflector on the back side. This is fine for me since I am using it with my old Motorola Phoenix SX rig which only has two channels that are programmed for a couple of local repeaters that I use. This is also the reason why I can get away with using RG-58 coax for a feed line.

Edit: The SWR on this floats between 1.0:1 and 1.5:1 however it is resonant at 447.28Mhz which is right around where I use it.

70cm Crucifix Antenna

Sorry about the photo quality.

73 for now!

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Je suis Charlie

Je suis Charlie


Posted in General

Happy New Year!

I guess it’s been quite some time since I’ve posted. The last time was way back in July.

A few things have changed since then. I’ve not come into possession of a Kenwood TS-570SG (HF + 6m) and have moved my gear into my new shack. I’ll post some pictures of the shack once I get a chance to compile them. It’s a pretty cool space for a home office and ham shack. In fact, it’s not even in the house, it’s an 8 x 10 shed that I built specifically for this.

I’ve been having a blast on 10 and 12 meters lately. The bands have been wide open and it’s a lot of fun. I even got set up with Logbook of the World and eQSL so I can verify contacts. I don’t yet have any paper QSL cards but I hope to soon.

Now that winter has set it, some of my antenna projects will probably have to wait until spring. Once the weather warms up, I hope to put up a better multi-band antenna (OCF) and finally finish my 2m Yagi.

In non-ham related news, my second daughter Charlotte Avery was born on Nov 22nd so that has been taking up a lot of my free time these days.

Feel free to comment on this post and let me know what you have planned for the new year (ham or not).

73 for now!

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