For those eagle-eyed users, you will notice that you are now visiting www.vk7ben.au and not vk7ben.id.au. This is the story about why.
In 2007, I acquired my advanced license and callsign VK7BEN. At this time I was quite big on websites and domains and having my own identity online. However it was not possible to own a .com.au/net.au/org.au domain if you were not a registered business or organisation. However you could register for an id.au domain if the domain name contained your your name or nickname. Beauty – VK7BEN could indeed be considered a nickname. I applied for the domain with this information, application was approved, happy days.
Earlier this year however the happiness came to an abrupt halt with an email from my domain registrar shortly after renewing my domain.
I’d only ever heard it was possible to work amateur satellites with hand held radios, and all the accompanying photos usually involved waving around a modest sized handheld Yagi. All that changed when I saw a posted a video posted on the Central Coast Amateur Radio Club Facebook page showing AO-92 being worked with Yaesu VX8 handheld with an after-market whip antenna.
A quick check of the passes saw really favourable conditions to work AO-92 as it passed overhead on Friday 14th December 2018 from around 11.22pm local time.
I quickly set up the frequencies in my IC-T90A, gave a couple of friends a heads up to listen for me and waited.
Mobile test run at Mount Rumney. not a bad view!
For a long time it has been a goal to take my own station portable to work HF. This week I finally achieved that goal.
It’s taken me a long time to get there, with the project starting in 2006 when I purchased a portable aluminium mast for the car that can be assembled as high as 12m (39.3 feet). With the help of Bruce (ex VK7MBD) a custom tow bar mount was made, allowing the assembly and raising of the mast to be possible by 1 person. After this, things went quiet on that project as a result of my hiatus from the hobby.