29 April 2014

Elad FDM-DUO standalone SDR HF+6m transceiver

Things seem to be going the right way for SDR technology. The latest spawn from Italy - called ELAD FDM-DUO - definetely got my interest; we are talking about a direct sampling full SDR transceiver for HF/6m, that can also run standalone. The closest thing to it might be the Elecraft KX-3, but that is considerably behind in technology and still manages to have one of the top recievers around.



27 April 2014

A good day for SOTA - YO/EC-057 activated

Finally some SOTA action ! After a few days of rain and cold weather, yesterday April 26th 2014 was perfect for outdoor activities - sunny, almost 20C and an overall tranquility that makes you want to get out of the house no matter what. So i decided to pick up my sister and two of her friends and put my new FT-897D trough its paces by activating a SOTA peak.

I've settled for the Gropsoarele Peak (loosely translated as "The Small Pits"), SOTA identifier YO/EC-057, a peak 1884m tall in the Ciucas mountains, about 120km north of capital city Bucharest. There is a rather bad road leading from the closest village Cheia to a cabin called Muntele Rosu ("The Red Mountain") at about 1400m altitude. Here's how the peak looks from this place, where we started the hike:

 
With over 10Kg in my backpack, even more extra on my belly and 3 girls stopping to take pictures, the hike took about 3 hours.


21 April 2014

Nice day for portable activity

Being the day after Easter, most of the people didn't have to go to work this Monday around these parts. The weather was finally nice and sunny after more than a week of daily rain, so it felt like the perfect oportunity to go out with the family for a picnic and also taking the portable equipment for a spin.

We chose to go to Paltinu lake, a beautiful place about 90km north of Bucharest, near a town called Campina. This place was also situated in a Flora and Fauna region - YOFF-491, but as the propagation didn't seem to be helping alot and there wasn't GSM coverage to add a cluster spot, I decided not to take the high road of activation-style operation and just search and pounce what I could hear, while relaxing with the family and friends.