31 December 2014

Happy new year !

Thank you all for visiting my blog in 2014, may all your wishes come true in 2015 !

25 December 2014

SOTA activation: YO/EC-520 Seciu peak

After more than 2 months of ugly weather - wich included a full consecutive 30 days of overcast sky, the days around Christmas are finally taking a turn on this side of the world. The Christmas Eve morning caught me in my hometown of Ploiesti, with a long list of chores ahead; luckily, outside was the clearest and bluest sky I've seen in months, and I immediately thought of the SOTA bag I was carrying in the car and the new antenna I had to test. So after helping my father with a few things around town, I took off for the closest and most accessible SOTA peak: YO/EC-520, Seciu peak.

This little guy is only 406m tall (1 point, no season bonus) and is one of the smallest I've ever activated, the only one below it being YO/MM-005. It is known thanks to the famous wine maker and touristic complex right on top of it "Casa Seciu", usually reserved for the high-ranking members of the communist party before the 1989 revolution. Now it's open for everyone and I had the chance to visit it about 3 years ago, take a tour of the wine cellars, taste their excuisite cooking and purchase a few unique bottles "for closer examination".

22 December 2014

Icom's new flagship: IC-7851

Icom just posted their new flagship product on the japanese website: IC-7851. It doesn't seem to be a completely new product - as the front panel is almost identical to the IC-7800, but appearences can be misleading.

Icom claims redesigned insides for the IC-7851, aimed at improving performance "no matter what cost". They targeted the LO (much lower phase noise local oscillator), the DSP (we might finally have a working bandscope), the exciter BPF block is now relay-switched (as the PIN diodes bring some distorsions into the mix) and they added few more bells and whistles such as USB mouse support, DVI display output and SP-DIF audio I/O. There is also a new 1.2kHz "OPTIMUM ROOFING FILTER" on the 1st IF (64MHz).