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G4GQL's Ham Shack - Alan Schiffman


G4GQL
Alan Schiffman
Class A Class
G4GQL Ham Since 1976
United Kingdom

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Other Callsigns
I was first A2672 in 1964 when I first joined the RSGB as a young associate.

Then BRS 37593 (SWL)before I was licenced as a Ham

My first call sign was G8NNI

Then passed the CW and now I am G4GQL

My Ham Radio Interests
My name is Alan Schiffman and I am a Semi-Retired Podiatrist

I am married to my late wife Lesley for over 50 years and have two grown up daughters, Ruth and Stacey, and four grandchildren.

I have been interested in communication and radio since I was 10 years old, having cut my teeth in the 50/60's with Ex WD equipment bought from Tottenham Court Road, London and other emporiums.

I have constructed many projects, receivers, transmitters, QRP transceivers, tape recorders, PSU, antennas and so on

I also enjoy Reading Practical Wireless, QST, Radcom, Historical technical magazines and books, local history-and meccano !!! we never grow up us geezers!

WW2 communication equipment: 19 sets, 18 sets, 38 sets, R109, HRO, 1155, I had 'em all

I also collect CW keys

I am OP on HMS Belfast, most Monday's on PSK 31/FT8

My main interest now is PSK 31/FT8 modes mainly on 80M at around 9.00 pm most evenings. Also occasionally QRP CW around 40/20m

I am active on 20m digital modes and during the day, and most evenings aroung 9.00pm on 40m PSK31/FT8 full power.

Would really like to hear from SWL's I use EQSL, I also frequent the other bands , Pse QSL via Bureau. All printed cards will be acknowledged.
Also now re-kindling my interest in QRP CW, and brushing up the speed, also meteor trails on VHF

I enjoy getting kids to use morse code on HMS Belfast. They send their name in CW and I then give them a certificate



Equipment
My Equipment is:

Yaesu FT-991, FT-450, Icom IC-7100, WOUXUN KG-UV950P, various QRP CW TX/RX, pixie, 49er, QRPlabs CW tx/rx



ATU: MFJ-993B autotuner

INTERFACES: Signalink by Tigertronics, Isoterm Multicon by G3LIV,

ANTENNAS: HB vetical 17 feet radiator, 9:1 UNUN

PC: Toshiba Satellite

SOFTWARE USED: HRD+DM780 for PSK31, Windows 7
WSJT-x for FT8

Also running SSTV


Latest development is a helical antenna, again seems excellent and very quiet

Details:

3 inch diameter grey tube wound with 106 feet of wire, self spaced and using a 9:1 unun

Have since modified original antennas, see QRZ.com


Other Interests
I am interested in writing articles for magazines, ie. Radio Bygones, a 15 part article on printing for the Small Printer magazine-my previous occupation was in print for 30 years, and nostalgic articles-the good ol' days-for local community magazines.

Radio and electronic construction, antenna construction, reading rig reviews

I am now working part time, 73 years old and very active.

I also like classical music, and I share a hobby with my late wife, Lesley-we keep tropical fish

I also print mugs as a hobby for radio clubs, events, rallies etc.
Web: http://printedmugs.website2.me
Email: slogmugs@gmail.com



Clubs
European Phase Shift Keying Club EPC # 11119
DMC # 3065
070 club # 1159, RAOTA #2827

I am a member of LEFARS-Loughton and Epping Forest Amateur radio Society, RNARS (associate member)
Member and digimode op: RAOTA, G2OT, FT8

I am also a member of RNARS-Royal Navy Amateur Radio Society, London Branch and I am active on board HMS Belfast call GB2RN or when reguired other special callsigns from HMS Belfast

Also a former member of the Ilford Branch RSGB from 1964
Unfortunately it no longer is in existence.

Also past member of Barking RSGB Radio Club

FISTS CW club

EHam forums

EHam.net G4GQL for full antenna article

QRZ.com

EQSL and HRDlog for QSL correspondence

RSGB, ARRL

G4GQL Updated Profile - 6/4/2019 4:37:55 AM


G4GQL Uploaded a Picture - 6/10/2018 8:35:31 AM


My digimode setup
My digimode setup

G4GQL Uploaded a Picture - 11/18/2017 1:30:01 PM


Back of my 70th cake
Back of my 70th cake

G4GQL Uploaded a Picture - 11/18/2017 1:05:39 PM


My 70th Birthday cake from my XYL, Lesley
My 70th Birthday cake from my XYL, Lesley

G4GQL's Blog Post - 10/29/2017 3:50:57 AM

UPDATE TO THE G4GQL SHACK

As I am a dedicated antenna to antenna fanatic, there is no internet dependent modes for me

The new FT8 mode is proving great in this low sunspot period with many stations worked on a seemingly dead band

My favorite rig is still the Icom IC-7100, usind Signalink USB, and HRD software

Also playing with meteor scatter and SSTV

I am QRV as op for RAOTA Monday/Tuesday's 1900hrs to 2100hrs in digimode FT*. 17/20/30/40mtrs callsign G2OT
Still enjoying the great challenge of Ham Radio antenna to antenna

Gud DX es 73
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G4GQL's Blog Post - 10/10/2016 12:07:40 PM

Vertical HB antenna

It has now been over 6 years that I have been using the home brew vertical with the 9:1 unun

Certainly works FB with the PSK 31

Main interest in Amateur Radio is now digital modes, using HRD

Also use Mixw, FLdigi, WSPR, JT65, and many more digital softwqre

New rigs: Icom IC-7100 and Yaesu FT-991 both FB
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G4GQL Uploaded a Picture - 10/10/2016 12:00:35 PM


shack
shack

G4GQL Uploaded a Picture - 10/23/2015 12:11:22 PM


My MFJ QRP TX/RX
My MFJ QRP TX/RX

G4GQL Uploaded a Picture - 10/23/2015 12:08:25 PM


Me on HMS Belfast in BWO
Me on HMS Belfast in BWO

G4GQL is Connected to the following - 2/27/2012 5:28:43 AM

MW3VJN ON3RVL
G4GQL Uploaded a Picture - 2/27/2012 5:28:43 AM


You can just see the stealth L antenna
You can just see the stealth L antenna

G4GQL is Connected to the following - 5/18/2011 11:26:08 AM

W6QT
G4GQL's Blog Post - 5/18/2011 11:26:08 AM

Modified G4GQL vertical for flat dwellers

I have now modified the vertical to top loaded. Recently I have added a duplicate vertical, connected to the original vertical and it is horizontally polarised forming a L shape arrangement. My best contact was 3800KM in Russia in PSK-31

Details to follow soon-once I am sure it works FB

73

Alan
G4GQL
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G4GQL is Connected to the following - 8/29/2010 12:12:11 PM

WB4IUY
G4GQL's Classified Ad - 8/29/2010 12:12:11 PM

Vintage Amstrad PPC-640DD laptop
I have for sale a vintage Amstrad PPC640DD early laptop in very good condition and fully working.

This has a built in non-illuminated LCD monitor, an early Modem, 2 floppy disk drives, A & B, one holds the storage floppy disk, and the other drive (B) holds the operating system

640K base memory. Battery operated (normal alkaline)or PSU. supplied

can be used as a word processor, and packet radio-it has RS232 port.

It would make an ideal item for a computer collector or even a museum

If interested, I am on EMail

G4GQL@aol.com (please head EMail PPC640DD as I do not open EMails I do not recognise) 73's

G4GQL is Connected to the following - 4/25/2010 11:22:42 AM

YC1BJX
G4GQL Uploaded a Picture - 4/25/2010 11:22:42 AM


SOME CONFIRMED CONTACTS WITH ANTENNA SETUP
SOME CONFIRMED CONTACTS WITH ANTENNA SETUP

G4GQL's Blog Post - 4/20/2010 1:42:27 PM

PHASED ANTENNA PDF FILE

TEXT OF THE FULL PDF FILE (Being modified at present)

ANTENNAS FOR FLAT DWELLERS
ANTENNA RESTRICTIONS AND POOR
LOCATIONS
Do you live in a flat? Poor location? Excessive electrical noise drowning your receiver?
Antenna restrictions?
I have been passionate about radio communication for a very long time, my interest
began when I was about 10 years old, and many will no doubt remember the enormous
amount of government surplus available in the 1950/60’s. You could get great equipment
for pocket money.
Remember going down Tottenham court Road or Lisle Street?
You would have arrived at 9.00 am at Tottenham Court Road underground station and by
5.00pm you were about half way down the road, having looked in nearly all of the shops
like Proops, Relda radio etc.
As long as We lived in a house, I had no problems with aerials, verticals, G5RV, 4/4 slot fed
Yagis, home brew dipoles. Long wires, I used them all
So...the kids arrived, grew up and flew the nest, and time marched on until we no longer
needed a house, and decided to move into a brand new ground floor flat with our french
doors backing onto open sports fields
I put up an invisible stainless steel long wire along the back wall, but reception was
terrible, weak, noisy and unuseable
Then I tried a vertical whip in a magnetic mount and this was not a lot better
I then tried many different antennas, Miracle whip, Bug catcher, and many more, but
noise levels were unacceptable
Time went by and I tried ATU’s, ferrite rings, indoor antennas, loop antennas...you name it
and I tried it.
I found that my
Yaesu FT-450 was
the best rig to use,
with it’s filters
I tune up with the
Yaesu FT-840 using
the meter. Less filters
in this rig.
Get the best result
then switch to the
FT-950
MY SHACK
My equpment is:
Yaesu FT-817, 840,
950
MFJ 949E ATU
MFJ 1025 noise
canceller
And signal
enhancer
Alan Schiffman, G4GQL@aol.com
After YEARS of frustrating experiments, and being PURE RADIO, I do not want any wires between
my station and contacts station, after all, I am a Radio Ham and all the fun is experimenting,
and making contacts under most difficult conditions. I really am not interested in glorified phone
calls. Don’t get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for internet related modes, but it is not for
me personally. I HAD TO GET ON THE AIR!
So...back to the antenna problem.
One evening I was settled down with a nice mug of tea and I suddenly thought of something...I
was to go back in time, to the ‘60’s and look up the old Joystick antenna.
I remember that this centre loaded antenna could be propped up anywhere and with its ATU
and a counterpoise, you could work some pretty impressive DX. An old friend worked into North
africa from his garage with it propped against the wall!
Of course this antenna is no longer available, but with some research on the internet, I found an
article where a home brew version was produced with some pretty impressive results
I always remember, that TO BE TOO CLEVER IS NOT CLEVER, so it was back to basics
You can check the details out on http://www.hamuniverse.com/joystickantenna.html
I then built the antenna and it just appeared to be an end fed long wire, so I connected it to my
MFJ 949E as a long wire and it seemed to be quite lively, but noisy
I tried transmitting and to my surprise, I was getting contacts with my Yaesu FT-817 at only 5 watts
with PSK31on 80m
I used this set up for a while, but of course being an experimenter not a rag chewer, I had to
improve and move on.
I was reading about signal enhancement and noise cancellation and I became interested, So I
looked at the MFJ 1025 noise canceller and signal enhancer
The MFJ 1025 above the
Yaesu FT-450
I then looked up as much detail as I could on the MFJ 1025, and became quite taken with the
reports.
I then purchased one, read the instructions carefully, and realised that it required two antennas
which would be phased. I then built another identical antenna and hung them both onto the
steel balcony above our patio.
One of the
HB vertical
Antennas
(main)
One antenna (main) for receive was connected to the ATU via a 9:1UNUN (unbalanced to
unbalanced transformer) the other antenna was connected to the MFJ 1025 Aux socket.
The transmitter socket was connected to a 3 way coax switch patched to 3 rigs-Ft 840, 450 and
817.
Then came the tricky bit...was it going to work? Will I get good signals and be back in business at
last?
I checked all the set up carefully and connected a PSU to the MFJ 1025 and followed the
instructions. I set the rig to 80m and tuned the ATU 1:1
I really could not believe the difference when I turned everything on. At first it sounded no
different and I felt dissapointed, but then I turned the antenna controls both off and the signals
completely dissapeared, I turned up the Aux noise antenna to maximum noise, noted the
position and turned it back down, thenI turned up the main ant control to match the reading of
the aux antenna and then left it there. I then turned up the Aux antenna control to match and
some signals were heard. I was on 80m PSK 31. Then I set the phasing button to normal and
turned the phasing control to achieve a dip and then...JOY! I had clean signals and I could
completely null out the noise drowning the signals. I logged onto a signal and words appeared
on my screen from HUNGARY, so I called him back and he returned to give me RST(Q) 599, and
we finished the QSO
This happened time after time, and I am Delighted and was eager to share this with the many
others that may be finding difficulties and contemplating QRT...DON’T DO THAT!
So that is why I wanted to write this article
Here is the
other antenna
(Aux)
I also drove a steel spike into the earth and earthed everything, and added a radial wire running
along the patio close to the wall. The radial connects to the ATU wing nut terminal.
All leads are strapped to the main thick earth lead and this goes into the shack, and the feed to
each antenna is buried under the stones.
Ferrite rings
on every lead
Cables enter
the window
The 9:1 UNUN
Antenna hidden
feed point
Good earth stake
and thick insulated
copper earth wire
I found an article on line re: http://www.hamuniverse.com/joystickantenna.html
Look this up and this was the basis of my many, many experiments.
Here's what I do
I cut two pieces of steel tube about 1/2 inch dia, 5.5' length with a piece of wooden dowel to fit
as a coil former at the top of the tube. Onto this I wound 3 coils, 2 close wound 2 inch spaced between coils, and one wide spaced coil onto the wooden dowel.
Use solder tags and nuts and bolts and join each end to the steel pipes.
Feed at the bottom and use about 1 metre of RG8U coax.
Join the centre to the braid and solder to a tag fitted to the bottom of the copper section.
Now connect the centre of a RG8U lead to the end of the coax joined braid/centre stub and
cut away the outer braid, leaving just the centre conductor connected. The other end goes to
a PL259 and the MFJ 949E ATU (this is the best ATU I have found).A random radial is then run
from the earth wing nut on the ATU, out of the window, and along the ground outside our
ground floor flat. Mine is about 20 feet long.
I then fitted an insulated hook arrangement to the top of the antenna so I could
hang it from the top of the balcony, the bottom of the antenna is only 2 inches above the earth.
The stub/coax lead is then run along the ground, through the window to the ATU
YOU MUST HAVE A GOOD EARTH. I drove 2 feet of earthing stake into the ground,
connected thick earthing wire and run this to the ATU and rig.
Cable clip all leads into the shack to this earth lead.
Put a ferrite ring on all your rig, PSU and PC leads
I use mainly PSK31 so I had to calm the laptop down HI!
Now cover the entire antenna with black PVC tape to weatherproof and ''hide'' it.
If all is OK, you should be able to tune up 1:1 on the HF bands. Tune very carefully and note
all ATU settings.
I have had many great contacts in PSK31, but would be interested in any comments you may have

Feed at bottom, use radial, and A GOOD EARTH
I have a lot of metal balcony all around, but it still works great.

PLEASE NOTE: THE ANTENNA HAS BEEN MODIFIED TO TOP LOADING-MY OWN DESIGN, AND IS AT PRESENT ON VERY SUCCESSFUL TEST. I HOPE TO BE ABLE TO OFFER THESE FOR SALE AT A VERY REASONABLE PRICE, ONCE I AM SURE IT IS WORKING FB

Alan, G4GQL@aol.com
MFJ 1025
LPF
9:1 UNUN
Noise ant
9:1 UNUN
Main ant
COAX MFJ 949E ATU
3 way
SWITCH
FT-840
FT-950
FT-817
AUX ANTENNA
SOCKET
MAIN ANT.
SOCKET
FOR TX
#2 COAX
CONNECTOR
TX CONNECTOR
ON ATU
My equipment set up
RADIO
SOCKET
.
73

Alan
Comment from YC1BJX 6/4/2010 7:28:43 PM
Hi,Alan vy nice collection "cw-key"

best73
de Yc1bjx-Yustiadi

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G4GQL Uploaded a Picture - 4/20/2010 1:32:19 PM


MY LOVELY WIFE LESLEY
MY LOVELY WIFE LESLEY

G4GQL is Connected to the following - 4/18/2010 8:40:57 AM

AE5LO
G4GQL's Blog Post - 4/18/2010 8:40:57 AM

PHASED VERTICALS FOR FLAT DWELLERS

This is used in conjunction with MFJ-1025 Noise canceller

I found an article on line re: http://www.hamuniverse.com/joystickantenna.html

Look this up and this was the basis of my many, many experiments.

Here's what I do

See the diagram 'homeconstructed joystick'

I cut two pieces of copper tube about 3/4 inch dia, with a piece of plastic conduit to fit
as a coil former in the centre. Onto this I wound a close spaced coil of separated speaker wire to
fill the plastic former.

Use solder tags and nuts and bolts and join each end to the copper pipes.

Feed at the bottom and use about 1 metre of RG8U coax.
Join the centre to the braid and solder to a tag fitted to the bottom of the copper section.

Now connect the centre of a RG8U lead to the end of the coax joined braid/centre stub and cut away
the outer braid, leaving just the centre conductor connected. The other end goes to a PL259 and the
MFJ 949E ATU (this is the best ATU I have found).A random radial is then run from the earth wing
nut on the ATU, out of the window, and along the ground outside our ground floor flat.
Mine is about 20 feet long.

I then fitted an insulated hook arrangement to the top of the antenna so I could hang it from the top of
the balcony, the bottom of the antenna is only 2 inches above the earth.

The stub/coax lead is then run along the ground, through the window to the ATU

YOU MUST HAVE A GOOD EARTH. I drove 2 feet of earthing stake into the ground,
connected thick earthing wire and run this to the ATU and rig.

Cable clip all leads into the shack to this earth lead.

Put a ferrite ring on all your rig, PSU and PC leads

I use mainly PSK31 so I had to calm the laptop down HI!

Now cover the entire antenna with black PVC tape to weatherproof and ''hide'' it.

If all is OK, you should be able to tune up 1:1 on the HF bands. Tune very carefully and note
all ATU settings.

I have had many great contacts in PSK31, but would be interested in any comments you may have

CONSTRUCTION DETAILS: 3/4 inch tube

TOP SECTION COPPER TUBE 32.5 inches
BOTTOM SECTION COPPER TUBE 44.5 inches

PLASTIC CENTRE COIL FORMER-CONDUIT 210 turns of single speaker wire-pound shops!

Feed at bottom, use radial, and A GOOD EARTH

I have a lot of metal balcony all around, but it still works great.

Again refer to http://www.hamuniverse.com/joystickantenna.html

Since 27/2/2012, I have added a duplicate vertical connected to the original vertical, and this one is lifted to horizontal, forming an L shape arangement.

Many thanks to the author of this great article

Look forward to any comments/improvements

Alan, G4GQL@aol.com
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G4GQL Uploaded a Picture - 4/18/2010 1:58:48 AM


MFJ-1025
MFJ-1025

G4GQL Uploaded a Picture - 4/18/2010 1:57:19 AM


STILL MORE!
STILL MORE!

G4GQL Uploaded a Picture - 4/18/2010 1:11:45 AM


MORE OF THE TOYS!
MORE OF THE TOYS!

G4GQL Uploaded a Picture - 4/18/2010 1:06:34 AM


ME AT THE HELM!
ME AT THE HELM!

G4GQL Uploaded a Picture - 4/18/2010 1:04:08 AM


MY SHACK-MISSION CONTROL!
MY SHACK-MISSION CONTROL!

G4GQL Joined My Ham Shack - 4/17/2010 1:32:15 PM


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