fbpx

Hi! I’m Andrew, VK3FS. I’ve been an amateur radio operator for just on 40 years and based in Mount Martha on the Mornington Peninsula. This site showcases some of the stuff I get up to, with the odd review and how-to. 
Field Day Microwave VHF UHF Contest

Microwave

Moving above the higher bands can be challenging. It’s a lot of fun though. There’s a whole new world of experimentation and hands-on. If you’re in an elevated position or like going portable, give this aspect of our hobby consideration.

3FS antenna view

Contesting

There’s nothing better than heading out and making a few contacts on a field weekend either with the local radio club or flying solo, especially when 6m is open! My contests of choice – the John Moyle field day and the VHF/UHF field days.

WSJT-X and FT8

WSJT-X and FT8

If you’ve lost interest in the HF bands, why not give FT8 a go. It’s super easy to get going, and with an ever increasing range of software becoming available to assist in QSOs and logging, it leaves more time for making contacts!

Image of 75cm Offset Dish for 3cm

10 GHz (3cm)

For whatever reason, everyone has a favourite band. It may be the characteristics or challenge of getting on a band that appeals to some operators. 10 GHz is one of those bands, and when it comes to antennas, accuracy is everything!

Amateur Radio

First licence in 1981 as VK3XFQ, then VK3KIR, I'm now VK3FS.

Licenced UAV pilot

All good hobbies need a licence, and flying drones is no different! I'm CASA certified.

Well, it's a living

Since 1984 I've been in the broadcasting industry. Production in TV and on air on ABC Radio.

VK3FS blog
  • Converting a latching coaxial relay to failsafe behaviour is is ideal for a TX RX coaxial changeover relay. This circuit will show you how.

  • If you enjoy SOTA, parks, microwave or radio in the great outdoors, then this is the radio for you. Having received great accolades, and a long list of positives, some might say there’s one thing miss

  • 40m and Australia's NBN delivered over FTTN just doesn't mix. It's like oil and water. Transmit on 40 metres and kill the internet. It's quite a common problem here and probably anywhere the internet

  • There’s been a bit of confusion lately about how to access the IC-705 using your PC or laptop. Access Point or Station. You’d want to do this if you’re trying to run software like wfview.

Some handy links 
6m tropo

VK Spotter

VKspotter gives radio operators a real time portal into band conditions. This tool is invaluable to anyone working 6m and above.

Hey What's That path profiler

Path profiling

Heywhatsthat.com is a great tool for path profiling. If you want to know what you can see from a particular spot, this is your site. Great for microwave outings too.

3FS Hepburn Troppo

Tropo Forecast

William Hepburn's reference site for global tropo. You'll know all about this if you tinker in the higher bands. This link will take you to the AU/NZ forecast

The Sun

SolarHam

SolarHam provides real time Space Weather news and data from various sources, all in one location for easy navigation.

More VK3FS radio antics.

How to track 2m Interference

Tracking VHF Interference

Whether it’s an annoying buzz or hum, radio interference can certainly diminish enjoyment of our hobby. Finding it and getting it fixed can be one of those challenges that can really try us, but it need not be. This is the story of my local QRM and how I fixed it.

Microwave

Experimenting with microwave is not only a lot of fun, it can be a terrific learning experience. From 2.4GHz up, there’s so much to build and experiment with. The black boxes stop at 1296MHz, so transverters and sequencers are norm as you head up the spectrum.

Photo of Leo Bodnar Icom IC-9700 Reference Injection Board

Fixing the IC-9700 drift

The Icom IC-9700 is a brilliant radio with just one flaw. It drifts! If you’re just using the radio on voice, then chances are, you haven’t noticed. The frequency drift issue has had many talking about this instability since the radio’s release back in January 2019. For such an expensive transceiver, how could Icom have overlooked something as fundamental as frequency stability?

Picture of the Icom IC-705

Icom IC-705 Review

The new Icom IC-705 All Mode Transceiver which is a QRP rig is now out in the wild. As an owner of an IC-9700, in some ways, this radio is very similar in operation, but in other ways, it’s so very different.

Photo of the Leo Bodnar IC-9700 Locking board

IC-9700 Locking Board

The Icom IC-9700 is a brilliant radio with just one flaw. It drifts! If you’re just using the radio on voice, then chances are, you haven’t noticed. The frequency drift issue has had many talking about this instability since the radio’s release back in January 2019. For such an expensive transceiver, how could Icom have overlooked something as fundamental as frequency stability?

9cm Transverter

SG Lab 9cm transverter

This is the second SG Lab transverter that I’ve purchased. Ther first was Hristiyan LZ5HP’s 2400 MHz transverter which has worked flawlessly since day 1. Located in Sofia, Bulgaria, SG Lab makes all sorts of microwave and RF products for commerical applications therfore they’re well positioned to make amateur radio products.

SOCIAL media

VK3FS station location and surrounds at Mount Martha

VK3FS