Director’s Cut with Roly ZL1BQD – 340 Countries and DXpeditioner

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hello praise brother so some snap
questions for you you ready yeah yeah yeah sure or anything DX commander or
DXxpedition things or what yeah fine so if you look behind you on the left
you’ll see some certificates on the wall what are those over here is a DHCC phone
below it is a DX e CCW all about three hundred countries plan over the top one
over here is it’s a mixed 340 I think it is aa mixed one down below does DX you
see data and the granddaddy’s a little not right in the middle either let’s say
honors raw really so your what do you see on this role I’ve heard of that
well you got to get all but well you got to be the I think within ten of them of
the maximum countries it’s not right and who is an a double RL thing yeah a
double or every issue that so I’m sitting the only one during the three
countries which three are they any three or particular three no North Korea
Scarborough reef and practice Island now I remember when I first began those
sorry Rollie go ahead get those through it’s all it’s a whole lot I remember
when I first came on amateur it must be my first or second year so we’re looking
at two thousand three or four Scarborough wife was on there was a D
expedition there yeah well that’s a pretty impossible one nowadays yeah the
Chinese on that next sort of stuff and they went allow anybody there same with
proudest Island okay and of course the political situation in North Korea
doesn’t allow a more radio so yeah yeah pretty much
is there has been a couple of the expeditions there but a few lucky people
have got them and that’s better so as anybody ever lit lit up North
Korea they’d be arrested and thrown into jail yeah but even in the past was there
anybody officially that lit up North Korea yeah yeah there has been a couple
of occasions I think a couple of them have been exploratory type things should
have shown the government what ammeter radio is about and seeing if there’s any
possibilities but it hasn’t come to anything you just tell me about your
working career cuz I mean you know you don’t look 12 anymore maybe you look
about 12 something like about 71 years just tell me it would so what wish you
work week that that’s front yeah were you a technical man well for when I was
a little boy I started up with the New Zealand Post offices many technicians
around there in New Zealand do and from that point of view started off in the
telephone exchanges just doing the menial apprentice type stuff and
gradually then went after the radio division of the post office and started
doing ship-to-shore Stefan on the good old moss and they saw stuff then those
days you were bonded to the post office you had to pay up to three thousand
pound to get to get out of the post office and one of the manufacturers big
manufactures in New Zealand decided to buy my bond I think they called it and
so I started off with this large corporate doing audio television design
engineering and that went on for a number of years I decided then to leave
and pursue my own sort of things in my own business and for many years
I’m agent here in New Zealand I didn’t know that yeah and he gave that all the
way and decided I’d retired the tender age of about 45 G’s but my wife had
other ideas and she said either get a divorce or a job your choice so this
when I joined up with one of the very larger broadcasters here in New Zealand
and looked up did all the chief engineering for that we’re gonna have to
transmit this around New Zealand and so on and that scene started to spread out
into the Pacific and then when I retired they looked around and thought well
where do we get some radio engineers now most radio engineers are my sort of age
and sort of departing the scene and particularly RF engineers and so I start
up my own business as a charitable trust in them going around most of the Pacific
Islands now fixing up mission type radios and their sister yeah well I’m at
these places I play amateur radio as well so that’s how you get around and
these Pacific Islands yeah these Pacific Islands are they mostly kind of VHF or
medium wave if in broadcast you know so we’re talking about the the normal if in
broadcast band yeah with the transmitters from or one kilowatt output
up to the biggest one would be 50 kilowatt out but that’s a lot of power I
mean the islands quite big that war obviously weren’t that well the islands
ago to some or let’s see new way Papa New Guinea ago at
the Papua New Guinea a lot Solomon Islands Timor least lately out of the
motor of islands South Cook Islands Vanuatu fine I need it so he short
weren’t your there then this is just your work now I mean you’re not climbing
the bloody tower and they are you are used to but and mind is completely
willing killing but the choking yeah yeah hey yeah I wouldn’t be stupid
enough my mind would be going telling me to get up there strangely enough going
up is not the problem it’s coming down uh-huh
it really really put a strain on your calf muscles I see coming down and if
you miss your footing coming down it’s it’s quite a long way and so any you
just sort of what sort of level were you doing when you’re there at this
broadcast this would be a building in a top of a mountain somewhere with it all
sometimes you’d actually in the studio as well oh shit had to have some photos
and show you it can be something very very nice indeed to just a bit of a
shack on the top of a mountain yeah yeah I’m fine
and most of the problems are radio transmitters and in the tropics don’t
tend to mix very well and so you get lightning strikes and very high humidity
high temperatures and it’s nothing for transmitted to be running it at ambient
temperature about forty five degrees I always see so now you get with an
ambient of forty-five the device temperatures
get very high indeed yeah I’m fine and I’ve heard that with humidity you get
all sorts of shit happening on circuit boards and stuff yeah you get that green
sort of fear degrees so all the transmitters we use and particularly
Papua New Guinea Solomon’s though what they called tropical eyes transmitters
who so all the board’s have been set up and then dipped in epoxy resin okay is
that what they used to call potted effectively yeah yeah I think so
basically yeah it’s a kiss of a thing to try and work on because you got to you
chip all this stuff away before we can get away yeah fine so okay fine so an FM
is now in this country where eighty seven and a half or something or 87 up
to 108 is that the same worldwide yeah yeah and of course you know UK New
Zealand America you have all very strict licenses and so on the license
conditions for the broadcast is very tough in these little island so much to
say on this one I don’t know I just thought it was a good question it is a
good question Bay City becomes then through one of Education first so you
have to go to a lot of these Island authorities and tell them what the rules
and regulations are and in many cases get around to writing my own rules and
regulations anyway ah okay well Donald a then alright by the way in
New Zealand UK we’re very much you we use the word amateur radio right the us
very much ham radio where this New Zealand and using Australia this part of
the world sit on the on the wordage au ham or you amateur now ham radios it
would be the normal phraseology yeah mmm être radio here in New Zealand we give
the connotations you don’t know what you’re
doing at lease at right yeah yeah yeah no no believe it okay especially and
from as far as the professional broadcasters we consider right they
understand what ham right ear is fine for wins it on amateur radio they go
what the hell is hands to professional I see but to be honest kill I’m absolutely
blown away what can what you can do with a little K X le craft cake sorry yeah a
50 watt amp before the end of it yeah into an antenna which you might die
about Oh what someone what you meet a DX come on really
yeah yeah before your experience with a dear its commander then had you ever
used a quarter wave just on the ground that’s interesting yes yes but they’re
also variations of it as well we’re not when I had a tower with a beam on top of
it yes I used to have a facing bar uh Prudential cetera is spaced off about
200 mil so 10 inches yeah 10 rare American phrase specialty off the tower
joined at the top of the tower just underneath the beam right and you feed
that face bar so became like a 1/2 of a folded dipole yeah okay on 80 meters oh
I see now that transmitted like like crazy but the receiving was very very
noisy so that’s why I use the remote mainly on receive yes okay and you know
I’ve had and then of course from a professional point of view yeah all of
our am towers are verticals in danger yeah and there may be 200 odd feet high
with radial Co 256 radio yes ridiculous amount of the same link yeah yeah so 350
feet long yeah so I just remind me the power-limited
act then you said to 500 watts or something I mean did typically what sort
of output power would most guys running in reality almost guys so I guess like
just like UK will be running barefoot rigs yeah hundred or whatever they put
it yeah those are more added in there than the DX will be up to 400 watts yeah
okay fine now I think it’s important to note this icon basis oh did you actually
made a living out of out of being the New Zealand icon man did you yeah for
several years so my dear that that included aeronautical are marine and
land mobile as well as ammeter right so if you do experience on that how the
hell did you manage to remote I mean could you change frequency remotely with
these presumably you using an icon at the time when you were remote stationing
yeah Icom ever famous little thing caught a cat five ah no kept for thing
at the back yeah and that was delivering frequency and stuff yeah being on the
inside with the company up in Japan and so we made a do all sorts of marvelous
things that’s cool but in reality it was adorable think of the Israel yeah I came
fine yeah and was that particular that just over a phone line then in those
days yeah it was too far away to maybe UHF in or something yes it was but we
had no such thing as Wi-Fi in there so stuff we’re talking back in the 80s yeah
no tremendous yeah okay yeah we running the basic dos or whatever I was also
lucky enough fair because of the context I had with the post office
we founded this year’s telephone line up there ah and a win for several miles
after I found the other end of it disconnected that and I can’t remove I
terminated or not fancy I didn’t and Justine fed it and there was a so we had
the infeed water which went basically straight headed towards us well on the
lobe and seen feed that yeah on it we’d on anything I’ve done some modeling on
that apparently there’s some real gain off the end of those very very long
wires there’s some real gain off it but you got to make sure you want the gain
is going the right way now then our relationship started I get this random
email problem you do remember so I ran to meme out of this weird looking for I
notice we’ve got inverted ear hits yeah well you’ve got the animal when
I’ve got the commander yes because I’m in the sudden oh it’s outside outside
yeah got it now you know that I’ve got all my cameras turned upside down so I
can see probably yeah so now you must have had an inkling that this thing that
I was doing was working where the hell did you hear about that do you remember
I first watched one of your construction videos and I thought well this this is
gonna be here this is gonna be entertainment value if nothing else that’s a novel idea as far as putting
multiple elements vertically why shouldn’t it work because of his fan
dipoles yeah well many many years yeah and he didn’t it work extremely well in
in fact what I normally take on dig the expedition with me there’s a fan dot or
which is 40 20 and maybe 10 yeah just roll
on a real yeah the end of my bag where we go so as soon as you get through any
of these islands you find a little twelve-year-old boy that’s willing to
climb the coconut tree boy yeah and throw it up in the tree and where you go
yeah so I knew that Fenn dipoles work extremely well yeah absolutely no reason
why I shouldn’t take a dipole and make it better
yeah your braid so it says speakers you ground hmm yeah wait guys yeah so I’m
Bernard you I thought I’ll give it a go ah this chef some verticals up up a tree
actually yeah I’m fine I recommend that so people don’t really close proximity
and well yeah as I expected would do yes so then I thought well this would be a
brilliant idea to take on the expeditions with me yeah but you
remember the original dekes commander is quite long
yeah he’s for tubing yes so that’s it’s it’s all foot long for the Americans 1.2
meters for the regular guys yeah so from a logistic point of view that really
meant that that’s another package that has to pack up and take with me yes if
you’re doing any traveling around the Pacific if you got any packages other
than a suitcase and the backpack mmm they start getting interested I’m
sorting or what are this school said then and so you’re forever lasting
explaining what this far because Polar’s yeah they’ve got no understanding of it
Bru suspicious over yeah more than anything I want to be able to charge you
some GT or something at some Judy for yeah and so it normally gets up to say
in Papua New Guinea banging them a coupla keen are in their way so that’s
when I price yeah and they said well what’s your what see possibility you
chopping this thing down yeah so this in the
sitting fit into a suitcase yes send you the dimensions of the suitcase and yeah
yeah and within finish or time you said here try this
yeah well that’s an absolute winner yeah it’s it’s in the suitcase no trouble all
the other bits and pieces that are required it’s all go in your suitcase
yeah now yeah I have no problems at all because they’re not what can’t be seen
is they’re not interested and to be honest and Aiden you know fine the only
only problem I did have was when they get a ride back from Papua New Guinea
one time I remember customs here in New Zealand got very interested and say what
on earth you’re importing here yeah was it well nothing’s open the bag
open the DX commander and it’s full of ants oh shit vasin insects and you name
it well customs got very interesting with me on that one auntie says that had
to be fumigated and swallows yeah wait a couple of days to get Medici but they
put it all back incorrectly and it was all smashed up I seem to remember they
had no idea so yeah they did actually break one of the tubes a lot of people
ask me a lot of people say Rolly and say oh it looks really difficult to put up a
DX commander now I’m sort of 15-20 minutes these days but I’ll just bugger
off the reason I like my own antennas I don’t find dipoles I don’t all that sort
of stuff my problem has always been getting a bit of height particularly for
40 meters around 220 to a certain extent is that I know all my games going
straight up and the one of the reasons are like my own antenna I mean I’m
probably one of the few guys who makes aerials and actually uses them myself
you know it’s a gnome again he’s going if I’m careful and I’ve got you know 16
to 32 radials of a realistic size between 1/8 and 1/4 whatever wavelength
most of my game is at least going fairly low to the horizon and that’s the only
reason I like my own antenna so however I still appreciate that some people
believe it might take quite a long time to put up maybe the first time it might
be you want to make it and cut the elements and stuff to be honest I Cal
the time is in the first time you put it together right if you follow the
instructions that come with the kit yeah to the letter yeah and you’re very
pedantic about it it’ll work mm and that’s gonna take you to be Tippi fairs
gonna take you good half an hour to an hour that first time out yes
once you’ve got all that done label everything
yeah and label the elements label way you’ve got them on the on your radiating
plate and things like that yeah and then take a dent it’s fun pack it away
carefully if you’re going to take it away some with you yeah and then you’ll
find the next time you put this thing up it’ll take you 10 to 15 minutes maximum
yeah okay I wonder I’ve done it a lot of times now
okay and so 10 to 15 minutes would be normal for me now I’ve got everything
all labeled up and everything ready to go yeah so getting you a sharpie and
your label prints or whatever yeah now I’d call you a bit of an extreme
portable man it’s only because of the the work that you find yourself in right
now Roley so why wouldn’t use a fan type all now I do use fan dope all as well
yeah I mean it’s nothing to wrap up a bit of wire that’s wrong and throwing
the kit as well knowing full well that I’ve got somebody the other end they can
climb a coconut tree and you can some of these coconut trees are pretty
high okay so you know it you can always get a dipole oh yeah sure
I like the dipoles because sometimes they’re a little bit quieter okay for
received yeah and and you do get different types of propagation we
sometimes are horizontal which better than the vertical yeah but having the
two do you have them I’m not saying a dispense with the dipoles
okay fine I love having a selection myself and I like been able to switch
the two and the other thing i really i doing is if I’ve got the gear with me
with a two vfo radio as I like having one area on one vfo and one area on the
other vfo that’s a lot of fun as well you can almost you can almost hear the
propagation changing as it goes from one year to the next between vertical and
horizontal unit but this is a modification which I’ve
done to the DX commander yes which I’ve been talking to you about to make the
jolly thing there on 80 meters or so I have a it’s collective
yeah yeah well I can see it yeah at least lovely let’s round on the lump of
PVC tubing 50 millimeter 50m 270 odd millimeters long yeah the pitch is at 5
mil pitch now did you get that pitch so accurately did you put them away several
on the lathe and cut a thread did you okay you didn’t you could use it maybe
if somebody wanted to do this they could use like a lazy wire in between the
windings or something yeah yeah of course ultimately in fact the the
prototype which which is there yes is done that way okay fine
so wrong button I think you want the button on the right now so the 5 mils
pitch you some tips down here I see the bottom tip is for the cwe end of the
band yeah mid band top band on 80 meters yeah so this sits up like that yes the
bottom one there goes to your death plate yeah you drove an element or the
your driving plate goes onto one of the taps and the top one there goes to the
regular 40 meter why I see normal your normal 40 meter element yeah oops
yeah I’m fine come on down here don’t worry you look better with a header yeah
so there’s no other elements to make it’s tremendous we can come back to this
right here yeah so I can see you’re coming out with a tap there to the 40
meter on a little flying Lee don’t you yeah yeah yeah yeah
so the the bottom of the coil cage to the earth plate why are you putting the
bottom of the coil to the ground plate draw the shaker of it and you’ll see
you’ve got a temper coil okay so cool that goes on the bottom to the earth
yeah just one here I’ve just got a crocodile’s chill clip on there yeah
just the edge of the driven plate so I can select whatever tip I want yes and
that’s the SWR care for it now by then I have got no idea what this little bump
is here interesting but it’s a quite sharp yeah so you have to choose what
the part of the band you want to operate in and age
indeed you see when I tried this I didn’t ground the base of the coil I
just went from the bottom of the wall to the top of the coil as one continuous
series circuit if you know the mean but the best SWR I got at that time and this
was before DX c’mon it was even a seed I was just playing around in the garden
was about three two one I just felt that I didn’t know what it was doing nobody I
mean you’ve actually got a white one okay there’s some of the results from
Santa’s from jadelle to up your way to your Island yeah and and have a look at
that I’m receiving in at minus 16 G’s and he’s given me a mono saying that’s
fantastic so yeah they’re very comparable really yeah and remember this
is only 50 watts I could see is a pulse and I just noticed that I’m really
receiving the states at the same the same time up here okay seven HP you know
telling you you minus eleven yeah so shortly after this I did a PSK
reporter repo oh yeah pants can’t yeah Sean and that’s
where I’m getting on a Haiti it’s fantastic
84 in Brazil with 50 watch yeah so the wit not to shoddy no no so the
west coast of the US that’s is that about a third of the way around a globe
for you do you think yeah yeah yes yes yeah give or take yeah and it’s right up
right up over here of course is there a Antipodes countries have a report circle
in Spain is there Antipodes it literally yeah it’s not the word to use I’ve lost
you and your picture in picture by the way okay that’s alright you can use to
it I’ve got it on order I’m very impressed
I’m looking forward to get on a tea that’s this one here is on your way
anyway for you oh really fantastic so I have to literally ground
the base of the coil and then take the tap and put it on the faulty media so
just afford to eat meat at element if I’m gonna make a shorter 40 meter
element because otherwise it a little bit just let it hang around of designed
it so you can just use the the same 40 meter element right I didn’t want they
after doing on yet another element yeah fine and then it’s right and then when
it’s out of line you can just bypass it and it’s inert yeah yeah it’s perfect in
here oh yeah tremendous well this would open up do extremely well yeah as a
result show yeah and it’s not not a really big
modification to make no better time and one the coil up and things oh yeah and
again but anybody could chose of 50 millimeters so it was slow to the base
of the lash line and er yeah really nicely yeah which is I think tops out
about 47 mils something like that there’s a couple of screws down then the
guts the I can’t you gotta clear this way yeah that’s right yeah yeah just use
the regular Dix commander screws how did you yeah
is that some epoxy or something holding that in place no I’ve just put a bit of
electrical tape over and I didn’t stretch yeah yeah the beam that’s
following tremendous yeah and then another guy it was Oh H 8’s TN
you might have seen him on YouTube I sent him I think the one you’ve got
and he he didn’t know what people found about the DX commander and he he sent me
this email today I’ve got it now he said I’ve got it now is there’s this for a
lot of people who buy equipment they’ve never made anything before and this
gives them a kind of a Meccano set up you know that they’ve actually put
something together they’ve cut an element length and they are thinking and
sure enough a lot of people are amazed at oh my god it works oh my god I
actually made this thing and it works so it’s really nice the instructions are
fairly clear yeah and I think if you follow them really pedantically you know
do you think it’ll work yeah yeah and you don’t really need any
technical know-how a little know-how helps yeah particularly if you want to
get that last scrap of Eastover you are the things
yeah shall I make it longer a little bit
short what you need to know those basic fundamentals yeah but other than that no
it just works yeah well I think I’ve got the price point right it’s got to be a
kit it’s gotta be easy ish to put together and it’s got to be good fun
it’s gotta give a result because I don’t know about you Rolly but over the years
I’ve bought that much commercial tat that is packaged beautifully is
advertised beautifully is stocked by all the retailers and you put it together
and you go what the hell is this I don’t even know how most of it even works
Rolly no well you might say but there are a
couple of companies that are sort of raised I think they’ve been set up and
specialize in junk but yeah yeah but Tom Rowland’s he’s on the channel quite a
lot he’s a friend of mine he Yan when the first time he builds his he said it
was like visual physics he could actually for real for the first time
ever see all the cool the waves you know yeah I mean it looks smart in tin even
in the wind when it when it’s bending all over the place it’s still whip yeah
fine I’m starting to like I think this because all the elements are still tend
a relative position to each other even though I do think on it on a being
pedantic you do need a certain amount of tension to keep so as it bends over it
doesn’t start to collapse the element goes soft
yeah well if you make pay attention to where to put the Jubilee clips yeah make
sure you put them on the right side of the joint yeah that works
lately there because of the problems I have in the
tropics of bringing unwanted little insects yeah back with me I tend to rap
every joint with that self a mega meeting tape do you know what I’ve been
doing that as well and I think particularly for the expedition models
don’t bother going down the hose clamp route one it takes a lot of time and you
just don’t need it actually you need to a couple of reps so that amalgamating
place right in a work lab sorry no it’s fine
I know I’ve noticed that as well and it stops any moisture getting in as well
yeah exactly yeah between their mouths agreed Elise
yeah which is important to make why why do you do this game yeah what
what motivates you as far as the DX commander and particularly high force
I’ve always had a business but certainly since I was 14 I’m 60 now most of the
businesses I’ve ever had has relied on people generating revenue and making
lots of phone calls and just utter baloney and so about three years ago I
just I was selling maybe one system a week for and I used to do that in a
boardroom like on a Thursday afternoon i commandeer the place and get all the
kits out and and just make it all I had no tools for winding up things
measuring stuff out with tape measures and and Stanley yeah and own and of
course ended up with this little workshop which it was it’s the reason I
got this little workshop is cheap as chips I mean it’s not exactly a
beautiful workshop it works for me you know it’s got a heater in it and now
that I’m 60 I’m so fed up with looking after staff and realizing well stuff
you’ve got the more time you do looking after staff and less time you’re looking
at doing after the business yes I felt so it could almost stand on its own two
feet just doing Dax commander and if I just put all my eggs in one basket one I
would be happier and and two I could supply enough money for the house which
is important when you’re a man you know and that’s what motivated me today I
you’ve challenged myself to finish another 2,000 meters a wire and wrap
this and the other hundred seventeen orders it’s all in the car has been
dispatched tomorrow morning I’m having a day off well I’m not going to see James
for some other business but so that’s why I do it for the freedom and the love
and actually the customers I find ham radio customers a lot nicer to deal with
than corporate bullshitters I’m not very good with court Brooke
bullshitters anymore yeah that you and me together yeah freedom this DX
commander so what motivates you were the YouTube thing because I realized that
every YouTube consumer that ends up on my channel is a potential customer in
effect and so one I want to I want to spend my time educating them so that
when they finish their education they go you know what I think I wanted the hits
commander I’m not trying to sell them a DX commander I just might Eddie Kate
them so this is how an Ariel works this is how to operate this is how to get the
best out of your world and enjoy the Hobby the most and if you do all that
then one day you’re probably gonna want to buy my Ariel anyway so yeah so that’s
why I spend 95% of my time just having fun educating them and telling people at
ham radio can be good fun there’s people like Rowley and Callum around you know
where nice guys will talk to you will educate he’ll spend time with anybody
really you know it’s great I enjoyed talking to people about the Dee
expedition I’ve done a lot of it yeah I think the first expedition of when
diovan was in 1979 in those days how would the would you have to manually do
all the qsl cards or was it somehow computerized or how did that work all
the lawyers know so singers computers even so it was all manual yeah the the
post officer a guy would arrive with these bag of mail I mean a bag of mail
ID emptied that out in the middle of the lounge floor and my two kids would yeah
open up the envelopes and for the head and I our Caesar would go that side and
they’ve had a couple of dollars American dollars that go this side so it was a
bit of a family deal with green and he literally had to go and find the entry
in the log to be able to confirm it yes yeah they have today and that’s what I
did once the kids had and more sort of I doubt that log sort of mountain find out
which ones were in not in the log and which ones were since my my son even at
a eight or nine year old yeah II see Heather’s envelope and that would come
twenty dollars you yeah yeah oh this one’s not in the log did great humor Neil yeah okay and that was done to let
me see that was in the camera to garland something was all condoms
Kevin Collins I think my goodness he I can see that it’s in 1984 Wow and then
88 went up to down to the Oakland all its seventh attic yeah he’s that
southeast of New Zealand no shell South South sent between okay all the way down
he’s got Paul said LRA and yeah oh it won’t be today and 0 yeah
ZL 0 FC its Wayne Mills he’s when the big shots and they devil RL nowadays
only one am I is it a 1 a.m. oh well known around the world for CW I sadly
he’s passed on there and then we do things like a wrote Emma when when wrote
Emma Ryland was was rare really yeah nobody’s up in row tumor in those days
then likewise Tokelau islands it was very rare
what’s he in those days yeah and nobody up there and these since then have done
Solomon Islands Psalm are were Cook Islands team or least yeah hop in you
getting wrong moldos Vanuatu it’s amazing a lot of
people now see I’m not I’m a big radio guy and if I get a weird and wonderful
contact in the other side of the world on some strange Island I I just find the
whole thing marvelous what I’ve never done and maybe I shouldn’t I’m getting a
bit older is start a track what is my DXE see you know what how many how many
countries BC I remember doing DX EC on 40 metres in a weekend yeah that’s quite
possible in fact I can do a DHCC on ft 8 and probably 24 hours yeah but if you’re
ready concentrate yeah and so what’s the challenge these days particularly if I
have a an odd call like accused 8 q 7 XR yeah jeez that was all done on a desk
eh commander expedition already the whole thing yeah that’s amazing
yeah yeah and Oh change some photos for the mirror to show you but basically DX
commander strapped onto the side of a dick above a swimming pool yes and he an
affine what’s the challenge well is see the DHCC thing was for me was the
motivating thing I love getting those note sheets not seeing them all over
there yeah yeah I’d kill to get North Korea robbery from private island yeah
why just a simple tickler boxes and so it’s
done you know yeah so no yeah but that’s not everybody so cup of tea though a lot
of people like just hopping on the key and yeah pounding away on the moss yeah
you like your antennas and discussing your antennas and all of that so that’s
what I find quite marvelous about the Hobby yet there is a facet there
somewhere at the end something for everyone yeah
getting very very old for high frequencies and trying to bounce the
signal from Indiana sight now for me what’s the point yeah but for my mate up
the road there that is the whole point of amateur radio yeah he’s that right
yeah okay I actually spoke to a ganar from Ireland 80 meters yeah yeah yeah
really yeah he does it every day I know it’s all about bad isn’t it that’s a
marvellous thing about the hobby is getting things from different people and
I think if there’s not a niche somewhere that somebody can be interested in
they’re not be very very surprised on even what we’re doing right now is it’s
not any just YouTube it’s it’s an extension of the hobby yeah yeah oh it
really is a lot of people well I get a few
comments you know what are you doing on YouTube you should be on the radio
whatever but it’s all about education in Scientology I see this as an extension
to the hobby it is particularly when you get the guys from around the world well
I Here I am then the New Zealanders walking to almost my antipathy country
in the UK that’s right and and would not be able the way or it would be not
impossible to say grab Kevin Lowen from the states and heaven men on this
discussion is right and eight we could have nine of us here that’s right yeah
yeah exactly and I guarantee if he went around the whole nine of us and Isis
what what really was of interest to us yeah Kevin would say well experimenting
in my RV and that’s that’s what amateur radio is about yeah yeah yeah but I do
like I mean one of my favourite in fact I made my daughter asked me what
my favorite band was a cool she thought I meant rock band and of course to me it
was 40 meters which you found quite funny but I liked it you see I mean it’s
taken me 15 years to kind of nail 40 meters I kind of know what it does how
it works when it surprises you and all that sort of stuff I don’t really know
much about 80 you know and I see interesting and and I mean 40 meters as
well 80 meters on steroids really that’s right yeah yeah yeah I like the
challenge of 80 meters because not I need you you got to choose your times
and things I very very closely yeah particularly follow the grey lines if
you’re really interested in that DX yeah and but you also got to have your
receiving and things like that because it’s a whole new game
yes trying to receive so at your let’s call it the heyday when
you probably experimented with towers and Yogi’s and amplifiers I don’t know
what was your biggest setup when you were just at home working hard
Nigel five and flying around the X at the weekends yeah we’ve got to get right
back to the nineteen eighties yeah pedo license for forty five years now
sheesh way okay well way back then we had legal limits of a hundred watts DC
input to the final amplifying stage in thing so it all had to be antennas
really yeah and you stretch the limits a little bit until the radio inspector
said you go on too far okay back then as as I do now I was living on a city lot
and as you know trying to get decent reception on the city lot is almost
impossible yeah so I set up a remote station out of walk length and connected
that by UHF that was way way way back before we had anything like remote
stations like we have today yes and that allowed me then to set up a big antennas
so he had a four square on eighth year and phased antennas on 40 and then big
beams on the rest of the bands yeah and so that’s where I managed to get a lot
of the five band xec stuff which are in there hog okay yeah so now that we’re
off the farm and we’re living in the city so to speak right well in one of
the suburbs of Auckland you there you go to hold a whole different
scenario yeah and so yeah you can see it the user remote stations as we
understand them in the Morton sense you still got to find some place to put it
all up and their sister on a I was just gonna say and probably what you’re gonna
ask get into the get into the loops and things like that yes in fact the large
loops work extremely well I’ve noticed particularly if you can get them close
to the ground yes and I mean your your instinct is to say oh it’s close to the
ground it’s not gonna work but it depends on what you’re after with an
antenna and the whole I think the whole thing in the past has been gained an
gain gain gain if you can get some gaining your antenna right yeah it’s
always I tend to look at it from a different point of view I’d rather sheet
for signal-to-noise same annoys races boy yeah yeah yeah so if I can get an
antenna which is low to the ground it’s immune to noise but your signal is way
way way down yeah but it doesn’t matter because so he’s now got to get it matter
that’s wrong it’s er a decent high gain amplifier and eight we I mean the
devices now that we have tours I never extremely good that’s how their
low noise devices and themselves that’s one of the secrets yeah but they’ve got
extremely good gain yeah and so now you can pull the signal up to whatever you
want and 830 DB but the noise remains down there is a signal to noise which is
the secret raman distantly having the game I’m really pleased she said what if
you the old the old way of thinking well I think it’s y’all were thinking yeah
this is just a personal opinion yeah that we’ve always been taught that if
you got a good transmitting antenna the reciprocal will be available to you
and you have a good receive intend to certain extent anybody can transmit it
it’s not it’s not transmitting well pour more coal onto the fire and you’ll get
there eventually Kosovo but irrespective of how good the antenna is but the I
think the the thinking of I’ve got a good at transmit don’t you know
therefore I must have a good receive antenna is a fallacy degrees which is
one of my old debates is that doesn’t matter how big your amplifier is if you
can’t hear the hundred one station at the other end and you’ve got too much
smoke on yeah the yeah and so I for many years obeyed two different antennas one
one specifically for receiving writing for transmitting uh-huh and the receive
saw it is you’d say well how can i yes big square of Y two or three feet off
the ground in fact quite often just a fence line yes yes yeah in one corner
Roy used to switch the corner so you can okay yeah because they it they can have
some lobes that’s right yeah they can hello because the bigger the square or
the bigger your loop yeah yeah but but the whole idea was not not to have any
antenna with game yeah the intent of trying to get a good signal to noise
yeah and which you just put a choke on that and bring it back into the shack
with coax a lot off often this yeah okay my feed the line and I know and I don’t
pooh-pooh open wire feeders no not at all yeah is just from a practical point
of view of on coax easy to use yeah or it is that’s right closeted and
particularly on HF on receives and you know it’s it’s easy you can wiggle it
around and stick it through a hole and and to be honest
you can use some pretty crappy kinds to cattle 80
well our life is grabbing events all over the place goes on 80 80 meters honest yeah because you got some very
good high gain amplifiers which tremendous I know I know it’s against
conventional wisdom but I think conventional wisdom is gradually
changing as well I I think so this I don’t know if you know about this was
between qui tam moved towards these what they call loop on the ground so you
would take you st. to three feet but you know just on the ground themselves every
newsroom loops on the ground for a long time yeah yeah and do you think it’s
because when it comes to local that local crud that’s very often
particularly people in house here states and near industrial estates and that
sort of thing there’s a lot of crud knocking around do you think a loop on
the ground is that low that the the interference the radiation pattern from
all this shite is is literally just going over the top of it I mean this is
in practical terms so that the loop on the ground is just not hearing it do you
think that’s what it is yes I think the there is an element of that and that’s
only because most man-made interference is polarized yeah and so therefore yeah
it’ll have a take on that in this year right close within the bubble of
activity and converse er DX is coming in at anywhere between sort of 3 and 8
degrees probably so in other words it’ll hear that because you know it’s there’s
your noise to signal noise already yeah so I think more and more guys are
discovering this for me used to be the that used to be the way
was right yeah you will they the old days they’d have two sets that the
receiver and the transmitter wouldn’t make exactly and so you had to sit spent
in this one one design for your transparent when I was on free receive
large beverages or large loops were we used for receiving sort of thing I think
they came they ran out of popularity when wooden beams like yogi beams and
things like that came along yeah because all of a sudden now for the average
Emmet he doesn’t have much room he can put up an antenna which is going to
perform yeah and they perform decent enough awesome yeah you don’t have to go
to these big loops and so on like that yeah which I couldn’t get on to their
properties anyway but let me get down to your 80 meters 160 meters 60 meters
nestled to serve in in that area you’re talking a whole different ballgame now
not too many of us can put up a something great big tear and here for
three-element 80 meter beam that’s right I have seen one yeah I’ve seen the other
one I’ve actually climbed up the tower long I climbed along the boom you walk
along the now and then you can walk out on the driven L really was it all trust
and strong a friend of mine and that was rotatable the whole towers relatable
because it set on top of the tank turret really was he obviously an engineer yeah
that’s incredible what a crazy story you know what they
had the money to do it yeah yeah indeed you were around presumably when the 30
17 and 12 business must have come out that was that a big deal for amateurs at
the time what was so what’s inside tell us we are currently experiencing I said
I think with the 60 meter band and all that new bands new experiences he thinks
cool I thought that the 12 meter band is all but useless to us at the moment yeah
in meters comes back and that 17 made a band is a quadrant delightful band at
times that sort of fills in that little bit between 20 and 15 yeah and it works
extremely well you know the 10 meter the 30 meter band it’s a cracking man yeah
for for Dax it’s really great I know I like it okay but now you’re
limited to data modes of course the narrow bandwidth but from a propagation
point of view it’s a brave band you know sort of a lovely in-between isn’t it
yeah yeah and I find that it’s a very required as well I don’t know why now it
just just is yeah and so now we so that was all exciting to have three yeah new
wack bands to play with you particularly for those that like myself already had a
five band DHCC on the wall yeah what do you know that what do you do next so now
we have 60 meters but 60 meters not every country has a 60 meter air
location of course yeah we have four spot frequencies you can
use yeah I think we’ve got five and six which don’t happen to be compatible with
the rest of the world so really has to be everywhere split
and difficult because of the channelization of it the FTA tizzy and
you viable mode really yeah and but another been and there’s the world well
as time goes by and the authorities find out that amateurs are not such a problem
after all yeah might get a bigger gap we’re limited to 10 watts how are you I
think we’re a hundred yeah yeah my friend up in some 100 hundred watts any
way you like and the six meters really right well the only 60 meter I’ve had a
few SSB contacts and a delightful am actually that which was a really good
fun one morning with a guy with an old military set I really enjoyed that really out there dogs are going spare at
the door here we’re into 1 hour 15 nearly of live recording no job probably
split up into about three I think there’s been some lovely stuff we’ve
done I think we ought to do this again one day or maybe we can get a panel with
a couple of other old fogies like you Roley I tell you who it’d be nice to get
on there’s a fella in South Africa who did an upgrade for the g5 rvs s somebody
comes at six he’s agreed to come on he said well the things we could do because
it’s a question I get asked a lot yeah no wonder you get a suppose one yeah the
hang do you put something together to get to an island somewhere and play
radio a good point well I tell you what let’s do you get your suitcase ready I
could make it thick we make quite an interesting
yeah you get your photos or you send me the photos and then I’ll edit them in
art yeah yeah I want to go at the team or
least yeah well good luck to you if you can do that because you know well let’s
let’s talk about that because first of all before you can go anywhere you got
to have a license in your hand how you gonna do that okay we’ll do that on the
next one then and some of those things could be very interesting yeah I think
it will you absolutely right it would be fascinating you pretend that you want to
go to the South crooks and have some fun with their windy gonna do with the dogs
I have to I’d have to you have any deep frozen for a couple of months yeah well
before they kill me is where you need to do you have to do this this this and
this yeah that’s right you gotta set it all up and if I achieve all this I’m
allowed to go all right well I’m m0 mcx my name’s Connor from dads commander on
the other end of this phone call we’ve got rolled ears it l1 be kidding perfect
for the zl1 very good Rowley it’s been lovely having you on board tonight mate
and all this morning even down there in there said our land and let’s do it
again next time yeah brilliant perkell okay good shakey and good radio to you
and we’ll catch up with you later tremendous 73 Roly bye bye now

10 comments

  1. hf seems would be still be very usefull for ship to shore incase of internet coms lost aboard the ship or any vessel at sea ,so any large body of water and there are ships ,

  2. Thanks again Cal, good stuff
    Cal the washers supplied with the Dx do they go on the hex head end of the bolt as a spacer, To take up the non threaded part of the bolt ?

  3. brilliant old guy to interview. Could listen to him for ages. He must have had an interesting life. "I have my cameras turned upside down just so you can see me properly" and a sense of humour. Good to hear the interview all in one as it were. Nice one Callum.
    Thank-you Roly for allowing us to share some of your experiences. I would still love to see Callum shimming up a coconut tree to put up a wire antenna, that would be hilarious. Roly is one of those guys that would never stick, if you ain't got it build it. Wonderful guy to speak to and I bet his head is just brimming with knowledge of radio and antennas that we all wish we had.

  4. Thanks Cal, great videos, everything very interesting.
    Wished there was Internet, you tube and guys like you etc in the 70s & early 80s when I was first licenced, it was hard in those days to get much information accept for the local club, other hams (sometimes a wee bit intimidating for a 14 year old laddie) and my RAE manual.
    I remember the post office rf engineers like Roly and going to the maritime institute in Glasgow to take my 12wpm morse exam.
    All great memories.
    Kenny EA8DEU – Canary Islands.
    Ex GM1BAZ & GM4VZW.

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