Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Operating 160 Meters

First spot of the " Night " 15 min before local Sunset

Had my first CW QSO on 160m last night

Spent the afternoon on the hill tweaking the big antenna.   I wasn't happy with how the vertical element was routed through the tree so I rerouted the support rope.    Also laid down all the radials using rocks  and branches ... don't want the Deer tripping on the wires!     After the work I was pleased to see that the VSWR dropped a bit ,  not 1.2:1 at 1.8 MHz and below 1.5:1 all the way to 1.9 MHz and down to 1.7 MHz.  I will probably take a foot or so off the radiator to slide the optimum VSWR up 500 KHz.   

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

160m ""A OK""

Seems to be working.  This is my little 200 mw WSPR over the past 3 hours ...Sun has been down for an hour.

Monday, September 11, 2017

160 Meter Vertical ... DONE!

 After many days of work I finally have the 160m antenna up and running.   Its a 1/4 Wave Vertical with 8 Radials.    I have a 1 Watt WSPR running on it waiting for some propagation to open as day turns into night.

 The toughest part of this falls antenna work has been getting 4 new runs of LDF4 up to the top of the hill.  I have a 4X1 switch about 100' from the house then from there there is 4 runs of the cable.   The hill is a huge pile of gravel that rises about 120' over a 500' distance.   Getting to the top get me 3-6 db more towards Europe so the whole effort is very worth while!

 The IFL is amazing cable that was destroyed by a backhoe a couple of decades ago.  I collected it all up and have pieces about 200 to 300' long.   Connectors are hugely expensive so I was sitting on the fence until I came up with this idea ....

Completely encased the connections in Silicon nothing is exposed.  Been using this technique for awhile now and have had good success.

 Each of the 8 radials is 150' in length.  Cut it in the front yard then dragged it up the hill for install.   Logged a few Ks laying these guys down dragging the cable from the desired vector towards the antenna base.   The " Vertical" element  was 140'  ,  goes up 35' then across parallel to the ground 100+'.   The vertical antenna only radiates from the bottom 20% and the rest of the antenna is only there for loading.   My vertical element is 27% of the antenna length so I am good!   The " Vertical Support " is of course a Tree.   I don't have a forest ... I see antenna supports!  

 Radials are 12 gauge galvanized fence wire...purchase 1/4 mile roll at the local farm store.   The Vertical Element is about a 12 Gauge Stranded Insulated Wire that I had laying around....never pass up good garbage!

 There is nothing quite like the moment you lite it up for the first time.  The degree of satisfaction of a reasonable VSWR is directly proportional to the amount of work that went into creating the antenna.
First results had me scrambling back up the hill to take 3' off ending up with the prescribed 137' radiator!   Ended up with about a 1.4:1 at 1.8 MHz....a little more tweaking will be done but it looks like I should be able to improve it a little more ... good enough for now!

 I will be tweaking the radials to get them to lay flat I dont want any Deer getting caught up in the wires.   I may also do a couple of small tweaks to the radiator too...but good enough for now!  

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

80m 1mw WSPR

Also gathering 80 data ahead of the eclipse.  

Here are the unique spots running 1 mw intro a 1/4 Vertical with 8 radials.

40m WSPR

Been WSPR'ing on 40m just gathering data before the Eclipse next week.   Here is the top 100 unique spots  by distance.

TX Power = 1 Watt into a 1/4 Vertical with 8 Radials