Sunday, 30 November 2014

CQWW CW 80m QRP

Event: CQWW DX CW ham radio contest
Logger: N1MM+ most updated version
Station: Yaesu FT-817ND, 5W
Antenna: 84m horizontal square loop on 7m AGL.
CW decoder: FLdigi & MRP40




CW is not really my mode. But since it is easy to make a Dutch record I decided that would be a nice goal. Since my 84m horizontal loop is best for 80m I participated on that band only and to make things really difficult I operated QRP 5W. And that was not the only handicap. I'm unable to understand CW code (yet) so I have to decode with the computer. With my IC-706 I have a built in 250Hz CW filter which helps a lot. Unfortenately my FT-817 doesn't have a narrow filter and so decoding is difficult with a lot of stations in the spectrum. This year I used N1MM+ with FLdigi as CW decoder. Sunday morning I decided to use MRP40 as addition to see if it would be really worth 49 euro to register the software. I was only QRV very early in te morning Sat. and Sun. and sundayevening for half a hour. Worked 55 stations in total and managed to work 7 (!) stations from the USA and 1 from Canada. I encountered just one fellow blogger OQ5M Franki.

Dutch QRP records
I didn't spend much time in the contest in total it might be 3 hours. But still it was fun. Especially working the USA with only QRP power. I was really surprised by the signals sometimes 599 real report. I can only remember a signal on SSB like that years ago in the PACC from a Canadian station on 80m. Normally USA/Canada are just audible on SSB on my side. I guess the propagation was good this weekend? At least I reached my goal to set a Dutch record on 80m QRP. I guess real CW contesters are smiling when they look at my score, 55 QSOs is what they do in half a hour :-). But I don't care, at least I had fun.



About MRP40. Well I know it gets good reviews on several sites especially on the MRP40 site. It's a nice piece of software and sometimes it did decode better as FLdigi, sometimes it did not. It shure is not worth 49 euro for me. However it was a nice comparisation test.



Monday, 24 November 2014

More radio fun

Once in 2 weeks I have a monday off work. It means I work the saturday before. Such a day has the advantage I can bring and get my daughter to/from school. And have time to play radio in the morning for about a hour. A time with totally different propagation possebilities as the usual evening time. I hoped for a contact with VU4KV from Neil Isl. Andaman (Andaman & Nicobar Isl.) a ATNO for me. And yes, first station I heard on 12m was VU4KV who had a strong signal. It took about 15 minutes to get into the log. I moved to 11m & 10m after that and listened out for several Japanese stations. There was some long path propagation to ZL on 11m. But nothing heard from ZL or VK on 10. I encountered special station AU2JCB (op: VU2DSI Datta). Found out JCB stands for Sir Jagdish Chandra Bose. A indian scientist that worked on microwaves already in 1895 and succeeded to transmit a signal before Popov and Marconi did. Very interesting.

Then I had some other chores to do and left my FT-817 on WSPR 10m with my usual 1W and the HB9CV first pointing east and later pointing west. Worldwide propagation as seen on the map, although the map displays both RX as TX reports. I had one faulty spot which was BO... I still hope to get a spot from T5/T61AA, although I spotted him again it is hard to get a report from this station.


Finally in the evening I reached my radioshack finding my computer in a almost jammed state, the FT-817 clicking relays jumping from HF to VHF. I really don't know what happened? I disconnected everything and reset the computer. The FT-817 was another story. Relay kept clicking, on/off didn't help. I had power out so no blown finals or so. I noticed behind the voltage readout the LCD was displaying PRI. Found PRI in the menu and set it off. Problem solved....but how on earth did it get on "PRI". I'll never know...

I had some minutes left and saw fellow blogger YO9IRF Razvan spotted on 80m JT65. So, I just tried for some 80m this evening and yes I made it to YO9IRF. Actually it was the first time "twitter" had some use to me having a short chat with Razvan about the QSO.


Friday, 21 November 2014

Historical first time (1944) handheld radio use in northern Netherlands

Top secret map in which Al Gross pointed
the location wrong. View out at my parents
house, across the field is Ulrum.
I always like the historical blog posts from AE5X on various topics. This time I can write one myself. I came across various newspaper articles I collected over the years and found something interesting related to our hobby. It seems that W8PAL Al Gross (founder of the pager and CB radio) did some tests/experiments with a handheld radio (walkie talkie) he designed to sell commercially. Al Gross was asked by the OSS to work for them as they saw advantage in his design for spy communication. It was the first time a walkie talkie was used in Europe. Those first real live tests were done in Ulrum, northern Netherlands, about 25km west of my QTH and very near to were my parents live currently. Actually the view out of their window across the garden is towards Ulrum. The story goes that Al Gross later sold his patent to Motorola which did develope the modern mobile phone eventually. Because of this the media does like to report that Ulrum is the first place in Europe were a mobile phone was used.





This whole story was topsecret in 1944 and was known by the code name "Joan-Eleanor". Al Gross was involved in the development of a walkie talkie that could operate above 250 MHz a frequency that the Germans could not receive. The advantage was that messages could be passed fast in phone as there was no need for encryption/decryption. The system compromised a pair of tranceivers which were a SSTC-502 handheld trx (Joan) which weighted less then one pound, the antenna was a simple dipole on top. It should communicate with a SSTR-6 trx (Eleanor) in a B-17 or de Havilland Mosquito plane. The first succesfull contact was made 21/22 November 1944 above northern Netherlands with a secret OSS agent codename "Bobby". Top secret agent "Bobby" was Mr. Anton Schrader who was dropped near Ulrum in the night of 9-10 Oktober 1944. This agent was really top secret as even the resistance didn't know about his dropping. Till 30 March '45,  16 contacts were made (date could not be correct as Schrader was captured by the Germans in feb. 1945).
SSTC-502

In 2003 Dr. Davras Yavus has investigated things when he came across this secret operation when he met Al Gross around 1998 at a Virgina Tech Symposium. He published his findings on his website and luckely on a google webalbum. Unfortenately I find very little about this person anymore and although I tried I was unable to contact him to ask his permission to publish parts of his article.

These days you can find almost everything on the internet and a small investigation brought me some very interesting links about the actual radios and how they work. I came across some more information about secret agent "Bobby"as well. A nice read if you like spy stories from WW2. It has been written in the media that Al Gross was the inventor of the (SSTC-502) Walkie Talkie. Probabely because he is well known as inventor of the pager and early CB radio. But from the information I could find he was for shure the designer/inventor of the foldable dipole antenna that was used with the WT, a system so simple that every amateurradio hobbyist could "invent" it. However, what exactly the contribution was of Al Gross in the design of the SSTC-502 remains unclear.

Links:
A presentation by Dr. Davras Yavus held in 2003
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joan-Eleanor_system
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_J._Gross
More detailed information about the radios

List of Dutch agents 1940-45
http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Schrader
Story in Dutch about Anton Schrader

SSTR-6
Ik vind het altijd leuk om weer een historisch schrijven over allerlei onderwerpen van AE5X te lezen op zijn blog. Dit keer heb ik zelf een leuk onderwerp. Ik kwam tijdens het zoeken naar iets anders een verzameling kranten artikelen tegen die ik verzameld heb en die een relatie hebben met de hobby. Dit kranten artikel ging over W8PAL Al Gross (uitvinder van de pager (pieper) en de CB/27MC bakkies). Hij deed in het begin van WW2 testen met Walkie Talkies die hij wou ontwikkelen voor commercieel gebruik. Al Gross werd gevraagd om in het diepste geheim voor de OSS te komen werken omdat men voordelen zag in hetgeen hij mee bezig was. Men bedacht dat het gebruik van een Walkie Talkie met een frequentie van boven de 250 MHz niet afgeluisterd kon worden door de Duitsers omdat die simpelweg daar geen ontvanger voor hadden. De eerste echte test werd gedaan te Ulrum ongeveer 25 Km ten westen van waar ik woon en waar mijn ouders vlakbij wonen. Het is zelfs zo dat het uitzicht bij mijn ouders uit het raam direct naar Ulrum is. Het verhaal gaat dat Al Gross later zijn patenten verkocht aan Motorola die uiteindelijk de mobiele telefoon verder ontwikkelden. Daarom word in de media graag melding gedaan van het feit dat de eerste mobiele telefoon in Europa gebruikt werd in Ulrum.

Dit hele verhaal was "top geheim" in 1944 en was bekend onder de naam "Joan-Eleanor". Al Gross was mede ontwikkelaar in dit geheime project van een walkie talkie die zond boven de 250 MHz een frequentie die de Duitsers niet af konden luisteren. Het voordeel was dat men geen tijd kwijt was aan het coderen en decoderen van berichten. Het systeem bestond uit een walky talky SSTC-502 "Joan" en een SSTR-6 "Eleanor" zendontvanger in een vliegtuig. Het eerste succesvolle contact hiermee werd gemaakt in de nacht van 21/22 November 1944 door een geheim agent codenaam "Bobby". Agent "Bobby"was Anton Schrader die bij Ulrum gedropt was in de nacht van 9/10 Oktober 1944. Deze agent was zo geheim dat zelfs het verzet niet wist dat hij gedropt zou worden. Tot 30 Maart 1945 werden 16 contacten gemaakt met de apparatuur. Al weet ik niet of deze data wel klopt omdat Schrader al in Feb. 1945 gevangen werd genomen door de Duitsers.

In 2003 is het 1 en ander al eens uitgezocht door Dr. Davras Yavus. Hij publiceerde zijn bevindingen o.a. op een Google webalbum. Ik heb geprobeerd contact met hem te krijgen om toestemming te vragen voor het gebruik van wat informatie. Helaas is dat niet gelukt. Maar het is voor iedereen te lezen dus ik denk niet dat hij bezwaar zou maken.

Vandaag de dag kan je van alles op internet vinden. Zo kwam ik na een korte zoektocht al op leuke info over de radio's en over geheim agent Schrader. Leuk om te lezen als je van dit soort WW2 verhalen houd. Hier en daar is geschreven in de media dat Al Gross de uitvinder was van de eerste walky talky of van de SSTC-502 maar dat is niet het geval. Waarschijnlijk is men in verwarring met andere uitvindingen van hem. Van de informatie die ik kon vinden is het waarschijnlijk wel zo geweest dat hij het antennesysteem voor de SSTC-502 heeft uitgevonden/gemaakt. Een systeem dat bestond uit een opvouwbare dipool. Een simpel systeem dat elke "radio hobbyist" in principe kan maken. Wat precies de werkzaamheden en contributies waren aan deze walkie talky van Al Gross blijft over het algemeen onduidelijk.


Newspaper article I found in my archive:




Thursday, 20 November 2014

RBN usable for BPSK/RTTY

I didn't know it but the RBN (Reverse Beacon Network) is also usable for BPSK and RTTY. Although I prefer VK3AMA´s Hamspots.net for digital mode it can be interesting to monitor your signals and compare them with others. Besides that RBN has more filtering options.

If you like to participate and send spots to the RBN you can find free software on DL4RCK Walter´s website.


Sunday, 16 November 2014

Frysian 11 cities contest review

It was a rainy day....the contest was going on. Started right at time and actual although it was quiet at the end of the contest I had a lot of fun. The 12 multipliers were easy in the log without any problem. At the end worked 67 stations. The only foreign stations were from Germany and Belgium unfortenately, there is not much international interest in this contest. I can imagine that as most were calling in Dutch. Very nice to monitor my signal at times at a webSDR. Signal was not the strongest on the band but reasonable with "only" 100W. I made some short QSOs as well with people, very relaxed. The calculated score is 320 X 12 = 3840 points. Much better as last year...but I didn't do it for winning, just the fun was good enough. Here a short video of the contest @ PE4BAS.


Een regenachtige dag....maar de contest gaat door. Ben precies op tijd gestart en ondanks dat het op den duur erg rustig was heb ik een hoop lol gehad. De 12 multipliers waren makkelijk te werken en in het log zonder problemen. Werkte uiteindelijk 67 stations. De enige 2 buitenlandse stations kwamen uit Duitsland en België. Er is niet veel internationale interesse in deze contest. Kan me het voorstellen, de meeste stations roepen in het Nederlands. Leuk om mijn signaal weer te monitoren via de webSDR in Weert. Signaal was zeker niet het sterkst maar zeer redelijk voor 100W. Ik maakte onder het contesten ook nog wat leuke korte QSO's, dat kan allemaal in deze contest, heel relaxed. De score heb ik berekend op 320 x 12 =3840 punten, veel beter als vorig jaar. Maar uiteindelijk deed ik het niet om te winnen, een beetje plezier was goed genoeg. Hierboven een korte video van de contest @ PE4BAS.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Call for participation Frysian 11 cities contest, Oproep deelname Friese 11 steden contest.

Sunday 16 November 2014, from 10:00-13:00 UTC. 2m & 80m
See: http://www.pi4lwd.nl/11engtxt.htm

There was nothing that could be worked in the last half hour of the contest last year. So I hope this will attract some more participants. It is a Dutch contest but participation from outside the Netherlands is permitted.

See my report from last years contest: 
http://pe4bas.blogspot.nl/2013/11/3-contests-in-row.html

What's fun about this contest is the exchange of regionnumber and cityname (outside the Netherlands only the cityname is required). This is really hilarious since you encounter most strange citynames (try to write "Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel" without a error!). Most people don't know that participation is also allowed from outside the Netherlands. So if you live within 1000km or so, participation should be no problem. I noted some stations from Denmark, England and Zweden in the log in the past. It is really a fun contest only the number of participants is a little low. 

So, hereby I am calling for stations that would like to participate. If only for a hour or so... winning is not important but participation is.

Hopefully hear you on Sunday....

And don't write my cityname the wrong way in the log, it is "Roodeschool" with 4 times a "o"

======
Zondag 16 november 2014, van 11.00 - 14.00 uur lokale tijd.
Zie http://www.pi4lwd.nl/11st2014reg.htm

Afgelopen jaar was er het laatste half uur niets meer te beleven. Hierbij een oproep voor extra deelname.

Zie mijn verslag van vorig jaar:
http://pe4bas.blogspot.nl/2013/11/3-contests-in-row.html

Wat ik vooral leuk vind aan deze contest is het uitwisselen van regio en plaatsnaam. Dat geeft af en toe veel hilariteit ("Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel" schrijf dat maar eens foutloos). Je komt ook plaatsnamen tegen waar je nog nooit van gehoord hebt. Wat veel mensen niet weten is dat ook buitenlandse stations mee mogen doen. Woon je dus in Duitsland of België dan hoeft het geen belemmering te zijn om mee te doen. In het verleden zelfs wel stations uit Denemarken, Engeland en Zweden in het log gezet tijdens deze contest. Het is al met al een reuze gezellige contest maar het aantal deelnemers is tot nu toe nog vrij beperkt. Het is ook jammer dat de N-licentiehouders niet met hun eigen station/call uit mogen komen op 80m. Zou de 11 steden contest op 40m zijn, zou dat een enorme boost geven denk ik.

Hierbij dus de oproep: Doe mee....ook al is het maar voor een uurtje alleen voor de "fun". Winnen is niet het belangrijkste. Meedoen wel!  ;-)

Tot horens komende Zondag...

En schrijf mijn plaatsnaam niet verkeerd in het log, het is "Roodeschool" met 4 keer een "o"


Sunday, 9 November 2014

PA-beker 2014

I have a good feeling about the PA-beker this year. Following my own strategy, relax and keeping myself to that seems to be succesfull. I planned 10-11 local time on 80m running, then a short S&P for a few minutes across the 80m band and switching over to 40m were I found a clear frequency and started calling CQ till 12 local time, then a short S&P followed by a running frequency below 7100KHz to give novice license holders a chance as well. It seems that propagation on 80m was lower as 40m. In the end I made most of my QSOs on 40. It was extra difficult this year. Our little harmonic Anneli wanted to play with Daddy and I don't want to limit access to the shack for her. So now and then she came to ask en tell me things and so I was off the radio and probabely some background QRM has been transmitted. Although this was a extra handicap things went surprisingly well. The last 15 minutes she sat on my lap and was very interested. On 80m I had a short QSO with PE1BVQ Hans, ik made a recording via the webSDR from DJ3LE close to the Danish border. I only published a small cut piece and you can just hear Hans. I listened to the whole file but most of the Dutch stations were that weak. Only my signal was very strong. DJ3LE is using a 84m loop as well. In the end I spoke Hans on 40m as well. Also fellow blogger PC4T Paul has been contacted on 40m. I would like to publish the recording as well but things failed.

I was up early this morning, it was still dark. I wanted to try for FT4TA and trying to hear them. I didn't give it much chance but you have to try. He was spotted at 15m "CQ lonely" but I was unable to hear anything. Later on around 7 UTC I heard them on 12m, but pile-up was 15KHz and busy. Called a few times but no luck. Actually I didn't give it much to work this very special DXCC....

The PA-beker contest was over at 11:30 UTC I made my last QSO with PD1JFB on 40m. 30 seconds later I made contact with FT4TA on 10m for a ATNO! Things are going the way they go and that can be very strange and surprising...






  Ik heb een goed gevoel over deze PA-beker contest dit jaar. Mijn eigen strategie gevolgd, relaxed en mijzelf gehouden hieraan en het was met succes. Van te voren bedacht dat ik op 80m CQ roep van 10-11 lokale tijd. Daarna 5 minuten S&P over de 80m band en over naar 40m. Daar een vrije frequentie gevonden en CQ geroepen tot 12 uur. Daarna 5 minuten S&P en toen weer CQ gaan roepen onder de 7100KHz om PD stations ook een kans te geven. Volgens mij was dit jaar de propagatie op 80m minder als op 40. Ik maakte uiteindelijk het merendeel van de QSO's op 40m. Dit jaar viel het nog niet mee, onze QRPieter Anneli wou graag met Papa spelen en ja ik verbied haar niet om in de shack te komen. Dus werd vaak even gestoord en af en toe zal men wel wat achtergrond QRM van haar gehoord hebben. Zie het maar als een extra handicap. De laatste 15 minuten zat ze bij mij op schoot en was vrij geïnteresseerd. Op 80m heb ik een kort QSO gehad met PE1BVQ Hans, ik had een opname lopen via de webSDR van DJ3LE dicht bij de Deense grens. Ik heb alleen het stukje met Hans er uit gesneden. Hoor het verschil in signaal, nee Hans is bijna niet hoorbaar. Maar heb de hele file even beluisterd en de meeste stations uit Nederland kwamen er zo door. Mijn signaal echter was knetterhard daar. DJ3LE gebruikt ook een 84 meter loop net als ik. Uiteindelijk Hans gesproken op 80 en 40m. Ook medeblogger Paul PC4T op 40m gesproken. Ik had de webSDR opname meelopen maar de opname is mislukt

FT4TA Tromelin Isl. Camp
Ik was vanmorgen vroeg op. Het was nog donker. Ik ben voor de radio gaan zitten en hoopte FT4TA nog te kunnen horen en werken. Veel kans gaf ik het niet maar je moet toch wat proberen. Hij werd gespot op 15m "CQ lonely", helaas kon ik hem niet horen. Rond een uur of 8 hoorde ik hem zeer zwak op 12m. Nog een paar keer geroepen maar de pile-up was weer uitgestreken over 15KHz en zeer druk. Eigenlijk gaf ik mezelf niet zoveel kans meer deze zeer bijzondere DXCC te werken....

Om 11:30 UTC (12:30 lokale tijd) was de PA-beker contest afgelopen en maakt ik mijn laatste QSO met PD1JFB op 40m. Ongeveer 30 seconden later had ik FT4TA als nieuwe DXCC in het log. Het kan vreemd en verrassend lopen...



 

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Hunting for Tromelin

After my succesfull DX last week I imagined that I would work the FT4TA Tromelin Isl. DXpedition very fast. Unfortenately you need to be on the radio when propagation is best, for this DXpedition that's around 10-12 UTC. Guess where I am at that time? Yes, on the job and unable to be on the radio. I tried to hear the DXpedition at several evenings but everything above 10 Mhz is dead then en only noise can be heard. I am unable to hear them on the low bands. Today I had the opportunity to call for over half a hour on 10m around 11 UTC (best time). Their signal was S7 on the HB9CV. Unfortenately the pile-up was huge and 20 KHz wide! And I was unable to break it. They will dismantle equipment monday, and actually that is the first day since the start that I am able to call them for real.  So tomorrow will actually be my last chance, if I have any chance at all...wish me luck...

But first is the PA-beker contest tomorrow. I made a small test on 80m recording, listening and viewing my signal on a webSDR on the other side of the country. I was astonished about the signal I was transmitting (9+40dB). I will try the record some audio tomorrow. Hope to have a  QSO with some of my readers then.

Update 9-11-2014 11:30 UTC The PA-beker contest is over (11:30) I quickly pushed buttons to 10m and heard FT4TA with 59 !. 2 times calling and I was in the log. It's my lucky day!!


Thursday, 6 November 2014

Shack RF&Safety combined earth

First of all, the subject grounding is controversial. Some say it's a need in your shack, some say the mains earth is good enough for safety. Since I use a safety transformer in the mains to supply 230V to my shack a mains safety earth is not working. So I made a separate earthrod outside the shack and connected it to the connectorpanel just behind the outside wall. Now this is just for safety, it's not a HF earth. However I am an experimenter and would like to test a HF earth, if it doesn't work I can simply disconnect and nothing is lost. 

I wrote about this subject before:

The RF surpression ground system myth
Making a second floor shack ground

The common way a RF or HF earth is made I think is explained in the figure above. To prevent earthloops everything is bonded to a single grounding point. The actual earth are the counterpoise wires that are 1/4 wavelength long for each band one or more (not really necessary if you use a balanced antenna). The star point could be connected through on of the counterpoise wires or better with a separate ground strip for safety.

Now in my case a problem with a earthloop was rising between the connectorpanel and the earthpoint in the shack which is best bonded to the last item in the coax chain, the antennatuner. Since the coax is earthed to the chassis of the panel a extra groundstrip would led to a groundloop. But I have the connectorpanel for safety, when the coax to the shack is unplugged the antennas and outside coax cables are grounded through the panel and I hope I'll not get dangerous high voltages on my equipment chassis when a lightning storm is nearby. So I made a two-way knife switch to choose between the shack earth and the panel. That way I will not create a earth loop. I don't really know if it is all worth the trouble, but at least it gives me a trusty feeling when the counterpoise is grounded for safety.

Now some of you will think....why a counterpoise? That's only working when you have some sort of  impedance problem with a unbalanced antenna. A simple balun grounded near or on the antenna works ten times better. Oh, yes indeed that's true. But actually my RFI is related to my balanced 84 Mtr horizontal loop fed by a 450Ohm ladderline which I have only up in the winter and is used on all HF bands through a Palstar antennatuner. Actually I don't need a counterpoise with 1/4 wave length wires, but that's what still had from previous experiments. The goal actually is to bond as much metal in the shack to the common grounding point to get a equal potential on all equipment when transmitting. More information about this can be found on the website of W8JI. Best would be a conductive grid on the floor below the carpet or so, I will make that in the future.

Just for the record, normally you don't need this. Most shacks don't need a HF earth at all. A safety earth is more then enough. However if you have a antenna very close to the shack it could help against RFI. In my case I do have the horizontal loop in winter very close to my operating position (2 meters distance) and have som RFI into the the headset, deskmike and computerscreen when operating on 17m and 15m. Very annoying and I hope this will partly solve the problem. Only time will tell.

Left to right: Knife switch in relation to the panel, Knife switch in shack position,
Common grounding point, large grounding strip.




Sunday, 2 November 2014

Loop up! Some pictures.

The start of the contest season was made with the CQWW DX SSB contest. Now some local contests are coming up. The first one is next weekend as the PA-beker contest is on. Since I need to go to the job I haven't got time to setup the NVIS horizontal loop this forthcoming week. So since the weather was excellent this weekend I planned it for Saturday. But things went different and luckely I had some hours at sunday. It was really great weather for antenna work. Actually never had this good weather before setting up the loop. Here are some pictures.

Het contest seizoen is weer begonnen en een goede start werd gemaakt met de CQWW SSB. Nu komen er eerst 2 lokale contesten. De eerste is komend weekend de PA-beker contest. Omdat ik de hele week incl. zaterdag moet werken en de rest van de week geen tijd heb moest het opzetten van de NVIS horizontale loop dit weekend. Ik had het op programma voor zaterdag maar de dingen liepen anders. Gelukkig had ik zondag nog wat tijd en was het weer prachtig. Eigenlijk heb ik nog nooit zo mooi weer meegemaakt tijdens het opzetten van de loop. Hier zijn wat foto's.

3 antennas in a row. Vertical, HB9CV, loop. Notice the free sight to the south.

The feedline I believe 450 Ohm
The complete loop incl. feedline on a roll.

Made the feedline a little longer as last year, see how near it is to the shack.

Feedpoint from a side.



Saturday, 1 November 2014

Test HB9CV without cap

Oh yes, there are a couple of DXpeditions on and forthcoming that I really want to work. This is possible especially on the 10m band. But I need a better antenna and time to work them. Last monday I had limited time like always. Need to do some more painting on the house and all left me a few hours to experiment with the HB9CV. Luckely the weather was dry and a reasonable temperature. I first made a better connection between the boom and radiators. Then I experimented with the "gammamatch" till I had the best impedance possible. Tested it again in the shack and was not satisfied yet. Best SWR was on 27,9 MHz now and 1:2,5 on 28,5. I decided to make all elements 2cm shorter. A good gamble as the best resonance and SWR is now on 28,1MHz. At 14UTC I though I had to get my harmonic Anneli from school (a one minute walk) but asking my XYL it should be at 14:15. So I had 15 minutes to mount the beam on the mast and get it up to see how it does. I did manage it in 12 minutes. Then I did a run to the shack to see if SWR was right. It could be better, best SWR on 28MHz now 1:1.3 and rising to 1:2 at 28,5MHz with R=38 and X=6. A perfect antenna doesn't exist, but it  is good enough to get 100W out of my radio. I turned the radio on which happened to be tuned near the VK9XSP frequency. Had to turn the beam to east, VK9XSP was S9 and calling CQ up 5. Called once and was in the log. 14:14 now, 14:15 at school to get Anneli home. ATNO worked VK9XSP Christmas Isl. That's what I really like in the radioamateur hobby!

Now, later in the afternoon I wanted to make a video to show you the difference between the vertical and the HB9CV. As well as testing front-back-side ratio. Oh yes, there happened to be more DXpdeitions coming in real strong on the HB9CV. Easy as that I worked Madagascar 5R8M not a ATNO but a new one on 10. After that I worked FH/F4FET from Mayotte a all band ATNO. Wow, the HB9CV works again and does a incredible job. I'm always surprised how good this antenna works for the size it has. I'm ready to work the DXpedition of the year FT4TA on Tromelin Isl.