Well today “Some” of my amateur radio related yardwork got done as it was a fantastic afternoon.
My flimsy 30 foot telescopic mast got taken down and put away in the basement till the spring. I used to have two of them but last year I decided I did not need to take it down… Now I have one left and I take it down and store it inside away from the freezing rain and ice…
In its place my J Pole now rests on a 12 foot (or so) lenght of masting as as thats all I need for the local repeaters on VHF/UHF it will work fine. Using my FT 897 (yes I know its a bit of overkill using that rig on FM only) with the dual band JPole at 12 feet I can bring up all the local Ottawa Repeaters with no problems at the lowest power levels.
Today I also tried playing around with my W3EDP antenna. For those of you who are not familure with that style of antenna its best described as a 85 foot long wire with a 17 foot counterpoise. I have used a tuner and a direct connct (no balun) also used a 1:1 balun and my last attempts (modifications) have been done with a 4:1 balun which by the way gives me the best results so far.
My first versions were built rather lightly with a home brewed 4:1 balun and I had good results with my FT 817 along with my LDG Qrp auto tuner at QRP Levels.
So from the video above you can see that the antenna is quick and easy as its an end fed style antenna and the early versions were QRP but had good receive qualitites for 80m on a Sunday Afternoon.
Here is the first version of my W3EDP (the one in the video)..
Todays changes to the W3EDP consisted of running both the 85 foot long element and the 17 foot counterpoise in a vertical configuration. Now after about 30 feet (or so) it turns more into an inverted L but I think you get the picture.
Now on the good side of things…. Running both elements vertical seems to have removed some of the noise I used to pick up when the 17 foot counterpoise was horizontal. Now using my Timewave ANC-4 I can bring the noise level down almost to zero. This is much better than the S9 + noise level I used to have on 80m.
Still on the good side of things I seem to have picked up a new band. Just for the heck of it I tuned up on 1.890 and hit the auto tune button and it loaded up quickly. I figured it was now a fancy dummy load but I did hear WA3PBL Chris calling CQ and figured why not give it a try. We had a great QSO and I was getting 5-7 to 5-9 with an occasional little more in the signal reports.
As you can see from his QRZ Picture he has a bit more antenna than I do…
He could not really believe what I was using on the “Top Band” and to be honest I could not really believe it either… This was a distance of around 420 miles from my QTH in Ottawa to Chris’s QTH just outside of Pittsburgh PA. Not bad for 100w and a lenght of wire eh!!!
So here I am now… Operating 10m to 160m with good signal reports using 100w and a W3EDP in a sort of inverted L configuration and I am having a blast… Never really worked 160m before as I thought I did not have enough real estate….
Lets see if Sunday gets going as good as Saturday…….