Tag: 40m vertical

Easter Weekend Radio Fun

Easter weekend is often the start of the better weather and lighter evenings, so provides a chance to go out portable for the first time in the year. Unfortunately, this bank holiday weekend in true British tradition was wet and cold with rain forecast and temperatures soaring to a tropical 7C.

This didn’t stop  Chris G8OCV, George M1GEO and myself from camping over although it required careful positioning of the tents to prevent localised flooding!

We set up an 80m doublet sloping from 35 meters off the tower, and a 40m ground mounted vertical with elevated radials. The 40m vertical used a 12m spidebeam pole, although we sometimes used the green push together army poles depending on the weather.

We also had the chance to try out the new Icom 7610 transceiver, and this performed very well on both receive and transmit.

I concentrated on 40m, using the 7610 and expert linear amplifier to develop 400w, and found band conditions to be very good in the late evening and early mornings. On Sunday morning I decided to get up around 6.45am and was really pleased to work some nice early morning DX.

ZL3CHE Willem was the first DX of the morning, located near Christchurch. Willem was using 600w to a ground mounted vertical and was a great signal.

ZL3CHE Willem in Christchurch New Zealand

VK4PDX Colin using just 100w in Brisbane Australia

VK3FT Keith was very strong from near Melbourne Australia, and he was using a rotary dipole at 20m on his tower.

A very enjoyable weekend, and always nice to get some DX on 40m over the weekend I was able to work around 27 DXCC.

CQ WW RTTY DX Contest

The CQ WW RTTY contest runs towards the end of September, and this year George M1GEO and myself decided to enter the contest under our own callsigns from our contest site at the Secret Nuclear Bunker.

We decided to keep it simple, using just two aerials.

1/ 80m dipole @ 30m

2/ 40m 1/4 wave ground mounted.

The 40m vertical is a tried and tested antenna, but on this occasion, we decided to try elevated the radials.  Peter G0DZB highlighted an article from N6LF, suggesting that elevated radials increased the performance of your vertical. I decided to purchase some plastic posts to elevate the radials 1m above the ground. The plastic posts are designed for holding up electric fence wires and so ideal for the job. The radial system required at least 4 posts, and the results were noticed almost immediately.

 

The VSWR was much flatter across the entire 40m band, and so the antenna was connected to a 1:1 balun and fed with coax.

Both George and I used the solid-state amplifiers by Expert, the 1.3KFA ideal for running 400w RTTY.

 

The M1GEO station with tea, Cola and some Reggi Reggi sauce, all field day essentials at hand.

The M0TAZ station

 

Over the course of the weekend, with some casual style operating I had worked 390Q in 42 DXCC. The highlights for me was working Panama, Indonesia, Thailand, Paraguay and Argentina.

 

21 MHz was open, although I decided not to take my 4E beam and opted to press the 7 MHz vertical into service on this band. It worked quite well, again no ATU required.

 

 

A field day is never complete without some excellent food from Fred G3SVK and Dianne. On Saturday they provided a lovely curry and on Sunday a spaghetti bolognese. Very much appreciated by everyone.

Camping over for the night gave me a chance to appreciate the sunrise on Sunday morning.

Altogether a very enjoyable weekend, in some great September weather.

 

© 2015 Dave, M0TAZ