Tag: beam

RSGB IOTA contest

Members of the SNB contest group came together to play some radio in the RSGB IOTA contest. Some stations make the trek to far flung Islands in exotic parts of the world, we opted for the contest site close to Kelvedon Hatch in Essex.

The SNB contest site has the added bonus of a 50m onsite mast, making an ideal platform to hang dipoles. George M1GEO and myself decided to operate our respective calls from the two radio setup, using 3.5, 14, 21 and 28 MHz. George also added his 50/70 MHz beam on the mast, and this provided some interesting contacts using MS and JT65.

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Two pump up masts provided the following setup.

Scam 12m – Tri-band Beam A-3S covering 14, 21 and

28 MHz and 50/70 MHz beam.

Clark 10m – 15m 4e homebrew beam

Bunker mast – 3.5 MHz dipole at 30m

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At various times we added some RF power from either the solid state expert 1.3KFA or the hal1200_atlantic amplifier. We had some interaction between the close sited antennas, and at times this dictated the operating modes / times.

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Fred G3SVK joined us as our CW operator, Fred can often be found in the lower pasts of the bands chasing big DX.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a casual operation, allowing time for sleep, meals and frequent cups of tea. The weather was fantastic, so camping out onsite was very enjoyable.

 

 

M0TAZ added around 49 DXCC and 350 QSO over the weekend. The highlight for me was AL7KC Alaska on 14 MHz  and VP8LP Falklands on 21 MHz.

LEFARS Field Weekend

Once again members of the LEFARS came together at the Rainbow and Dover PH near Harlow to play some radio. George M1GEO and Chris G8OCV had recently serviced a tri band beam from Cushcraft A-3S donated by Bill G0BOF to the SNB group. The event this weekend was its first field day outing, and it performed very well. The antenna worked as a 3e trapped beam on 28, 21 and 14 MHz bands.

The boom length of the antenna is just 4.17m and the longest element length is 8.45m. You can download a manual for the antenna here.

The 3e beam was supported on the 12m SCAM pump us mast, as was the 3.5MHz dipole. We also operated on 50 MHz and 70 MHz using a slim Jim and dipole.

Using 2 x Icom 7100 for HF, one connected to the Cushcraft beam, and the other on 70, 50 or 3,5 MHz. The amplifier was a solid state HAL 1200 delivering 400w to the antenna,

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7 MHz was also in use giving John the chance to try out his newly acquired Icom 7300. The new Icom is proving very popular, with 3 club members recently investing in this new mode.

27904200764_4c40d3a8e2_kOver the weekend we made close on 300 QSO, and combination of CW, Phone and Data modes.

Here you can see Fred G3SVK working a few on 14 MHz CW.

You can read more about LEFARS and GB0SNB both active clubs in the Essex area

 

 

 

 

 

RSGB 21/28 MHz contest

The RSGB contest provided an ideal opportunity to focus activity on the higher HF bands. Previous John M0UKD and I had built beams for  28 MHz 3e beam and  21 MHz 4e beam using the design on DK7ZB website.  28 MHz is a compact design using a 3m boom, and 21 MHz is somewhat bigger at 5m boom.

The Racal PU12 mast was used for the 28 MHz antenna and Clark 10 for the 21 MHz antenna. Power was provided by the Honda 2KW silent generator and the radio was provided by George M1GEO the Icom 7700 delivering 200w RF.

John M0UKD helping to assemble to 21 MHz (Left) and 28 MHz beams.

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The operating was alfresco as the October weather was  sunny and warm. The shack table was positioned close to the mast ready for armstrong rotation.

The Clark mast was modelling some new blue legs, recently fabricated by Brian 2E0FHU. They worked perfectly and once assembled they provided a sturdy base.21317020033_44fe6db48c_z

A quick check with the MFJ analyser confirmed the antenna was spot on resonance, and so the CQ calling could commence.

Despite a valiant effort on both 21 and 28 MHz conditions did not support the number of QSO we had hopped, in fact you could say it was a challenge to work anyone at times. QSO could be hard to tease out, and we decided the best method was to work anyone we could  hear. Some big DX did arrive, as we managed to work ZS6AI, ZS5DCF, CX8DS, VP8NO and PS8BR to name a few. The bands did seem to be open, at one stage we listened to a CW beacon in South America that was very loud (apparently 10w).

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M1GEO George driving the Icom 7700.

 

 

 

 

 

21 MHz beam (Left) on Clark 10m mast — 28 MHz beam on Racal PU12 mast.

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Despite the lack of activity or poor band conditions we enjoyed our time operating outdoors in the sunshine.

Both homebrew beams worked well, and this may well be the last time we operate outdoors in 2015.

Further pictures from the day are available online.

Thanks to everyone we worked 73 Dave M0TAZ

21 MHz 4e Beam Part #3

You can read Part 1 and Part 2 of the project

Part 3

Members of the Havering ARC took part in the LEFARS radio event over the bank holiday weekend 23/24/25 May provided the ideal opportunity to test the beam. George M1GEO and Chris G8OCV provided the 12m SCAM mast and so the fun began. The club operated from a farm site in Harlow, giving us enough space to test even the most ambitious projects. As described in parts #1 and #2 the antenna has a 5 meter boom, and although it isn’t too heavy it still provides a challenge lifting this onto the mast.

On the tower

 

Once again a quick VSWR check using the MFJ antenna analyser suggested it was ready to go, and so the next phase was to pump up the mast. The Scam provides 12m (45ft) of elevation, and provides a suitably robust (heavy) construction that makes it a firm favourite for our HF field days.

Its up

The station was a Kenwood TS990 and Explorer 1200 Amplifier. Here is a picture of George M1GEO working a pile up.

George M1GEO

Over the course of the next 3 days we were able to test the antenna, band conditions seems reasonable on the day and improved early evening on most days. We found the directivity to be good, and pointing towards Japan in the early evening provided a pile up of JA’s calling us.

Some highlights VU3DMP Chetz from India

Some really nice calls from Japan as well including JJ1LWA Hal near Tokyo using 200w and 3E beam

We also found conditions very good into the USA late evening and working West coast with signals 59+ was quite a surprise. It was also nice to see the GB2LRS station generating some interest on the HF band, with one USA station suggesting the phonetics should be GB2 Loud Radio Station !

The USA and JA pile ups were quite a surprise, listen to one here and see what you can pull out.

The the weekend finally coming to an end on Monday we had worked 600 stations in 58 countries, the highlights being A9 Bahrain, C6 Bahamas, BY China, VU India, HI Dominican Republic, EP Iran, P2 Papua New Guinea, KL Alaska, XE Mexico, and YB Indonesia. The top two countries in the log were 376 Q into USA and 71 into Japan.

I think given the quantity and quality of stations worked this weekend I can now declare the 4E mono band for 21 MHz a success. Thanks to everyone who worked us and made the weekend possible.

Homebrew 21 MHz Beam Part #2

Read Part 1 of the homebrew project

Now the exciting phase, nearing the end and a moment to complete the final stages.

Construction of the matching phase, and mounting the driven element.  The antenna feed point is 28Ω, and the method of feeding the antenna is described on DK7ZM site. Once constructed from 2 lengths of 75Ω and formed into a choke this could be mounted.

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The driven element was separated with a solid plastic tube, this extended 250 mm into each side of the element. The bolts and wing nuts would provide the ideal termination point for the coax.

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The next phase was getting the aerial into the air, and checking the VSWR. The design suggested it was quite broadband, and as you can see it was 52Ω @ 21.030 MHz. A little lower than planned, but it was 1:3 at 21.250 MHz and so well within design.

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The band seemed quite lively, and we could hear a special event Indian station working a huge pile up of EU and NA. Despite calling a few times we wasnt able to make that, but a little further down the band we did hear VK and a Taiwanese (well he was from Leeds) working a few.

After finding a frequency and calling CQ we was able to work WA7M Gavin in Arizona USA.

More tests to follow soon …

73 Dave M0TAZ

© 2015 Dave, M0TAZ