Sunday, 27 April 2014

Loop antena - 2nd attempt

I experimented with a 1 wavelenght 20m loop before Easter, the loop was rectangular and set up vertical - fed from the centre bottom leg. The plane was in the East-West direction. This has been by far my more unsuccessful antenna. A note to the QRP-L list brought a number of suggestions.
- 1. An horizontal Sky loop
-2. SCV (self-contained vertical), which is a delta loop fed partways up on one of the vertical sides.

Given the wet weather this weekend, I spent some time to set up a a new loop up.
In the end I went for a delta loop, with the apex at 6m and the lower corners at 2.5m, with the plane sloping towards the East. This does not require any additional high supports.
The loop is fed at one of the corners by a ladder line I built with thin antenna wire and spacers.
The loop is quieter in RX than my EFHW, but not as good on TX. The departure angle seems a little bit higher. I got pretty good reports from central Europe, HB9 and OE.
The tuner in the MFJ 901b is in the garden. I think I might get an auto-tuner, as it is getting tiring to go the garden to change bands.

With this setup I can still get my doublet antenna up that I use for 30-40m.

The Helvetic contest was going on over the weekend, and was easy to make a a few QSOs. I also enjoyed a few QRP to QRP contacts on Sunday evening.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Easter activations in Belgium and The Netherlands

We drove to The Netherlands over the Easter weekend to visit some friends.
To break the journey we decided to stop by to activate Pottelberg in Belgium - ON/ON-027.
On Easter Saturday it was quiet, hardly anybody around. We set the QTH at "the goal", using the HB1B and multiband EFHW as an inverted L.
DXCCs worked on 20m: OK, SP, OM, S52, LZ, OE, EA, HA, CT, LA and on Eva's callsign on 40m: G, DJ, HB9, ON, D2

Views from the QTH

When we finished, we stopped at Radar Chalet for a Cappuccino, best one we have had in a very long time. We quite enjoyed driving on B-roads as we headed towards Gent, even a 'technical' stop to allow a bike race to pass by.

Radar Cafe Garden views

On Sunday afternoon, we went to Galgenberg (Ternet), North of Arhnem, to activate PA/PA-005. Our friends contacted Joop, the concierge at the camping, to advise him of our arrival and intent. He accompanied us to the summit and showed us the activation area around the heliport). - nice and friendly guy.

The conditions were terrible on 20m due to a solar storm, but managed to make enough contacts to activate the summit, thanks to all the chasers. I regretted not having put up the multiband EFHW to go on 30m or 40m.

When we finished, we stopped at the restaurant/bar of the aerodrome to enjoy some Dutch food (croquetten met fries), a cold beer and the afternoon sun.

Views of the aerodrome from the bar

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

/P at Hythe beach

After passing the Channel on the Eurotunnel, always an interesting experience, we stopped at Hythe's beach around noon for a bit of a break in the 7hr drive journey and some portable.- Google map

I attached the pole to a fence of the beach parade and sat on the pebble beach with the 20m efhw wire sloping to the South. I worked EA5IGL/M, UE80G, 3Z0SJP & RK3QZ. 

Video of qso by Ramón EA5IGL/M.  2xHB1B in action. 

Although I did not have the antenna in the right direction, I was able to hear LU5OM
Being 20m from the water, I am not sure I fully benefited from the good conductivity of sea water...
Good fun anyhow...

MTR v2 tribander

I am pleased to say that I managed to get one of 150 MTR v2 tribanders. This will be my first Weber radio. I am looking forward to the build and future SOTA activations with it.
I am planning to build it as 40-20-17m. Can't wait!!