Friday, 26 July 2013

Rotatable dipoles

I feel compelled to write about how pleased I am with the effectiveness of my simple homebuilt 10m band rotatable dipole.

I think we are all guilty of underestimating the performance of a simple dipole. If the dipole is mounted a few metres clear of the building (ideally at ½ a wavelength or more agl) and made to be as it was meant to be i.e. flat, preferably rotatable then the performance might give very respectable results.

This might just be the antenna to use if you do not have a tower at your disposal.

There are many advantages:

Light weight.
Easy to construct.
Full size without any lossy loading coils.
No lossy traps.
No impedance matching issues.
Can run full legal power.
Several dipoles could be parasitically coupled, resulting in multiband operation with a single feed line.

The wing span can be reduced if required by using droppers at each end. Cebik W4RNL (SK) had written an article on this idea “portable/field antenna”. I wish I could find the article in question.

I see at least one commercial antenna manufacturer is now selling such an antenna based on this idea.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Begali HST First impressions

At long last, my new Begali HST single lever paddle has been wired up and tested…..

It feels very different to my signature model and I suppose it will take a while to get used to it.

It is way too early to give any meaningful feedback, but my early opinion is:

  • The paddle “feels” like a million Dollars, zero mechanical play and easy to adjust.
  • The single paddle feels rather odd, very different from a dual lever; I think I prefer this new feel of the single lever.
  • I love the oversized handle, suits my style of sending.
  • I don’t miss the iambic squeeze mode at all, never really got to use it correctly anyway.
  • The HST might be ugly, but it is the real Mc Coy…..

73, Pierre ZS6A

Monday, 15 July 2013

IARU vs. fishnets

This past weekend I took part (half-heartedly) in the IARU contest. I only worked the lower end of 10 metre band looking for new DXCC entities on CW.

Unfortunately the QRM from the driftnets was a huge problem; it pretty much wiped out the first 50 kHz with beacons every 5 kHz. I would have thought the beacons were low power devices, but many were S9 plus, whereas most of the signals from the contesters in Europe and Middle East were fairly weak. I guess I had very good propagation to one or other productive fishing area. Possibly the Indian Ocean ??

I wrote about this on a previous blog posting:

I find it odd that the radio amateur fraternity has allowed this situation to develop.

IMHO This illegal use of the spectrum must be investigated and the perpetrators should be held accountable.

Refer to the URL below, scroll down to "28 MHz Drift Net Beacons"

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

LoTW – uploading incorrect locator information

I discovered that an alarming number of LoTW users are not sending their locator information during uploads to LoTW. There are also a few that are sending incorrect locator information.

The LoTW system does not use the “locator” info provided in the ADIF file. It uses the information that was provided by the user during the creation of the profile (certificate) used for signing the ADIF file.

The LoTW confirmations with absent or incorrect locator info creates a huge problem for those who are chasing VUCC awards.

I was very fortunate to come across the following info on K2DSL blog site.

I am sure you all agree it is very easy to sort out this issue if the above steps are followed.


Pierre ZS6A