Antenna Work

July 10th, 2008 by k8gu Leave a reply »


I mentioned a few weeks (months?) ago that I was working on some antenna upgrades and that I had a 20-meter Moxon up.  Well, I built the Moxon out of #14 THHN, which has PVC insulation, using dimensions for bare wire.  Oops.  (This could easily have been a life lesson:  read the fine print.)  I decided against rebuilding the Moxon for two reasons:  First, it was a pain to install in the trees.  Second, I can get a dipole up higher.  So, I put up a 20-meter dipole yesterday.  One end is at about 40 feet and the other at 35 feet or so.  SWR is good and A/B tests on receive are good.  Looking forward to trying it out in the NS tonight.

I also pulled the 80/160 matching network (see picture) off of the roof and moved it to the ground.  This is a major improvement for repairs and adjustments and I gain an extra 10-12 feet of radiator on 160 when I short the feeder.  Since it’s now on the ground, I won’t actually get to try it out on 160 until the mowing guy quits for the year.  N3OX tells me that he solved the “squeemish about wires in the grass” problem by offering to mow his own yard.  We travel too much and I’m really not willing to let the landlady off the hook on anything.  So, no 160 during the summer is the price I have to pay.  I also rebuilt the box with a much more intelligent layout than before.  Let’s just say that I couldn’t bring myself to post the old one on the Internet with my name on it.

I’ll probably try to add 10 and 15 to the 20-meter dipole, just to have them.  But, that’s “later” project.  I also need to build the W3NQN filters for those bands still, too.  I have all of the parts (even the boards) for KK1L‘s 2×6 switch.  But, I’ve cooled off on building it.  Some day.  Maybe.

IARU HF World Championship is this weekend.  This had been one of my favorite contests.  I’ve hardly participated in it since 2004, when I operated W0AIH SOLP CW.  I’m just not much of a single op DX contester these days.  Sarah probably is a big part of that.  She doesn’t like when I contest much longer than the Sprint at a stretch!  We need to work on that.  I’m trying to operate fewer contests more intensely.  SS CW and the CW Sprints are the ones I’m focusing on.  I’ll probably make some Q’s in the IARU, even if it’s just working W1AW/9 and NU1AW/0.