10th Anniversary Giveaway!

On April 30th, it will be ten years since the "W2LJ - QRP - Do More With Less" blog was born.

In appreciation for all who read this blog, I am going to give something away to one lucky reader. I have a new, mint condition, unused, complete sheet of fifty United States Amateur Radio stamps, issued in 1964 on the 50th Anniversary of the ARRL - Scott #1260. I am going to have the sheet matted and framed - ready for display on some deserving shack wall. All I ask is that you send an e-mail to w2lj@arrl.net - entitled "Blog Anniversary Giveaway". Include your name, call sign and mailing address.

Any Amateur Radio op worldwide can enter. I will package and ship the framed stamps to any destination that the United States Post Office will accept.

The names and call signs will be loaded into a software program such as RandomPicker on April 30th and a winner will be determined. The winner will be announced here, and then the framed stamps will be posted.

Good luck, and thank you for reading!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Antenna repair work

always seems to be conducted when weather is less than optimal for such things.

You may remember me telling how I had to temporarily re-hang my 88' EDZ wire last Saturday. Just a week ago, we were enjoying weather in the low 50s (11C), it was a good day to perform that task.  But then during the week, I noticed it wasn't working right and seemed to be deaf.  I thought initially that there was a short in the PL-259 connector.  I changed that out and it made no difference.  I suspected a fault maybe a bit farther back in the coax, as feedlines always seem to be a probem, but then I thought - what if the problem is with the window line and not the coax?

So today, I headed outside and this weekend, the weather is quite a bit colder than last. In fact, it's quite the opposite of last weekend. Last night we had a low of -3F (-20C) and today's high was about 20F (-6C), so where did I find myself?  Of course, in the back yard, freezing in the new fallen snow, inspecting my antenna to see where the fault might lay. And since I work better without gloves, that just added to the pleasure!

Fortunately, the fault was found quickly and it was an easy fix.  When I was re-hoisting the antenna, the window line must have flexed and stressed badly at the BALUN terminals, and on one side, the wire had snapped.  It proved to be a simple matter of loosening the screw, removing the old tiny bit of wire, stripping back a bit more of the insulation on that side of the window line and re-screwing the bare wire back down in place.  I needed tools no more sophisticated than the Swiss Army Knife that I always carry.  (You can't work for a Swiss firm for 22 years of your life and NOT carry a Swiss Army Knife with you wherever you go.)

I went to my basement shack, where it's a balmy 58F (15C) and was delighted to see the KX3 deliver a match in literally, just a couple of seconds.  My preferred wire is now back in action and I am quite a happy camper.  Now I just have to keep my fingers crossed that my temporary support line will hold for the rest of the winter!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!


Anonymous said...

It's even better if you do this at night, Larry, and with the flu...makes it work even better !
73 & HNY !
Brian K3USC/4

Jspiker said...

Hello Larry,

You're a brave man. I'm staying inside until the temperature rises a bit.