Sunday, March 02, 2008

Not Much Doin'

Not much on the bands today. I got on 20 Meters this afternoon and worked HC2IL, Al down in Ecuador, which was a good catch. He was pretty strong into New Jersey and he gave me a 579 report. Not to shabby for 5 Watts!

Then I worked a German station who was portable in the Dominican Republic. I don't know what contest he was in; but he kept asking for my number. I kept giving him his RST back and the number "5" (I figured for 5 Watts). Something didn't seem to click - he sent a "TU" and started calling CQ again.

Other that that, I had a small ragchew with a "9" land station on 40 Meters; and that, as they say, was pretty much it. This weekend was the ARRL DX SSB contest, so I guess most of the on air stations were participating in that. I listened for a little bit; but as I do not have an SSB module in the K2 to allow for SSB transmissions, it seemed pointless to spend too much time listening.

After talking with Bob W3BBO yesterday on Echolink, I think I've pretty much determined which way I'm going to go this spring "new" wire antenna wise. It's not going to be too much of a change over the G5RV; but it will be different and it will be new materials. I'm pretty sure it's going to be a slight variation of a 135' Doublet All Band Antenna. I'm pretty sure I can squeeze the 135 feet of wire in my back yard with some zigs and zags. The tricky point, though, is that I am going to have to feed it off center because of where my Maple tree is situated.

I'll run the wire as long as I can in each direction to make up the 135 feet. I'll run either 300 Ohm twinlead or 450 Ohm window line down to ground level where I will terminate it to a 4:1 balun. From there I will use the same coax I have been using. That's still in excellent shape; and I really can't afford to replace it anyway. Hopefully, that will do me for the next decade or so - that's about how long my G5RV has been up. I guess maybe it's a good idea to stick up new wire every ten years or so to take into account the wear and tear from UV radiation, harsh NE winters and Nor'Easter winds that we can get any time of year.

Once that's up I also have a plan brewing in my mind on how I want to re-do the radial on my Butternut. Although I don't use the HF9V as much as I should, it's always been a good antenna that's helped me catch DX when I really needed to get through.

73 de Larry W2LJ

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