Monthly Archives: October 2010

Cleaned up a bit

I got tired of how the antenna switch room looked, so this evening I cleaned it out and installed the new powersplitter for 40m. I have some plan to put up a 2el inv vee yagi @EU for 40 before CQWW this weekend, and also I have the 1/4 vert which might be useful in some cases.

I think most is explained by the pictures, so here they are

Almost ready for CQWW

I will operate this CQWW DX SSB contest as SOAB for the first time at this new QTH. I haven’t done SO2R on SSB for several years so it will be interested to see how rusty I am. I have borrowed an SB220 from SM2EKM which will be used for the 2nd radio and probably for running on 80m. I don’t have 160m on that one so I will need to QSX sometimes with the FT1K on 160 to get some mults. However we are not allowed to be over 1850, which is a big limitation so to get mults on 160 I will need to CQ a lot, so I will probably end up with more qsos on 160 than on 80m.

It will be very interesting to see how well it goes against the hard OH competition. There are two SOAB on OH0 (OH0Z = OH6UM and OH0B = OH2UA) plus both OH4A and OH8X who I think is in the same category if not assisted.

Only real worry is that I have been having trouble with the neck, shoulders and back lately but I am trying to stretch it out and hopefully survive the contest. I have prepared for this since last year so something special will be needed to knock me out of this one!

Only thing left to do is that I am trying to put up a 2el inv vee yagi towards Europe for 40m as a complement to the 3el and vert. Hope to work you in the contest!

40m yagi fixed

I got a call on Thursday from SM2LIY who was at the QTH and said that the 40m yagi had tilted 90 degrees. This made me very depressed and I called SM2XJP so he could go out there and check if everything seem to be ok and it was just a matter of “twisting” it back and tighten the clamps. He called back a few hours later and confirmed that everything looked OK which made me a bit more calm.

I arrived at the QTH on Friday when it was dark, so I could not see the mess myself and started to do other work instead. I had gone to SM2EKM and picked up the SB220 he borrowed me to use on the 2nd radio during CQWW SSB that I plan to do SOAB HP as SJ2W. When I connected the amp and started it up it did blow the fuse and the anode current meter getting floored. This made me very scared but I was confused since I had handled the amp with care. So I checked to see if the tubes were properly in the sockets since I suspected maybe some glitch making it not “cut off”. I moved the tubes a bit and started it again and the amp was running, so I thought the problem was solved. Until I stepped upp from the chair which apparently made the table move slightly and bang the fuse went again. This made me very confused and I started to look at the tubes and did notice that the anode in the tube was lose and at some angles it did hit the cathode creating a shortcut. This made me very upset thinking I broke the tube so now I was not just nervous to climb the tower on Saturday morning but also the call to SM2EKM to tell him I broke his amp.

On Saturday morning I had a hard time eating anything because I was really nervous for the tower climb, for some strange reason since I’ve done it many times before without problems. I just had one of those days where I didn’t feel like doing it but I did pull myself together and climbed the tower mid day on Saturday. It went pretty easy but I avoided looking up since I could see some ice in the tower at some points, like where antennas were attached to the tower. However nothing fell and after I climbed up I broke the ice loose and threw it down, so that it wouldn’t hit me on my way down. Well in the top of the tower everything went very smoothly. I loosened the clamps more and with help of the boom support I could turn the yagi back. However the elements look worse aligned than compared to when we put the beam up, so I am afraid that it might twist even more this winter but hopefully it will survive as long as possible and we can fix it in the spring/summer.

When this was finished and I had gotten down to the ground again I called SM2EKM and told him what happened and he said “But Mikey, you should know that I have lots of tubes” so he will send two new tubes with me down to replace the ones in the amp now. So I had been nervous over nothing, both when it came to the tower climb as well as the call to SM2EKM 🙂 Thanks Jim!

After this was done SM2XJP and I did some work down at where the 40m 4-SQ will be placed but after a few hours we pretty much gave up. The snow makes it too hard and we don’t really have time to do everything to get the 4-SQ up before the ground will get rock hard and even getting rid of all the trees and branches is a big job. So this will need to wait until the spring/summer to be done. I am considering putting up a loop with apex @18m vertically polarized as EU antenna for 40 to use when beaming some other direction with the beam.

Here are some pictures taken by gf Anna!

An amp project started

We got hold of a couple of 4CX1500B monoband amps and I decided to build a 2x4CX1500B amp out of these. The idea is to make it preset tuned with option to make it fully auto tune in the future. Everything will be controlled with an controller which can be located in the shack, in the same kind of box as the openASC system.

So far I’ve started with the sheet metal work and the next thing to do is to make a top and bottom floor of the whole compartment, so that the heater transformers and other electronics can be on the bottom floor while the PI-tank will be on the top floor. The L will be switched with V1V relays while the capacitors will be two vacuum capacitors with padding caps (switched with V1V) controlled by the two stepper motors.

Thanks to SM3BDZ for the C1 variable vacuum capacitor (3kV, 1000pF)!