Working a few on 10m (28MHz) with a half wave vertical

28MHz has been in good shape recently, so I wanted to go out portable and try my end fed half wave parallel tuned circuit coupler as I have not tried it on 10m before. The band was in good shape (unlike the weather) and it seemed to work well. I managed to work some good DX whilst I was there, the log can be seen below.

November 2014 10m log

I also took a little video of me working VA3AQB – Alan in Canada. The coupler seemed to work well on 10m and with a bit more bandwidth than other bands, perhaps because very little capacitance was needed. I’m enjoying making the most of the higher bands whilst they are open! John.

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Loaded Quarter Wave Antenna on Topband

We went out for some portable operating today, as the weather was nice. Our club has a topband net each Saturday at 2pm and I wanted to try an antenna for the upcoming 160m AFS Club Calls contest. Using Dave M0TAZ’s 18m spiderbeam fibreglass pole as a loaded quarter wave, with an inductor (340μH) towards the top of the antenna. It makes it all a bit critical having the inductor so high, but the big advantage is that the bottom 15.5 metres has a lot of current in it, leaving only the 2.5 metres above it at a high impedance, making a better radiator. Ground was provided by a chicken wire fence, which I have used many times before with good results.

Below is a short video showing the antenna first on 24MHz where Dave is working Bahrain where the vertical was set up close to a ⅝ wave, then afterwards, it’s fully extended with the loading coil 15.5 metres up, making it a loaded ¼ wave for 160m. The antenna was resonant at 1830kHz, a bit low, so the ATU was used. I calculated for 1900kHz, so I guess 70kHz off isn’t bad! It would be easy enough to fine tune it. Lovely day for it, a bit breezy towards the end though!

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Portable operating on 24MHz

I was operating portable on 12m (21MHz) today. It’s a band which I have hardly ever used, so I cut a half wave length of wire and used my End Fed Half Wave Coupler to match it at the base of the fibreglass pole. Conditions seemed good and I was able to work Chicago, Massachusetts, California, New York and Texas in a short time. Below is a short video and photo of the setup.

Operating on 12m beside the river Thames.

Operating on 12m beside the river Thames.

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CQWW 2014

Our club operated in the CQ World Wide contest this year. We had 2 main stations running, one on 20m and the other on 15m. Some QSO’s were had on other bands too. Together, we totalled 1743 contacts. I also worked 50 from home in about an hour on 15m. More info and photos from our clubs activity can be seen here. Below is a pic of me operating the 15m station. Oh, and I shaved the beard off :)

M0UKD operating on 15m in the 2014 CQWW contest

M0UKD operating on 15m in the 2014 CQWW contest

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Transceiver efficiencies (FT-897D, FTDX1200 and IC-7200)

The FT-897D is a very efficient transceiver for portable use, perhaps because it is designed for use with battery power in mind. As I recently purchased an Icom IC-7200 to replace it for HF use whilst portable, I thought I would do some tests on the efficiency of them both, and also my FTDX1200 for comparison. The IC-7200 is comparable to most other HF desktop transceivers, using up to 20A with a 100W carrier.

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