The winds given problem and the winds take away problem of ladder line snagged on clamp at top of mast. We have high winds again this morning and just as fast as the last wind storm created the snagging of the ladder line at the top section of my 40 foot mast they unhooked it this morning which made me quickly drop everything and get out and secure the ladderline straight down with a 10 ft piece of paracord to stop the fluttering in the wind. I have delayed letting down the mast due to work schedules and other things like not being able to walk due to a case of gout in my left foot.
Had made up my mind to drop the mast Saturday if there was no wind and correct the problem. About the only time you will ever hear be thank the wind for saving me some work. 40 MPH blows expected here today.
We recently had some high winds and I started to notice my antenna tuner settings had changes quite a bit. Went out side and took a look at the supporting pole. Noticed the ladder line
had caught on the clamp which holds the top 10 foot section up. Tried several things to get it unlodged on the clamp to no avail. What this did was put the ladder line right against the push up
mast and caused the high swr on the normal tuner settings. Had plans to let the pole down and fix this but low and behold a rainy weekend. So Will have to use as is until weather clears. Going to come up with something to prevent this from happening again in the future as the antenna which is a Alpha Delta DX-DD. With ladder line feed this antenna covers 80-40-30 meters and works very well normally.
The Wireman ( www.thewireman.com) a well known supplier of antenna making products for the amateur carries some 450 ohm ladder line which is much better than the standard stiff solid conductor line you see on eBay and else where. It has two 16ga 19 strand conductors and is very flexible compared to others. It is their product number 552. Full legal power and very flexible.
Most of the 450 ohm line out there these days has two 18ga solid conductors.
I highly recommend this line, you will not be disappointed !
Switched my DX-DD to open wire feed today. Using 450 ohm line. I have been intending to do this for several months and finally got the time to do so. I am using an external Palstar 4:1 balun which is mounted under the eave outside the shack window. From there about a 10 foot length of LMR400 coax to the Palstar AT2K tuner. Have checked it out on 40, 30 and 20 so far and works well. Will see if it made 80 a little easier to tune now. Was very narrow using coax prior to the switch.
Decided to put my favorite low band antenna back up the center fed Zepp. I use #14 bare copper coated antenna wire for this and 300 ohm windowed twinlead which I get from “The Wireman”.
My city lot is small so without putting a pole in the front yard I devised a L shaped antenna which I call the “Zig Zag Zepp” with the Zig being vertical and Zag going down.
There are four supports for this. Starting in the North end a 18ft mast which runs up to a 40ft this holds a PVC Tee which the antenna wire passes through next is another 18ft mast with another pvc t. Then the wire turns East up to a 30ft mast. The center of this antenna is just aboutr center between the 40 footer and the South mast (3rd).
It works quite well on it’s intended bands of 30, 40 & 80 Meters. I feed this with a 4:1 balun under the eave outside my shack and coax from that into the shack tuner. This keeps RF out of the shack and has always done me a good job.
If you want to get on the lower bands just give the antenna some thought, Where there is a will, there is a way !
Last new days in my spare time I have been fine tuning the buddi pole which I have configured as a “Buddi Stick” vertical. I found it much easier to set this up than the regular dipole. Going to give it a go on digital mode JT65 or JT9 this weekend. I have found through the years very little power needed on these modes. I am using my FT-817nd for this test. Please give me a call this weekend if you see me in the waterfall. I will be running about 2 watts.
With the help of Ray, W6EST we installed the K4KIO Hexbeam on a short mast on the roof last Saturday 5/23. It is performing as we expected. Having just took down a 2 element tribander by Mosley in which to judge by, The Hex is a broader banded and I do notice a better signal strengths with the Hex. It maybe just conditions since the hex was installed. I will have some pictures online soon of the install.
Received email from HRO that the new Yaesu rotor should be delivered today. Also have some dacron/ploy guy rope coming. I expect that it will be another week until this project is completed. I will post a picture of the new install.
Finished assembling the Hexbeam and it is sitting on a 30gal plastic garbage can in half of the backyard. Took down my 2 el yagi yesterday as well. Had a bear of a time as the push up mast it was on kept binding up on me. Ordered a new Yaesu G-450 rotor from HRO last night for the new installation of the Hexbeam which is not going back on the push up mast as originally planned. I have a small roof tripod up on the roof in center of the house and going to install the Hexbeam on it up about 10ft. Going to move the Hex so it is out of the backyard up to the roof to await it’s install.
Need to check local Ace Hardware today to see if they have a 3ft length of 1 1/4 pipe to fit the flange on the hexbeam. May take down my 2 element yagi today as well depending on work load from www.cheapqsls.com . Started a picture gallery of the hexbeam assembly and install which will be maintained as it progresses to finally in the air. Darken up the background on this blog a little. I know sometimes backgrounds which are too bright seems to blind you and makes reading what otherwise would be interesting to more of a chore.