Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ham Life: The Struggle

Well now, seems like we had ourselves a little storm or something last night.
I knew this had happened:

Fallen is the Dipole!

Fallen is the W3EDP!

because I'd seen it on the ground the day before. There was a mighty wind a'blowin'. What I didn't know was that the W3EDP had lost a support too.

Woe is me! I got to thinking about the situation. My reason for going ahead with the stubbed antenna project was because the dipole had fallen. No better time than the present to go ahead and make something better. First things first though, I needed to secure the W3EDP in a position where if it's going to be up at all, I want it to be usable.

I broke some rules about how you are supposed to orient ladder line:

Yep, it's Bent!
 It's all good though, pragmatism trumps theory all the time.
Right now the W3EDP is deployed to a single support. It does not touch the tree the support wire drapes across, and is in free space as an inverted-vee. I checked it to see if it got noise, and sure enough, it's noise on 40m, and tunes up nicely. Tonight I may try to get "The Killer Watt Radio" on the air, and see if it can't snag me some tasty DX.

After doing my "radio check" I decided to roll up the 40m dipole. I need to work on it some, the whole thing is over ten years old, and it's beginning to look a little worn. I plan on using the spot it was in to deploy the new antenna I introduced yesterday. Don't tell anybody, but I'm also thinking about putting up a dipole for 80m, and fed with ladder line. The W3EDP will tune 80, but I have a plan for getting another antenna up high, like about 50' high.

What does ten years do to an antenna?
A bit Crufty She Is
Makes the outside go from copper red to dirt brown/black.
Funny thing is that when this antler was in the church attic, it didn't get too bad over the couple of years it was there. It spent a lot of time in storage, and was sitll a lil shiny when I deployed it in the yard the first time. Now it has almost a film on it. Strange. I'm thinking I should replace the wire at a minimum. The wire is about coming out of the ears where it attaches to the balun too. Not too bad I don't think. The UHF Connector still shines good. Must be something to using Coax seal and electrical tape over the connection...

Now tonight, if I'm still awake when I get home, I'll get the Decoupling Stub Antenna on the workbench!
If you have a copy of "More Wire Antenna Classics Vol2" by the ARRL, it's Chapter 3, page 17 should you want to follow along.

Ok, Last nite I got the first phase of the antenna built. I attached a center insulator to two 8 foot pieces of ladderline. Then I realized I was doing it wrong! LOL!
Pics during testing phase to follow...

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