Up On the Roof

With a tip of the hat to the Drifters and Carole King, here’s what I found up on my roof yesterday.  So, what do you call half a dipole?  Answer: a lousy antenna!Balun with Snapped Off Connector.jpg

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Antenna Projects Gone Wild

My project last wkend, April 21-22, 2012, was supposed to be to install the new solid-state rotor controller box that was delivered a few wks ago and is just sitting there on the shack table, doing no good at all unconnected.  However, this trumped by the excitement of building and testing a new antenna for portable ops I learned about 2 wks ago from some SOTA operators in NC.  Called the Iditarod portable dipole it is made from speaker wire (I used 22-ga but the one in the instructions was made with even lighter 26-ga).  Sunday I built the first section, for 20m, tuned it up and made a qso.  Then I built another 6′ or so for 30m, tuned and pruned, and qso’d.  Ran out of time and daylight Sunday so I finished it up with another 10′ on each let to make 40m.  This segment tuned up right away without any pruning!  Made a qso with K3JRR, Larry, in Virginia and he gave me 579 on Yaesu 817 at 2.5 watts, so it must be working!

Working on this project caused me to miss my QSO365 string for 4/23/12, the 2nd one I’ve missed this, except for travel when I excuse myself fm QSO365.  I’ve enjoyed qso365; it’s made me improve my operating skills and diligence, and will still try to keep it up, but will no longer be obsessive about it.

My antenna distractions got worse Saturday at our monthly Decatur Hams and Eggs breakfast when Newt, N4EWT loaned me his Buddipole to try out that he happened to have in his trunk.  Doesn’t everyone ride around with Buddipoles in their trunks?

So, I’ve got to try that out before I have to return it so my rotor controller may stay on my desk with its warrantly quietly expiring while I try new things with due dates.  Meanwhile, my tower is pointing due south so I can make good qso’s with Latin America!