another productive day in the attic

Terry Fox tfox at
Thu Aug 24 20:32:02 CDT 2006

So it was rainy and cooler again today - for only the second time since I moved here.  That called for more attic antenna work.  I installed two 2-meter ringo rangers, and a dipole for 18MHz.  This brings the antenna total (so far) to:

2 40-meter dipoles, 90 degrees apart.  One seems a little flaky.
2 20-meter dipoles, 90 degrees apart.
1 30-meter dipole, hopefully oriented toward DC.
2 2-meter ringo ranger antennas (one on FM rig, one on FM/SSB rig)

Next comes some random wires for the antenna tuner(s).

Last weekend was the North America QSO Party, and I tried my luck for a few hours Saturday night on 40 meters.  The higher dipole (which is flaky) seemed to work great for an hour or so, then I noticed the rig was backing off.  Hooking the MFJ antenna analyzer up, I found it's SWR was very high on 40 meters, it was now resonating around 6.4MHz.  Wierd.  It still worked better on receive than the other 40-meter dipole, so i used it to receive, and the other one to transmit.  Sometimes I ended up using it to Tx as well, but ran the power down quite a bit.  On Monday I checked it, and it was tuned to 7.15MHz again.  More wierd.  I am using RG-58U, and an MFJ balun on that antenna, and I suspect one of the two are probably acting up.  I've ordered new coax (mini-8), too bad it didn't show up today....

I did not call CQ, but answered other hams.  I think I talked to over 70 stations in 3 hours, and almost everyone that I heard, I could work as well.  33 states in 3 hours, not bad.  Several good reports from stations.  I guess 100watts into a diopole is still OK.  Included were CA, OR, WA, UT, DE, VA, NY, CO, ID, IN, etc...

I have not tried the 30 meter dipole with actual RF yet, that comes next.  Hal, if you want to try that freq (18.140 I think), I now have an antenna for it.

Anyway, that's my report and I'm sticking to it.
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