As the long night’s start to draw in I have started to move onto my low band projects. My intention was to have all low band antenna’s up before the clocks changed, and well… you can guess what’s happened. I have made some progress albeit baby steps at the moment. I have reconstructed my 40m antenna. This is a simple quarter wave vertical with 2x elevated radials. There is always an argument about which is best; elevated or ground radials. Both have their pros and cons, however I find that elevated radials suit my QTH where the vertical is located in a “high traffic” area and ground radials would get destroyed. I get some noise on 40m, I’ll admit not as bad as some but still much higher than I’d like. Up to S7 when operating SSB and Up to S3 in CW. Luckily I favor CW more these days.
I want to get on all low bands. 160, 80, 40 & 30m. This in it’s self is a challenge. 160 & 80m will share the same 18m spider pole. I hope that in the next couple of weeks I can get up a T – Vertical for 160 (with buried ground radials). Getting the 160m Radials underground is the most time consuming task here. Each one will have to be “dug” in with a spade along the entire length of each radial, there are approximately 21 radials of varying lengths. I will also attach a quarter wave vertical for 80m to the same pole. This will have 2 elevated radials, about 3m above the ground, well above head height. A 30m antenna is something to think about later…
I have a 6 way switch by SJ2W and a home-brew control unit ready to be wired up, Just awaiting delivery of some control cable. I also hope to get up my new G1000 SDX rotator so I don’t have to use the “Armstrong” method of turning the hex beam through the winter.
But what about RX?
As I mentioned before, my noise level on 40m is up to S7. Not as high as some, but still high enough to drown out any DX. A little while ago I purchased a PCB kit from George M1GEO for his “Well good loop” antenna. His own take on the classic Well brook loop. George’s kit has some good reviews and actually sounds great when listening through some of the SDR’s on his website. I will build this I hope pretty soon and find somewhere to shove it out of the way.
Goals and Pursuits
At the moment, VP6R are just a few days into their DXpedition. Hopefully I will be able to make at least 1 low band QSO on 40m. Looking further ahead, December YOTA Months is also approaching where I have some scheduled time to use GB19YOTA. This is an annual event aimed at getting young operators on the air. (Not that I needed an excuse). For this reason alone I want to have a full functional, all band station to use whilst using this call sign. And looking even further ahead into the new year, I am excited to be QRV again in CQ 160 CW.. But there’s a lot to do before then. Stay tuned for updates as I progress!