Right to start with the MFJ-1788X (Magnetic Loop Antenna 7-22 MHz (40-15M)) has been ordered awaiting delivery. I might contact Martin Lynch & Sons to say I’ll collect from Kempton Radio Rally (West London Radio & Electronics Fair) on Sunday 10th November so not much to report yet.
Also I purchased a DVAP Dongle. I went with the 70cms model as it’s a larger band and usually quieter. Some people mentioned that it’s it illegal. Well after some reading it seems I have to tick “lock callsign” box in UK and I have to be nearby so it’s still classed as attended. Also the DVAP Dongle only transmits about 10 mW into it’s tiny antenna (see in photo with Raspberry Pi for size comparison).
I’ve had a few QSOs on it, and it’s nice to work anything waiting for my Mag Loop antenna.
Update (belated):- It was delivered after Kempton, but seeing the size of the box, I’m glad it was delivered.
With thanks to James MØBOV & Peter M3PHP my Hustler 6-BTV is now vertical as it should be, and not horizontal as it has been recently.
James helped with assembing the antenna earlier in the year, but due to a few problems was not put up then.
Peter stayed over Friday & Saturday and helped clearing the garden, pointing the antenna skyward & guying it as well
When the antenna cable was connected, we fired up the Icom IC-737 and 10m was bustling with activity.
Within a short space of time we had worked Germany, Switzerland, Scotland and Italy all on 28MHz SSB.
On Sunday and Monday the antenna also survived terrible weather that had brought down trees, and caused other problems on railways, etc.
To see some photos go to my gallery at:- gallery.m0tzo.co.uk/may2008/
Also in regards to 2m & 70cms, Peter and myself sorted the Ecoflex 15 cable so that I no longer needed the 1m patch lead to reach the radio. Someone has already mentioned I am getting out to them a lot better than normal.
What a disaster.
Everything that could have gone wrong, did for me. I could go into detail, but will list instead.
- Uncle passed away
- Finish Radio Shack
- Only assembled days before (thanks James M0BOV)
- To finish, had tools missing (mainly had Metric, and needed 2x ¼” sockets)
- Also couldn’t find Self-amalgamating tape
- Weather & Night time prevented this being looked at until gone 5am, 5hrs into contest
- Tried with Antenna horizontal, but stations couldn’t hear me
- Crashed, more than once
- Installed 2nd Soundcard to handle the Digital Voice Keying. Computer wouldn’t load
- Removed and PC wouldn’t start.
- Finally found that Video card wasn’t seated properly
- LCD Screen caused interference on 40m
- No Filter I could add
- Quickly brought15″ CRT down
- Still not able to get signal out
Anyway, not sure how I should finish this article, been looking at for few days. Just the main this is I have definately learnt lessons from this.
So, Plans do not always go to plan, & even if you change you plans everything make seem to be going OK, until the crunch time. Planning is underway for testing radio BEFORE next contest, and to make sure where possible have backup solutions.