Sunday, July 17, 2011

Minibeam repair postponed, 40m inverted v put up

My team of helpers was on standby Saturday morning to take down the MA5B minibeam to attempt repairs but alas at 8.50am I looked out to see torrential rain and strong winds, so I took an immediate decision to postpone. I texted Tony, Jim, Don and Pat and said the job was off. However, Pat landed up with some QSL cards and caught me with two lengths of wire which I had cut at just over 33 feet long each. He inquired as to what I was doing and I said I was going to add a 40m inverted V to my 30m inverted V so as to make a nest.

With the weather suddenly improving (rain stopped, sun came out) I asked if he was interested in helping and of course the immediate answer was yes.

So we set about taking the 30m inverted v down by taking the pole off the brackets. I stripped back the two new wires and found a smaller pole which we used to extend the overall height of the existing pole which would allow a higher apex on the Vs. Pat had shelley clamps and we got to work. It didn't take that long to put the whole thing together and after a while (and a bit of sweating!) we had the newly extended pole in the air with four wires dangling from the dipole centre. All that was left to do was try to arrange the separation of the wires so that the SWR was ok. We managed, after much moving about by Pat and much tapping of the morse key by myself at the radio, to get the 30m V down to 1.1:1 but could only manage a low of 1.6:1 on the 40m V, and only at the lower end of the band. While it's not ideal, the tuner will do the rest. There isn't quite enough room in my garden so we had to dog-leg a couple of feet of the 40m V. But it works and that's the main thing. Thanks for the help Pat and hopefully in the next while I will be able to give reports as to how the 40m V compares with the Butternut vertical.

The JX5O Dxpedition wound up prematurely due to approaching bad weather. I managed to finish in joint first place with three other EIs on six band slots, although my 30m RTTY QSO would have put me top with seven if it had been credited. I will contact them and see if that QSO can yet be credited. But I am delighted with six band slots and joint first among the EIs and congrats also to all those who made it into the logbook, which can be checked here.

I'm sorry that I couldn't hear them on 17m, which would have given me another band, but it just wasn't to be. They had poor conditions on 15m, 12m and 10m, and found due to auroral activity at such a high latitude that it was nigh on impossible to hear anything on those bands.

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