Workshop Shack

As you may or may not be aware my workshop is located in the countryside a bit away from my home so luckily I have managed to put the odd antenna up and have a play from time to time during breaks and lunchtime, the workshop shack consists of a little IC-7000 which is a fabulous little radio with great TX audio, especially paired with a very cheap Neewer NW700 Studio microphone, anyway over the last couple of years Ive played with various antennas at the workshop, my 6 element 50MHz Op-Des was up all summer but now weve come to the end of the Es season Ive taken it down, I renovated an old Cushcraft R5 Vertical which has been up for the last few weeks, I have had various other antennas up over the past couple of years which are probably on other blog entries. 

Anyway recently I put up a Comet H422 Rotary dipole for a disabled friend of mine, he had a Proantenna Dual Beam Pro up before which I took down, it was looking very sorry for itself, very green and grimey, my mate said that I could just take it away and see if it was any use to me, forward a couple of weeks to this week, I fished the antenna out of my workshop, cleaned it thoroughly (Brillo pads work wonderfully), replaced the bent and wonky capacity ends and replaced with new stainless steel nuts and bolts.

I put the Dual-beam Pro up yesterday, not really expecting much, its advertised as a non resonant rotary dipole with capacity hat ends, in the centre is some sort of ferrite core balun, its well made to be fair, the antenna requires an ATU, I put it up and connected everything up not really expecting much, my little LDG AT-7000 auto tuner seemed to cope with it on all bands, I wasnt blown away initially but decided to have a tune around and its only fair to say that it suprised me, first contacts where into Khazakstan on 17m, then Thailand, Kenya, Azerbaijan, Cyprus to name but a few so all in all it seems to work.

Decisions decisions part 2

Well following on from the previous post, Ive started to slim down and sell off a lot of equipment, i originally intended to just keep the IC-7300 and my IC-7000 but im struggling to let go of my IC-7700, its a beast of a radio with a fabulous receiver and ergonomicaly its perfect for me,  also the 200w comes in handy, although mostly I leave it set on 150w and forget it, as far as downsides are concerned on the 7700 there really arent any apart from the sheer size and weight of it, it would certainly leave a lot more room on the operating desk, given the current state of the the country with Covid and the current very fragile state of my finances due to losing a lot of work the money would definatley come in handy, buggar it really is decisions decisions !

On another entirely seperate subject ive recently started playing on 2m Cw and SSB and having some fun, ive never done anything on 2m other than FM in my 32 years of being licensed so last week i put up a small 6 el LFA and have been playing on the other end of the band, I have managed to work a few into the closer EU countries, PA, F, DL, ON, even managed a GM near Aberdeen and another G near Manchester on CW, the only 2 CW signals ive heard on 2m, Ive been giving a call on CW but so far not had any replies so for now will have to be SSB, not sure why there is a lack of activity on CW on 2m its certainly a shame, the radio im using on 2m is the little IC-7000 which seems to work fine, power out is 50w to the 6 el LFA.

its certainly different from 6m and HF but im enjoying my little foray onto another band, the antenna is only about 25ft so could really do with being a bit higher so I may think about moving it to the HF tower on top of my MA5B at some point

Couple of little vids on youtube showing the 6 element and my IC-7000 on 2m SSB for the first time ever