Slimming down

And sadly not the weight type of slimming down (although could do with that as well) Covid and the Pandemic has had a dramatic effect on my finances this year, ive been self employed for a good number of years now and for the last few ive been working 2 jobs, my primary work has been photography, primarily wedding but pretty much any genre of photography and my other job is working for Innovantennas building a vast array of different type of antennas for Amateur and Commerical, sadly due to Covid my photography work has come to an abrupt halt with no photography work this year at all to that end my income has dropped significantly and although ive been struggling through the time has come to make some sacrifices as far as my radio equipment is concerned.

Amateur radio is one of those things you will lose interest in every now and then but will come back to it, for me thats definatley been the case over the 30 odd years ive been licensed, I had a few years away from about 2010 and never really came back until 2017, unfortunately this time around the hobby took hold a little bit tighter than in the past and its become as it has been in the past more than a hobby but a lifestyle choice, I have come back into the hobby with the enthusiasm I had in the late 80s when I first got licensed, anyway I digress. so jump forward a few years to the present day I have luckily managed to do very well in my wheeling and dealing to buy mostly 2nd hand equipment and have amassed quite a bit of kit in the last few years well 2020 has been a wake up call as far as family and finances go so I sat down and thought do I really need all of this or do I just want it, of course the answer was the latter, anyway to make a very long story a bit shorter ive decided to slim down my equipment, ive started with my workshop where I had a lovely Icom IC-7000 and the matching LDG auto atu, a fabulous bit of kit but sadly I had to say goodbye to it this week, I still have the little Yaesu FT-100D that got me back into the hobby about 4 years ago and out of the two of them the Icom was worth the most money so much to my dismay its now gone.

I wont dwell on it as it pisses me off to think about it but my family and finances really have to come first, the little FT-100D is a nice little radio but not in the same league as the IC-7000 but needs must and I have to do what I have to do,   ive also amassed a fair few antennas in my arsenal so again they will be slimmed down along with lots of ancillary equipment such as ATUs, meters etc etc, I have also slimmed down the main shack as well, more to come about that. 

Anyway enough of my woes, to be fair I worked some nice stuff on my little FT-100D when I came back on the air so now thats shes out of retirement I hope she will be good to me again.

10m Moxon

So have been thinking lately about antennas and deciding what to do at home and at the workshop, I finished building my 3 element LFA which I actually started building about 3 years ago and never got round to finishing, Initially I thought I would put it up at the workshop and maybe put my 2 element Innovantennas Moxon up at home but I decided to go the other way round, the Cushcraft MA5B will be coming down in the next week or so to be replaced by the 3 element 10m LFA, I realise its a monobander but the plan is to build either a rotary dipole for some of the other bands or build a Cobweb for 10 thru. 20 which will include the WARC bands the plan is at home also to put up a G7FEK nested Marconi which will give me access to the lower bands down to 80m which I currently dont have. 

I bought some 450 Ohm ladder line a few weeks ago and have built the nested Marconi antenna but havnt had the chance to put it up yet, that left me with the rotary dipole at the workshop for 10/15/20m, its worked well for me but I feel now that the sunspot cycle is finally starting to show some improvement that im missing out on some of the openings on 10m, to that end I took down the rotary dipole and replaced it with the 2 element 10m Moxon, at a whopping 17ft above ground level (I kid you not) the bottom line is though its working well, a few minutes after i put it up and with not even really turning the antenna in any particular direction I switched on the radio to hear FY5KE Cqing from French Guiana with an excellent signal peaking at 599 when I eventually tweaked the beam heading directlly onto him, the following day I also heard a couple of VKs albeit weakly but at least I heard them and also a couple of North American stns, this bodes well for the coming weeks I hope. 

The downside again from the workshop is ive lost the other bands but I do have a small Cushcraft R5 Vertical which I may strap to the fence so I can at least use the higher HF bands including the WARC bands down as far as 20m, we shall see

Anyway a couple of youtube videos for your viewing pleasure of how the Moxon is working at a pretty low height, the feature picture is of the Moxon in all its glory.