All Change

Well as ive mentioned before due to the pandemic and its affect on my self employment ive drastically slimmed the shack and my equipment down, its really saddened me but it is what it is.

So the new shack for the end of Jan 2021 as per the above shot, one single radio for now, not even a 2m radio for local chat, I will be back “dont know when dont know where” breaks into a Vera Lynn classic LOL.

Even the 27in 5K Retina Imac is up or sale, downsizing to a small Mac Mini, sad times.

On a completely different subject, ive just gotten back from work (I am able to work during lockdown) should have been there all day but the weather today has been bitter, heavy rain, cold and wind made for very uncomfortable working conditions in a very cold unheated brick workshop in the middle of the countryside, when I couldnt feel my fingers and my toes were freezing it was time to call it a day and come home to a lovely warm house.

Nostalgic pic of how the shack used to look, I know I shouldnt drink and DX

It never rains but it pours

A little fed up recently, with having to slim down my equipment due to financial issues I had thought my spirits would be lifted by my recent overhaul of my tower and what would hopefully be the replacement for the MA5B, put a new winch and cable on the tower which was quite difficult in itself in a box section tower but I got there in the end.

I purchased a 2nd hand Hexbeam last year, its an antenna ive always wanted to use and having ordered a new one from Ant MW0JZE I took the opportunity of purchasing a 2nd hand one to use in the interim period so after finishing the tower work I began the process of building the Hexbeam, it soon materialised that it wasnt going to end up being the dream antenna I wanted, nothing to do with performance, the hexbeams are proven performers, its all down to size, I always knew it would be a little different from a visual perspective but thats ok, what I didnt perhaps perceive was that in my very small garden this thing is rather huge, I hummed and hahd and sat for a while thinking about it and then decided to dismantle it, I dont have a huge garden and im fairly surrounded by houses, I honestly thing my neighbours would have kittens if I put this up.

So where does this leave me, honestly im not sure, I could visit my neighbours and ask them if they have any issues with me putting it up, I could just put it up anyway or I could give up  and think of something else, at this point I just dont know, what I do know is I need to get something that is going to perform reasonably well up fairly soon before I lose another year to mediocrity.

Yeah and its been pissing down for days, someone up there is having a laugh !!

More slimming down and antennas

First of all, Happy New Year to anyone who may be reading this, my first post of the new year, following on from my last post about slimming down due to my financial situation I have now put up my Icom IC-7700 for sale from my home shack and will continue to use the IC-7300 which ive had for a few years, the 7700 is hands down the best radio i have ever used, just an amazing receiver and amazing filtering coupled with just the right amount of front panel buttons without having to delve deep into the menu system, am i gutted, bloody right but the 7700 is worth at least £2K so I have no choice but to let it go.

Whilst doing things on a budget ive not had any antennas up for the lower bands, nothing lower than 20m here so a few years ago I bought a very rough R7 which in hindsight was a wreck, last year I picked up an R5 which was in slightly better condition albeit with an issue with the 17m trap so I decided to have a play at making one good R7 out of the old R7 and the better R5, anyway I got it up and running this week and it seems to play ok not really tuned it for lowest SWR on each band yet but on the CW portions of all bands bar 40m its less than 1.7 which im happy with, its about 1.9 on 40m which with a tuner I can live with, I have currently only pretty much ground mounted the antenna to test it but initial tests look good, heard a fair bit of stuff on 40m last few days including some NA at decent signal strengths so the plan is when the weather improves to move the antenna to a different location in my small garden and mount it so the base is approx 8-10ft off the ground, its currently on 2ft   from ground level.

The downside of vertical polarization is the noise level, its around S5-S7 on 40m  but sadly the 30m noise level is still S9+ which it was previously on my old R7000, ive no idea at this point what im going to do if anything to try and remedy that.