Moved the 6m Op-Des to the T&K Brackets that were fortunatley left on the back of our house by the previous occupiers, again its a temporary thing as the longterm plan is to put a smallish mast in the back garden which will allow me to chop and change antennas with not too much difficulty, its working well in most directions although when directly North im beaming slightly into the roof of our house which isnt ideal, it could really be doing with being about 4 foot higher than it currently is but im happy, worked 5T5PA on 6m FT8 last night for an ATNO for me, there are a few directions where the noise level is significantly higher up to an S4/5 it seems to be when im beamed over my neighbours properties, I suspect some cheap and dirty chinese switch mode PSUs being the cause but I have yet to investigate further, for now i can live with it.
When I was planning my 6m antenna for my home QTH i originally planned on building and installing a lightweight 6 Element Op-Des antenna, after partially building it, it became pretty obvious it was a little too large for my very small city location and equally small garden, eventually I decided on the smaller 5 Element Op-Des which has been working very well over the last couple of weeks it has been up, this morning whilst doing some work at my workshop I decided to finish building the 6 Element Op-Des as it seemed silly leaving it half built, luckily my workshop is located at a friends property in the country which is very rural and as he is also a Ham putting antennas up for testing isnt really an issue.
I decided as I said to finish the 6 El, I finished it early afternoon, the antenna is very lightweight as the boom is only 1in square aluminium and the elements are through the boom, I put it on a temporary pole at about 8ft off the ground and bungeed it to a fence, it was a very heath robinson affair but I just wanted to get it up to test it out, I then realised I had left my antenna analyser at home so I just connected up some cheapy crap RG8X coax and plugged it in to my old IC-706 which I am using in my workshop, amazingly the first signal I heard was NP2J calling CQ from the US Virgin Islands, the strange thing is that I had worked him the day before from my own house for an ATNO, Dan was CQing and was in for over an hour, so im very happy with the 6 El at such a low height as well, now to try and find somewhere to mount it properly, the workshop is only a 10 minute drive from my house so I often will have a listen about here during breaks from work.
Finally up and running on 6m for the pretty much non existent Sporadic E season, have a homebrew 5 Element Op-Des up on a temp mast at 15ft(ish) its working well and managed to bag TR8CA during the first few days of it being up but so far the E’s season has been terrible, little or nothing for the last week or so, just the odd quick E’s opening into Southern Europe, heard NP2 from the US Virgin Islands a couple of evenings ago, very weakly but never managed the QSO, all in all its looking like this being the absolute trough of the sunspot cycle will also result in a poor summer for sporadic E.
Im hoping to move the antenna to back of the house in the next week or two, there is a set of T&K brackets that were left on the house from the previous occupier so why not put them to good use, just need to purchase a scaffold pole and that should mean I can get the 6m beam up to about 30/35ft.
It might look like in the pics previous of my Moxon that I have loads of space, dont be fooled, i do my antenna work at my workshop which is located in the middle of nowhere, my garden as can be seen in earlier posts is very small, about 35ft x 25ft, (I must measure it one day) so during a bit of spare time this week I decided to make a start on building a Cobweb, ive found numerous sites and and sources of information but decided to take my info from the late G3TXQs website, so its early days but ive made a start, what you see is the early stages, ive orderd some 2mm PVC coated wire which should be here next week sometime to build the elements but im happy, its coming together quite nicely.
So between other jobs ive been making a start on my antennas for the summer, first was the little 6 element 2m LFA and next is this lovely little 2 El Moxon for 10m, hoping this is gonna work very well for the Summer Es season, its quick and easy to build and very light so easily put up and down without upsetting the neighbours (I hope) we shall see.
Since moving house towards the latter end of last year the shack is now housed in a corner of the dining room, no room for a dedicated shack but hey ho, maybe I will build a shack in the garden shed in the summer, added a couple of boom microphones although im still mostly CW tbh, not much else has changed in the shack, antenna is still the R7000 and plans to put up a Cobweb, a Doublet and my little homebrew 6 element 2m LFA have been put on hold until the weather is a bit better.
Ive been back on the air for nearly 2 years now, I must have been away from the hobby for about 5 or 6 years before that, its one of these things that once the interest bites again it bites with avengence, this was my shack nearly 2 years ago, I bought this little FT-100D from Tom GM4FDM, it was from a SK sale I seem to remember, its been a fabulous little radio and in my first 12 months back on the air worked over 100 DXCC with it, mostly on CW, the antenna was and still is a Cushcraft R7000 multiband vertical, I am not blessed with a big garden or living in an country location with fields all around me, I live in the city surrounded by neighbours with a small garden but I make the best of what I have, I love DXing but its a little bit harder given my relatively simple station but in all honesty im happy with my little lot, this year I intend to experiement with some new antennas that hopefully wont have too much of a visual impact on my neighbours, I am currently working on building a Cobweb antenna which im hoping will help with the noise level i currently face using vertical antennas, im hoping to put a very small mast in the back garden which will allow me to lower it when not in use and wind it up when im on the air, thus appeasing my neighbours, although so far Ive not had any indication my neighbours will have any issues with my antennas (fingers crossed), the FT-100D is still in the shack and I have no intention of letting it go as ive really grown attached to the little radio, its been joined by the Icom IC-7300 which for the price is bloody amazing, the other radio in the shack is my 2m/70cm FM radio a very old IC-2350 which I bought 2nd hand from a local amateur.
Ive never ventured onto 2m on anything other than FM so I think after being licensed for 30 years its time I make the effort to try something else, just built this nice compact 6 element LFA for 2m, not got it up yet but just tested it on a small pole in the back garden, looking forward to getting it up on the back of the house and giving some 2m CW and SSB a try, next on the list is a small 10 Element for 70cm.
Well not much to report, I took down the rotary dipole and replaced it with my old Cushcraft R7000 as it gives me access to more bands, again its not ideal but i have to be wary of the neighbours and as considerate as possible, not sure what plans I have but one of them is to build a Cobweb antenna and see how that performs, the Cushcraft vertical is designed to be mounted at an optimum height of 18ft so as you can see being ground mounted isnt ideal but it gets me up and running on 7 bands, being vertical its prone to much more noise than the horizontal antenna but again not much I can do, 30m the noise level is over S9 which is a pain, 20m noise level is about an S5 which is workable and about the same on 40m less so on the higher bands which are pretty much dead at the moment,
When you have been off the air for quite a while and your desperate after moving to a new house to get something up and running, this is me.
The driven element from my TB3 3 element tribander, an antenna in this location I will never get to erect so am temporarily using the driven element in the back garden at 10ft, crude and very temporary but at least I can have a listen around and it actually works ok.
Desperate times mean desperate measures.