Thursday, December 3, 2009

Me without my Flex 3000 is like Linus without his blanket

Apologies to Charles Schulz the great cartoonist of Peanuts, but like Linus van Pelt without his security blanket, I am going crazy without my Flex 3000!

I sent it in for repairs (pre-amp chip failed) and for the warranty fix for the pre-amp overall.

Wow, using my TS-570 is such a travel back in time. I can only use my ears and not my eyes with this rig. I know Flex will take good care and do the fixes right, but I sure hope the rig is back in time for my holiday break! Fingers crossed.

I put up more antennas today: Par End-Fedz models for 40 and 30 meters. These are stealthy, half-wave wire antennas for single-band operation. The models I have are designed for 100 watts. They work quite well, especially on 40 and 30 meters. High efficiency, no ground field needed like a quarter wave. How is the impedance matched at the end of a half wave, for a 50 ohm coax feed? I am GLAD you asked! Here's an excellent article on performance, matching networks, and more details.

The antennas are efficient. Overall performance depends upon the properties of the ground. Some folks claim that common-mode currents are induced in the coax, since the outer braid is serving as the counterpoise. Well, a couple of turns of coax into a lazy man's 1:1 current balun fixes that.

So how did the end-fed antenna work? Well, I worked CE0Y/SM6CUK on the first call tonight. That's not a scientific test, but it does prove that I AM radiating a signal.

73 and good DX!

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