Saturday, March 27, 2010

The value of persistence

OK, on Thursday of this week, 25 March, I raised the 20 meter hex beam 2 element yagi to 64 feet. Did I put in a new tower? No, I simply supported the 10 pound antenna between two trees! It's permanently pointed north, but so what? That's where all my needed DX is located, and the beam-width is wide enough to accommodate NW or NE as well. For anything to the south, I have wires (inverted L for 160) that work fine on 20.

So how does it work? Well, UA0 is a louder (expected). And I easily work into EU through pileups (5B4AII was 10 over S9 and I got through on the second call with a huge US and EU pileup). Also, getting into Pacific is not too hard either. Most interesting is that I worked S79GM, only second time ever and his signal was very strong. Also heard (but did not work) AP2, XV2, 9M6. I have never heard these countries before, so this is looking promising!

Why persistence? Because I am NEVER satisfied with my current antenna setup, and I am always looking for ways to improve it.

If you are ever in doubt about the antenna being the MOST important part of the non-human part of the station, take a look at WG5G. DXCC Honor Roll with 5 watts and a killer antenna. There's a LOT to be learned from WG5G.

FYI, I also updated my static website, but I need some more pics of the antennas. Ordered a 5 band hex beam from Mike Traffie last Monday, so I should REALLY be racking up the countries on 17-10 soon! Why from Mike and not K4KIO or DX Engineering (cheaper)? I trust Mike Traffie, he is as honest as the summer day is long, and he makes a terrific product. I also like him, and I feel like I am buying from a friend. It's like going to your local family-owned hardware store instead of Home Depot or Lowes - I like the feeling I get when I buy from Traffie. Give him a call and see if you are not as happy as I am.

73 and good DX!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Loooong time no post!

Well, work has really really kept me busy. But I am back in the saddle, so to speak, of my hobby.

So let us take a look at 3B9WR, Rodriguez Island. I worked him on the second call. There was a huge pileup of EU and US. I did it with 100 watts and a vertical. What was the difference? SDR and Flex 3000, of course.

Take a look at this image.

The pileup is massive and wide. I saw him working the pileup effectively, and once I saw him responding to stations at the lower end....I looked for a clear frequency. BAM! Got him right away after second call. The Flex mad all the difference because I can SEE where noone else is, and that is where I make my call.

3B9 was not new DX, but it was new on 40 meters. And I LOVE busting pileups!

73 and good DX