Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Improved listening on the low bands

It has been a year since I installed my HiZ four square listening array.  Tonight at 1:30 AM local (0630 UTC) I worked K9W on 160 meters.  The signal was in and out on the inverted L transmit antenna due to high static from midwest lightning.  On the HiZ the SNR was improved and no static to wear my ears out.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Building and experimenting is half the fun

I was recently able to communicate cross-polar to my antipode to a rare DXpedition, Cocos-Keeling.  Background on it is here.

And I mean BARELY.  The hex beam at 42 feet was marginal at best.  Only after I swapped out the feedline for LMR 600 VERY LOW loss was I able to sneak in a 2-way communication.

I started doing some reading on improved wire antennas, and read the ARRL Wire Antenna Classics text.

One particularly interesting design is the collinear array.  Basically, it's a combination of loaded dipoles in series, end to end, which provide improved gain.  Here's the design for the Franklin array.

Lower height, no towers, cheap, and they work.  I put one up for 17 meters at the low height of a quarter wave in the back trees.  Super stealth.  I am still making measurements, but it appears to pretty good.  This morning for a station in Taiwan it was S4 on the Franklin, and S6-S7 on the hex.