To promote and explore the hobby of amateur radio. Providing quality training for all amateurs and in all aspect of the hobby.

Vertical modification

Sun, 10/02/2019 - 08:53 -- andyripley

My HF vertical, veteran of GB6VMR had developed a severe wobble, the insulator on the feed point had failed. It was only a piece of tube with a liner and was riveted together. Over time the rivets had loosened and the tubing had cracked. Drastic repair was needed - there's nothing similar on the market at the moment, and as this was one with a raised radial kit, certainly not at a reasonable price.

What? November already?

Sat, 24/11/2018 - 19:38 -- andyripley

Yes it's felt like a long haul so far this year.

The long haul has been up and down to the VHF Contesting location of course. The precise location is kept a trade secret to all but the select few such as G4RLQ (hardly as he lives about a mile away). It does lurk at about 273m ASL, and has a very good view to the south and east, where it appears most of the likely contacts are located.

Hunton Steam Gathering

Sat, 15/09/2018 - 10:02 -- andyripley

Yes finally, we did it. A steam rally, just the place for steam powered radio.

No we didn't have as much room as previously experienced at the Vintage Machinery Rally, so the antenna situation was less than ideal. The VHF antenna worked very well, but hanging the 80m loaded dipole didn't work and we had problems getting out. I suspect that most of the RF was going to warm the ground.

The weather wasn't too good on Saturday, but the awning kept the rain off us and the tea kept flowing. The Flea Market brought me a nice gas lantern of fairly epic output.

Frankenstein's Antenna

Fri, 16/09/2016 - 07:45 -- andyripley

For those who have large antennas, it's bound to happen. Gradually over the years you will collect a pile of broken bits. As Brimham hadn't had a go at 6m it was decided that after a session of messing about with a dipole at the farm, it might be an idea to build one using the pile of bits.

The boom was part of an old antenna and the elements reusued from broken parts. Fixings varied, including the use of cable cleats to hold the thinner parts.

It made a session of the UKAC a bit more productive, and where the operation is from qualifies for SAGHOTA.

UKAC - why bother?

Sun, 21/02/2016 - 19:00 -- andyripley

Yes we can roll out loads of excuses.
"There's no-one on VHF SSB any more" which is partly true after all licencees were granted access to HF, but no real reason to leave it out altogether. Some new rigs are able to do VHF and UHF multimode, and it's something you could do - right?

Antenna woes

Sun, 29/11/2015 - 15:43 -- andyripley

It was last Monday night. The receive signal strength of GB3HG wasn't its usual full set of bars on the rig and I wasn't getting into the box very well. It had been very wet, so I'd assumed my coax (of unknown vintage) had finally died.

Cancelling those excuses

Wed, 14/10/2015 - 17:23 -- andyripley

There's something to be said for a sunspot minimum, or upcoming one. You could of course just expect to not make any contacts on the higher HF bands for a few years and mutter on about not having the room for low band antennas etc.
There will be the occasional contact on such as 10m and 6m but having modes other than F-layer propagation, it's just that you may have to put the thought of getting VK or ZL on the back burner for a while. Maybe the odd hop into Europe, but no real DX perhaps.

N1MM+ 1.0.5210 Undocumented feature!

Tue, 22/09/2015 - 21:22 -- andyripley

If you're on Windows 7 and N1MM+ says there's today's latest version of it's logging software - DON'T DO IT.
It loses the port numbers, so it doesn't connect, it just gives whatever port numbers in the list it thinks it has, not the one that's actually used to connect to the radio.
Stay on an earlier version and resist the idea of updating. It's not the computer as HRD works just fine on COM4 but N1MM+ doesn't show that port here.
N1MM+ doesn't appear to have a "report a bug feature" on their website.
The "non-plus" version works fine here.

It's not square

Mon, 14/09/2015 - 17:09 -- andyripley

My portable nemesis is 6m. I did have a 3 element Yagi, but I never managed to get it to work properly, so was sold to Sam who seems to have made it work. Never mind, it was a bit too big. I wanted something a little more practical. A Moxon square, though it's anything but. Even an HB9CV for 6m seems too big - though my 2m version works fine.
After searching the net and finding a suitable design I them made a trip to the local Electrical wholesalers and bought a kit of 20mm conduit bits. The whole let was then cut to size and then slotted together.

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