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[TowerTalk] WX0B/Array Solutions/Stackmatch

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Subject: [TowerTalk] WX0B/Array Solutions/Stackmatch
From: (Fatchett, Mike)
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 09:30:36 -0700
I would like to thank Jay for his valuable assistance last night without it
I might still be pulling out my hair.

On Thursday, I called Jay and ordered a Stackmatch.  It arrived Monday.

Tuesday, got home early after a dentist appointment and installed the
Stackmatch on the tower.  I have a C3 and 10-4CD that I wanted to stack.
The goal will be to stack another C3 or two,  But I wanted to play around on
10 for the ARRL DX contest.  Installing the Stackmatch is a breeze.  Wired
up the control box in the shack and it was time for the big test.

I fired up the box and the SWR curves were awful.  Both antennas were acting
odd.  I could hear just fine.  Tried the C3 on 15 and 20 and it worked fine.
Checked the wiring of the box again.  No change.  Climbed the tower again
and checked the box.  Looked fine.

Placed a call to Jay.  Not home (Rats!)  wait a while for a call and then
decided to go home about 7PM.  The station is located about 5 miles from my
house at my parents house.  Wife was on the phone and said a call came in.
No message.  Looked at the caller ID box and decided what the heck maybe it
was Jay.  Most solicitors block their numbers right?   The chance paid off
Jay was there.  Turns out he is on the road!!!  This is about 9PM Mountain
time and He is on the East Coast.    

Proceed to explain the situation to Jay.  He gives me some ideas to try.
Ohm out the coils, try moving the antennas to different positions in the
Stackmatch.  Put a dummy load on the Stackmatch and run the SWR analyzer on
it.  He said it I got frustrated that he would have another box expedited
out in time for the contest.  We talked about why it worked on 15 and 20 but
not 10.  He made a comment about getting a great deal on some feedline.
Turns out the feedline worked great about 21Mhz but at 28Mhz the SWR across
the cable was 1.5:1.  

Ok decide that I need to go back to the station and do what I can.  The
Stackmatch is attached to the tower at 50 feet.  Not looking forward to
climbing at night.  Full moon though.  Is that a good or bad omen?  Check
the coils they are fine.  Now the eerie part.  I get the crazy idea to
disconnect the feedline from the rig switch to the cantenna (My age just
showed!) dummy load in the shack.  Turned on the analyzer.  At 28Mhz the SWR
is 1.7-2.0:1?!?!?!?!  Bingo!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We have a problem, but where?

After tearing apart the shack and taking out the switchbox, the amp, the
wattmeter I finally find that the coax jumper from the amp to the wattmeter
is acting odd.  Replace it and SWR on 28Mhz is back to normal.  Reassemble
the shack and everything is working great.

When I put the 10-4CD on the tower last weekend I noticed that the SWR curve
was off.  Checking the Spec's noticed that the Gamma match shorting strap
was no where close to what was called for in the directions.  Took the
Analyzer up the tower and adjusted it.  Windy as heck that day so I settled
for 1.2:1.  Got in the shack and tested it and the SWR was 1.5:1.  This
should have been my first clue.  The antenna seemed to work great.  Tested
it out and got good reports.  Never gave the higher SWR another thought.

Thanks again Jay for your assistance!  Taking calls at that ridiculous hour
and generously offering to send me another unit without hesitation is a true
sign of someone who cares about his products.  I offer my opinion solely as
a satisfied customer and have no financial interest in Array Solutions.

See you all on the Air!



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