Late this past week I noticed some short pieces of aluminum in the back
yard. One had a screw still in the center.
Looking closely at my antennas I saw that the capacity hat on one side of
the reflector had blown off. Apparently the nut holding the
hat to the element had come off in the multiple wind storms and the hat fell
to the ground. I noticed that the SWR had moved from my mid band settings
to the lower end of the USA SSB band (7220). I also noted that the SWR on
17 meters went down from 1.9 to 1 to 1.2 to 1
on 18.130 and was below 1.3 across the band.
I decided to test it out in the CQ WPX and quickly worked 30 stations with
most telling me I was very strong. On several occasions I busted big pile
ups. My first contact (TA3J) got my call quickly but asked twice for
confirmation ...he probably could not believe 59001...HI.
Then I notice that I was barefoot neglecting to switch on the amp. (90
watts or so). After that with 1500W out I had no problems. Front to side
was very good as ZX0F was S6 with the beam on Europe and 20 over with the
beam on PY. Front to back has never been much and seemed to be between 5
and 15 DB as always. I than tried 17 meters and worked YB0 and T77 without
the need for the usual tuner. The beam is basically a broadside affair on
17 and remains so. There is a noticeable F/S but no front to back (even
though my friend W4XJ sees a few DB's at his place.)
Anyone else had this problem???
73 Dave K4JRB
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