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Re: [TowerTalk] Calibrating antenna direction and using chokes witha bea

To: "Dan Hearn" <>, "Mike" <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Calibrating antenna direction and using chokes witha beam
From: "Pete Raymond" <>
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2012 23:47:08 -0400
List-post: <">>
The Operating Manual has a great chapter called Antenna Orientation, that tells you how to figure when the sun is directly due South at your qth. Then you can use your towers shadow as described below. The math and a chart that is provided in this article is called "True corrections for Various Dates of the Year". If you do not have this manual I would check with the ARRL web page and you might be able to access that section of the manual, I'm not sure if the "Operating Manual" is available there or not. It's all about using the sun. I have used this method many times. Good luck
73 Pete N4KW

----- Original Message ----- From: "Dan Hearn" <>
To: "Mike" <>
Cc: <>; "Rick Kiessig" <>
Sent: Thursday, October 25, 2012 9:46 PM
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Calibrating antenna direction and using chokes witha beam

Here is a system which works for me and others in our ham club.
Look in the newspaper for the times of sun up and sun down. Calculate the
hours and minutes between. Divide this by 2 and that is the time of exact
noon. At that time, look at the shadow of your tower or a vertical post and the shadow points to true north. Hopefully your newspaper has sunup/sundown
times as ours does.
73, Dan, N5AR

On Thu, Oct 25, 2012 at 5:58 PM, Mike <> wrote:

There is going to be a website that will give your declination relative to
Magnetic North in ZL, I would go with that.  In California here finding a
strong station and adjusting the beam would be futile as the signal maybe
following a crooked path.  In California we are pretty much at 18 degrees
off Magnetic north, so it would make a difference to make the adjustment
True North.

You government is sure to have a website, but if not any serious navigation website in ZL will have True north relative to your position. Even my car
manual shows true north so you can set the car compass.


-----Original Message-----
From: TowerTalk [] On Behalf Of
Sent: Thursday, October 25, 2012 5:04 PM
Subject: [TowerTalk] Calibrating antenna direction and using chokes with a

I finished building my antenna (UltraBeam UB-50) and installing it on the
tower yesterday. Everything went reasonably smoothly.

I tried to align the boom with true north before bolting it to the mast,
the result seems to be off by at least 10 degrees or so. I'm familiar with
the techniques for determining true north (although Polaris isn't visible
ZL), but I'm wondering if it's possible to do a more accurate calibration
measuring signal strength from a strong broadcaster with a known location
and a near-constant signal strength, over a range of azimuths. Then use the
center azimuth between two equal near-nulls on either side of the peak as
the calibration point. If this is viable, any suggestions for good station
to use as a target? Does frequency matter?

What's the Best Practice with regard to using common mode chokes on the
feedline coming from a beam? I grounded the shield at the tower and again
outside the shack, with a lightning arrestor as well at the latter.

Can't say I'm too happy with the way my rotator loop came out. I wrapped it
around the mast on top of the thrust bearing, but the TB has some bolts
stick out. Hopefully they won't grab or scrape the coax too much.

I also have a UHF connector on one segment of LMR-600 that didn't seem to
onto a barrel connector as well as it should have. They are odd connectors
that have a very snug rotating collar, rather than the kind I'm used to
have a little up-and-down give in the direction of the cable. The center
went in roughly 4 or 5 mm, but the collar hung up after only about two
turns. It's very snug (too snug), so I think the threads may have crossed.
I'm reluctant to take it apart now, though, since if the threads are
crossed, I may never get it together again, and it's a long segment of
LMR-600, which I don't have the tools or skills to replace connectors
myself. TDR on the line looks OK, and I did some TX tests at low, medium
high power, and didn't see any problems. I imagine I'm just asking for
trouble if I don't fix it, though, right?

73, Rick ZL2HAM


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