webform at b4h.net webform at b4h.net
Tue Mar 4 21:45:44 EST 2008

                    ARRL DX Contest, SSB

Call: K3NCO
Operator(s): K3NCO
Station: K3NCO

Class: SOSB/40 LP
Operating Time (hrs): 0.5

 Band  QSOs  Mults
   40:   4     2
Total:   4     2  Total Score = 24

Club: Potomac Valley Radio Club


When I got home Sunday night there was still some time left in the contest. So I
turned everything on and hopped on 40 meters, no recorded messages, etc., but at
least the logging program was up and running. Set the rig for split and for
dual-watch (although the pot doesn't work for that). As I talked, I could watch
the TUNE light on the 756 blinking - and blinking - and blinking. Well, I don't
often run way up in the phone band (the split was on 7299), maybe I had never
memorized a setting. But after a while I noticed I couldn't hear anything. I
don't mean the guy I was trying to work - I mean anything! Switch various
features off/on, swapping VFOs, etc.. brought back the receive audio, but then
I got TUNE blinking again. Finally switched the power meter to reflected and
OOPS! the SWR was somewhat north of 6:1. Switching to the 40/80 Inv Vee (a
NW/SE antenna) brought everything back to life. Managed to work all of 4 guys
in the last 20 minutes of the contest. 

Monday morning I lowered the dipole to discover the temporary (hmm, 4 years?)
center insulator had twisted around the coax, which had pretty much shed all of
its foam insulation and was shorting out to a few strands of the braid. The 40
meter dipole was the only wire antenna that survived a wind storm last year,
and all the other antennas had been rebuilt/replaced. Monday night was spent
cleaning up the old center insulator from the inverted vee (unceremoniously
chopped free of its feedline and wires by a group of tree guys last summer) and
prepping a stack of three 2.4" toroids for a new balun.

This evening was when the dipole was to be repaired, but no sooner then I walk
out the back door with tools in hand, but it starts to rain. Snip! the feedline
is severed from the antennas - cable prep could be done indoors - including
attaching the PL-259 to the center insulator, covering it all up in coax-seal,
and suspending the balun core from a piece of line off the center screw-eye to
reduce strain on the connector. In the now fading light I separate the loop of
line that runs through the pulley on the tower and attach it to the new center
insulator and screw one side of the dipole onto the center insulator. I can
barely see what I am doing (and it's still raining), but it sure looks like
this is going to work. HA! Murphy strikes again as the head of the brass screw
on the other side shears off while attempting to attach the other half of the
dipole. Since this is now becoming a novel, I will skip to the point of
eventually declaring victory (with mini flashlight in mouth). Final checkout
will have to wait for daylight so i can see if I got it raised all the way up,
and how much tension i have on the ends, but it is showing the expected 1.5:1
SWR at resonance (in the CW portion of the band, of course). Maybe next year...

Posted using 3830 Score Submittal Forms at: http://www.hornucopia.com/3830score/

More information about the 3830 mailing list