N0DH/7 ARRL 160
n0dh at comtch.iea.com
n0dh at comtch.iea.com
Mon Dec 5 17:19:00 EST 1994
Section: E. Wash.
Catagorey: Single Op / High Power
Stats: 738 QSO's - 75 Sections - 4 Countries - 120,396
(22 hours air time)
Soap Box and Saga
Staretd out the the weekend before playing in the CQWW, when condx died on
Saturday morning decided to go for the ARRL test instead.
Had been modeling phased Inverted L's for 160 for over a month so pretty well
knew what I was going to do and the First L was already up. Spent Saturday
building the lumped L/C networks to do the power splitting and phase shifting.
These checked out into the dummy loads just fine . Sunday morning measure out
the wire for the L and radials get the connections and matching networks pre
assembled. At noon go out into a 6" snow storm and through fishing line and
and then rope into selected 90' pine trees. Temperature is a balmy 28 degrees
which means should be good for another 3 db at least ! After 4 hours in the
snow the antenna goes up just at dark (4pm local). A quick check of the swr
shows it resonant right on 1825 !! Things are looking up. Hooking up the
original L and the phasing networks shows SWR still good, initial checks with
what few stations are on the air show that the switching working ok and front
to side is on the order od 5 S units..."SMOKIN"!!! The next morning I work
T32BE for a new country on 160 and visions of becoming the guy to beat dance
in my head.
Tues night a chinook wind shows up at 50 mph and takes down the newly strung
antenna. Up at daylight the next morning I manage to get It back up and am
only 30 minutes late for work.
Wednesday night while playing with the switching checking front to side to
different parts of the country. The relays begin to get Flaky (they are 15
years old) and intermittent. Meanwhile the band opens to europe a very very
rare occurance out here on the frontier so I drop what I'm doing and play with
the opening for a cople of hours. Once the band closes its back to the flaky
Now the next part is embarrasing cause I've done this for years and no better.
I use the feed coax as the vehicle for getting the switched DC out to the
relays simplifies a lot of things . What I didnt do in my haste the prior
weekend was to put "quench" diodes across the relay coils to eliminate the
back EMF when you remove power from the relay. Anyway back down the line
comes this monster pulse and wipes out one of the switching diodes in the
front end of the TS850. suddenly sensitivity has gone to hell and there are AM
broadcast spurs every 10 KHz across 160 and 80. Fortunately for me the 850 is
a reasonable rig to service and trouble shoot and in about an hour I have
found the dead (shorted) diode which is keeping the broadcast band pass band
filter ON all the time. The bad news is it on the bottom side of the board and
20 screws away. I opt to clip one of the inductors from the BC band Filter
which opens it and removes the unwanted signals, I will fix the diode the
right way later ( who needs the broadcast band anyway). Everything back
together and its off to bed at 2Am and then up at 6am for work.
During the day on Thursday I purchase 2 new relays for the phase switcher and
install them along with the quench diodes all is good again. That night I
sleep the sleep of the innocent for 10 hours.
I arrive home from work an hour before sunset only to find I ahve lost another
support rope for the inverted L I make a note to use all new rope next time
instead of what was in storage for the last 5 years. by dark the antenna is
once again back up . Humbly I leap into the fray and for the first hour the
QSO meter stays above 130 after that things drop dramatically to 50 an hour
for the rest of the night and less by 4 am . I can hear stations well but they
cant hear me later theses stations are worked on the first call. One way
propagation ??? Around 2 am the t/r relay in the TL922 starts hanging Guess
its getting hot from calling CQ so much. I switch to S&P mode for a while and
the thing clears up and doesnt't return as a problem for the rest of the test.
Off to bed for 3 hours 9am to noon. EAt lunch and cant get back to
sleep..nuts. Decide I will raise the radials farther off the ground till the
band opens at dark. The original radials were draped over the scrub and
bushes. This time they I put them a good 10' up using the abundant pine trees
on my 15 acres as posts. A quick check now at 2pm shows that in doing so the
antennas must now be retuned as the resonace shifted almost up to 1900khz. By
3:30 all is back to normal except that I know have a couple of AM broadcast
beats at 1820 and 1840. Apparently the raised radials are picking up the sigs
which they did not do when 1 ' off the ground. I can live with it.
0000z to 400z the 2nd night the band refuses to open I can hear the guys in
colorado working statside stations which dont exist in Washington at all. The
QSO rate stays around 30 /hour. Then at 0400 bang the curtain lifts and people
are standing in line to work me . The QSO meter hovers around 100 for the next
2 hours before running out of gas and falling back to the 30 hour range. at
0800 someone pulls the switch and and the rate falls to 8 for the next hour. I
set the Alarm and grab 2 hours sleep up at 1100 the Esat coast is back in. I
hang on working 20 more stations after sunrise from 1400 to 1600. Swearing
I'll never do this again and knowing I will at the same time!!
CU in CQww160 !!!!
>From James Brooks <0005851359 at mcimail.com> Tue Dec 6 00:22:00 1994
From: James Brooks <0005851359 at mcimail.com> (James Brooks)
Date: Mon, 5 Dec 94 19:22 EST
Subject: SET NOMAIL
Message-ID: <94941206002249/0005851359NA4EM at MCIMAIL.COM>
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