Topband: Beverage on Ice

Ron Feutz feutz at
Fri Dec 16 19:13:42 EST 2005


Finally got the right conditions to try something I've wanted to do 
since I moved to this QTH.  The Wisconsin River is out my front door, 
and this year it froze hard enough before the snows to be safe to 
walk on.  So, today I installed the following:  1000' Beverage laying 
on the ice (actually under a few inches of snow) terminated with 300 
ohms to 1/4 wave wire in-line and 4 short (25') radials, at about 30 
degrees to the main wire front and rear.  Its pointed at 50 
degrees.  The river averages about 10-12 feet deep.

The transformer is a K9AY 9:1, RX-end ground is an 8' copperweld rod 
driven right at the river's edge.  Feedline is presently 100' of 
RG58, isolated from the antenna ground, but not yet grounded except 
thru the station ground via the coax shield to the radio.  Tomorrow I 
intend to put a short ground rod near the entrance and install a 100 
bead choke following the ground rod.

Currently very disappointed.  The antenna is, as expected, very 
quiet.  It hears enough noise to just barely wiggle the S meter on the Orion.
OH3XR was quite readable on the 4 square, but couldn't copy  him on 
the new antenna.  Maybe I just don't have enough gain, but I think I 
should have at least been able to tell he was there.  The RDF of this 
antenna should be quite superior to the inverted L  Comtek 4-sq.

A complicating factor is that the preamp in the Orion won't switch 
on.  Hopefully a cockpit error, as I just got the radio 2 days ago 
and haven't even started to learn all the functions, but nothing in 
the manual says the preamp is dependent on anything but the front panel switch.
I had tried it earlier and it functioned normally.  I tried rebooting 
the radio with no result.  Haven't tried master reset, and don't want 
to yet, as I don't want to have to figure out all the settings again 
before the Stew Perry tomorrow night.

Any advice on either something I should try with the antenna or to 
get the preamp working on the radio will be appreciated.  I do have 
an outboard preamp I will hook up tomorrow, if need be.  Tonight I 
have a Christmas party, so can't do what I really want to do till later.

73 Ron KK9K

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