1:1 Balun

Amidon BalunLast night my good friend Fred, PA3YH was visiting me. We’ve made a 1:1 balun for my new multiband dipole. I did think Fred has a funny name for such a antenna: cat-mustache-antenna.
The design of the antenna is still in my head mainly. But soon I will make a drawing of it and I’ll build the thing. The balun I needed anyway, so that has been made!

Antenna problems

multiband open dipoleLast weekend I’ve done some work on my multi band open dipole. Seems that the wires for 40m, 20m and 10m where all too long. That way the antenna was not resonant inside those bands but lower.
So last weekend I went on the roof with a cutting tool. After a few hours tweaking the results where promising. 40 and 10 where resonant inside the band! Made a nice QSO with Rick, G8KSM on 40m. Beautiful signal and Rick told me mine was too. But 20m still wasn’t resonant inside the band. So I went up again.
Then for the third time, the wire for 40m broke. Grrrmbl! Replaced the wire, but then the whole thing went fubar. Nothing was resonant anywhere…
A little frustrated I ripped everything off the roof and placed my good old single open dipole for 20m up. First I gotta figure out a good firm construction for this mulit band dipole. I’ve got some ideas already. Will post an update on this issue soon!

Skywire loop antenna

SkywireloopSome time ago I was reading about an full wave loop antenna. I was interested in this antenna right away. Since the preparation for the full radio exam I was told that full size antenna’s always outperform half wave or quarter wave antenna’s. The only problem is the space you need to make such an antenna operational.

Well, over here in the Hautes Alpes there is space enough! So I already bought some fishing rods earlier. A few days back I assembled the fullwave loop antenna for 40 meters. I placed the rods in a square with 10 meters between each rod. Put a wire in between and hooked it up to my TS-50. Immediately I noticed the difference between an open dipole (as setup in earlier article) and this skywire loop. It is much, much more quit on all bands, therefore I can pickup so many more signals. Almost every signal is stronger on the loop then the dipole. Only a few signals are stronger on the dipole. So as I already suspected from all the reading I did on fullwave loops: they perform very well! I will think about a more permanent setup of a skywire loop over here in de Hautes Alpes.

Multiband open dipole

multiband open dipoleAt my current QTH at 44.5362N, 5.9366E, JN24XM (Les Hautes Alpes, France) where I’ll stay the next week, I did want to experiment with a multiband open dipole. Therefore I assembled a lot of electric wire and some wood at home. The only thing I had to do over here was roll it out and find a place to put it up.

Although I’ve build the multiband open dipole for 4 bands (80, 40, 20 and 10m) and had to put 40 meters of wire up in the air, it is no problem to find a place for it here. The only problem is the 2 meters of snow. I had to ‘swim’ through the snow to be able to reach the trees. I can assure you my parents and girlfriend enjoyed my adventure!

After a few hours the dipole was up and running. The first contact with ON50WAASLAND on 80 meters was quickly made. This morning I’ve worked C4EURO on Cyprus on 20 meters. First impression of the dipole is good. My Kenwood AT-50 is able to tune the dipole on all HF bands except 30 meters. In spite of the very bad conditions I get pretty easy good reports. Although I think the multiband dipole is a little bit noisy.

40m cubical quad Dutch build

Sometime ago I reported about a cool building project of the Team Thunderbox, some guys from England. I’ve noticed the link is dead right now. But no worries! Arend, PA2AWU did read that article on my blog and send me a message. He wanted to build this cubicle quad for 40m himself and so he needed the fiberglass telescopic poles. If I was interested in participate to get a few for myself.

Of course I was! So Arend ordered a few and build the cubical quad for the CQWW SSB this year. He send me an e-mail a few weeks ago to let me know that the cubical quad worked perfectly and he was surprised about the performance! 1400+ QSO’s where made on 40m. He also send me a picture of their quad (inserted in this message). Very cool!

Now I’ve got my four fiberglass telescopic poles and as promised I would build a Skywire Loop Antenna with them. The wire is already prepared, all the connectors are there. The only thing I need to figure out is how to keep the poles up in the air. Then I will take the whole package to a area where I can build the thing. Reports will be online shortly after of course!

Antenna’s are up!

Last fridaynight after a good Italian meal and a few glasses of nice wine it happend: I’ve temporarely overwon my fear of heights and climbed on our roof to put up the antenna!
First I’ve mounted my Diamond V2000A for 6m, 2m and 70 cm.
After a few local QSO’s I heard there were extremely good conditions on HF. Hmmm, still no antenna for HF….

One more glass of wine and there I went up again to put up my open dipole in an inverted L-shape. A few hours later I was on the air on 20m, 40m etc.
Still need to do a lot of work to the shack, but with the antenna’s up I think we can say: PA1JIM is on the air again!

Hope to hear you on the bands soon!