Radio WeekendA few weeks ago Karel, PE2KDK send an e-mail to a few friends with the idea to spend a weekend in a rental house somewhere remote in the woods. All these guys are HAM’s so you can imagine this will be a full blown Radio Weekend! Attending: Karel PE2KDK, Marco PH4M, Henk PE1PEX and me, Jim PA1JIM.
Meanwhile Karel has booked the house for the weekend of 2nd and 3th of April. I immediately checked the contest-calendar to see if there are any contest that weekend but there are not. Rumor is that Henk has a backorder on one of the first Icom IC-7300’s that will come out in The Netherlands. 2016 for me is all about the new Icom IC-7300, so I am looking forward a little extra for this weekend! Maybe I can play with the new rig then for the first time. If the rumor is true and Henk will take the new rig to this weekend, maybe we have to make a schedule when we are allowed to operate it πŸ˜‰

Can you imagine, a whole weekend just about radio’s, a very low noise level and almost unlimited possibilities to build antenna’s?

The next thing to do is to figure out what kind of antenna’s we want to build that weekend. I do have some green glass-fiber sticks which can be used to build little antenna masts. Each piece is 1,2 meters (almost 4 feet) and you can put them together very easily. Maybe I will take a ZS6BKW with me to cover all 80 to 10 meter bands. I don’t know yet how much space we can use for antenna setup but if it is enough, we could build a beverage receiving antenna for 160 meters. And of course the 40-meter-PA3FYM-antenna (details follow) should be there all weekend!

A radio weekend full of coax cables, antenna’s, rigs and weak radio signals, I am looking forward to it!

Double quad 23cmWith the 23cm transceiver still in development, I need a 23cm antenna. I got interested in a double quad for 23cm.

Advantage of a double quad for 23cm over other designs is a great front/back-ratio and a large opening angle. I will use the 23cm transceiver mainly for chatting on a local repeater PI6NOS. There is a free-line-of-site from my roof to PI6NOS. No need for a huge gain to open the repeater. I’ve chosen a fixed antenna position.

A few guys at my local club build a 23 cm double quad themselves. It isn’t a very difficult job. Only thing I didn’t like about it is it has to be placed in a plastic container to be weather proof.
Last radio market I attended I walked by a stand of EPS-antennas. The owner Paul PA3EPS, builds beautiful antennas for HF and higher bands. In his line-up Paul PA3EPS sells a double quad for 23cm. It’s a bit pricey in comparison with DIY. But then again, if you focus on construction, used materials and the fact that is weather proof as is…. anyway,it wasn’t a difficult choice. I prefer excellent quality antennas on my roof in order to avoid unnecessary presence there. That has something to do with a fear of heights.

Before I attach the EPS double quad for 23cm on its final position in the mast, it might interesting to see if there is a significant difference in performance between the DIY double quad (not yet tuned) and the EPS double quad. Unfortunately I don’t own much measuring equipment for 23cm so the only way to roughly compare the two is to check the signal of PI6NOS on my 23cm transceiver with both antennas in the same place, connected with the same cable.
The result you can see in this video.

X6000 on it's own chimney (left)Okay, so I moved my antenna to the other chimney of the house. Six meters away from the neighbors monitor (a Philips 190WV7CS/00) and after a thorough test on all HF-bands with 100 watt RTTY there is a little improvement. The striping has faded a little but not enough to satisfy the neighbor. So plan B came in action: temporarily replace the Philips piece of *&^(#@ with my 20′ Apple Cinema Display. As expected that solved the whole problem. No RFI whatsoever. So for now I’ll leave the monitor at his place so he can work. He’ll replace his Philips montor at a later time.

Let get on contesting!