Saturday, March 19, 2022

Radio Happenings March 17th, 2022


St. Patrick Day..  

  It was quite busy the past few days and some more activity coming up.. 


March 19th Awards Banquet (the Woods) Doors open at 5ish for attitude adjustment  and dinner a 6PM  530 Erie Road-- Please RSVP to                       

Scout Radio Merit Badge

  On Saturday, March 12th, we were busy with the Radio Merit Badge and the Scouts were there at NWTC for that Merit Badge as well as other badges .. after all, it was Pi Day !!

That famous base number  which is too long for me to remember.

   We set up a VHF station and utilized the .120 repeater.. Paul, KBØP, set up his traveling antenna and hooked into the IRLP and the East Coast Reflector.  A big thanks to all of you that were able to take some time and talk to the Scouts. There were about 17 that completed the Merit Badge requirements which included talking on the radio for at least 10 minutes.. the reflector connection even made contact all  the way to the UK..  That same day, our VEs were setting up for testing at St. Norbert College. There, they were able to squeeze in a couple of contacts with the Scouts ... Multi tasking... 



Then the next day, March 13th, was the Wisconsin QSO Party..  Not much of a party at my QTH.  Noise was the highest ever... could not hear any stations on any bands.. After an hour and a half, called KD9LHY who was on his way to my place and he checked the noise at his place and it was somewhat better. We operated from his station..  took about another half hour to get our first contact.. very slow day for us until the last hour but by then it was almost over.. not a great score but we had fun trying.        And since then, the noise has disappeared..?? (knocking on wood) 

   I understand that the party was not going on at St. Norbert either. A few of the members were there to make contacts for the Wi QSO using the Club "Shack". A number of incidents can cause havoc.

    Some History of the St.N. “shack”

In order to use the 2M radio, the D-Star has to be turned off in order to use that antenna...   There is a brand new Yeasu 3000DX there for HF.  That is a big machine with a lot of bells and whistles and not  having operated it before, can cause a bunch of head scratching. The feed line goes out to the top of the building where there is a Hustler 5BTV vertical antenna.  There is some history with that antenna.. and bare with me as I try to make it short.

   First of all, we were given a small area to put up antennas. So verticals would fit the area. The Dual Band VHF UHF antenna was easy. For HF, we used to have a three element beam on the roof before the remodeling. That had to go with all the cable and all the equipment in what used to be the "Shack". So the five band Hustler was chosen. There is a pipe bolted to the frame of the building as it's base. The antenna was set up on a pipe elsewhere and tuned to all the bands before being mounted at St. N.  It worked well until a day of 50 MPH winds. The antenna had a large 80M coil on the top. It is not guyed due to restrictions by Facilities. The swaying back and forth caused the lower length to bend permanently. The bend was not able to be straightened. An attempt to strengthen it, caused a mismatch. 

      A new section was purchased and replaced the bent one and to prevent another such incident, the 80 meter coil was removed. The band width was only 1.5 k for that band, so it seemed impractical to have.  At the same time, it was discovered that it needed radials to be more efficient. We were then told that as long as they were hidden we could put them up. We have two wires woven through the edging. The radials  are needed because without them, the pipe stand becomes part of the antenna like a dipole.. we got this advice from the "Doctor" at ARRL. and it seemed to work. The Kenwood 570 (the radio before the 3000) was able to operate on all bands using its internal tuner.  There is another radial ready to be attached via clamp whenever we get a chance to go up there.   . It would be good to check the coax attachment to the antenna when up there.. it is not a PL259 but a screw through a ring lug.  So now the antenna is a 4BTV using four bands, 40, 15, 20 and 10 meters ....

    For those that wonder where the 80 meter coil is. .. N8KQS has it with the "top hat"  as told to the membership at the time we fixed and re-tuned the antenna.  (all the “we” is the membership as it went through the meetings prior ) I actually have two because of what happened at St. N, I took the coil off mine.

    If anyone is going to take the antenna down, I will be glad to show you an easy way and you should have a harness on if the wind is blowing at all.. 

       Sometimes it is good to know the past so we do not have to relive it..  I have to pass the information I know, in order to save a lot questions or work later.. 

     Stay Radio Active... 



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