Thursday, 2 August 2007


yesterday, i spent some 5hours, on and off, through the afternoon and evening, chasing DX. Well, chasing anything! I could hear so much - colombia, madiera, egypt, thailand, USA, isreal, couldnt work anyone! it seemed all my power was vanishing before it hit the ether. Only at midnight did i make my one and only QSO, into Nova Scotia!

Today i changed from the ATUs internal 4:1 toroidal balun, to the Collins coaxial i have built -

now, whether the conditions are better, which i dont think is the case, or whether the coax balun really is so much better, i cant say yet. What i do know is this morning ive worked Belarus, Sweden, and now Morocco, on the first call each (well, ok, CN8ZG was second call), all with this balun in line. The ATU is letting me tune up at maximum capacitance settings ( zeros on the dial) just as the manual says i should, and ive even been able to get tuned up on 17m and 15m. Shame both bands appear to be closed at the moment. So it certainly seems to be doing well. My first couple of QSOs using it quickly faded away, leaving me thinking the balun had saturated and lost all signal, but listening to comments from others on 20m revealed that this morning the band was suffering badly with QSB anyway.

I still think some feeder adjustment is needed, but i now have the feeling im on the way to a good all round antenna.

I also worked GB4IPY on 20m, but as that station is in Wakefield, about half an hours drive away, i could have worked him on the dummy load! I think the 100W i was using was a bit much, that said i didnt bother to tune up!

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