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New HAM First QSO

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  • Hi Mad_Lad

    Sorry for going silent again for the past week or so, but my wife had a rough week especially last weekend, but thankfully she is well on the road to recovery now. She was actually tested for Covid-19 on Monday but there is up to a 2 week backlog for results at the moment, but thankfully, she is nearly back to herself.

    In the meantime, I managed to get up to the antenna and turn the unun box so the wire is not wrapped around it. Immediately the SWR dropped right down to 1.2

    I also managed to add a hard plastic pipe 1 metre long to the metal pole at the end and mounted the end of the antenna to it.

    I will have to eventually look at other options, maybe the 40 metre length version of what I have or a dipole for 80m as you suggested...a project for the summer, I think...

    I did speak to Ian at UK Antennas again (I cannot recommend this guy highly enough - pure gent) and informed him that his suggestions worked. I also asked him about using it on 80m with a tuner. He said if you can get it tuned, great, but obviously it will not be as efficient as an antenna built for 80m.

    So, if you are maybe going on 80m this evening or tomorrow evening, I will be available to give it a try. :)




  • Shyboy wrote: »
    Hi Mad_Lad

    Sorry for going silent again for the past week or so, but my wife had a rough week especially last weekend, but thankfully she is well on the road to recovery now. She was actually tested for Covid-19 on Monday but there is up to a 2 week backlog for results at the moment, but thankfully, she is nearly back to herself.

    In the meantime, I managed to get up to the antenna and turn the unun box so the wire is not wrapped around it. Immediately the SWR dropped right down to 1.2

    I also managed to add a hard plastic pipe 1 metre long to the metal pole at the end and mounted the end of the antenna to it.

    I will have to eventually look at other options, maybe the 40 metre length version of what I have or a dipole for 80m as you suggested...a project for the summer, I think...

    I did speak to Ian at UK Antennas again (I cannot recommend this guy highly enough - pure gent) and informed him that his suggestions worked. I also asked him about using it on 80m with a tuner. He said if you can get it tuned, great, but obviously it will not be as efficient as an antenna built for 80m.

    So, if you are maybe going on 80m this evening or tomorrow evening, I will be available to give it a try. :)

    Delighted your Wife is doing good.

    Well done for getting your antenna sorted. Yeah, the antenna won't be very good on 80m but it should still get out, my 40 meter long EFHW works on 160m with external tuner. MY other 23 meter long EFHW, the hyendfed 5 band MK III works on 160m and gets out too, I was actually astonished.

    There's usually these stupid contests taking up every bit of the bands at the weekends with their high power amplifiers so there might not be much space on 80m.

    If you get an external tuner you should be able to get your antenna working on 160m and it should work at our distances, that's usually a lot quieter band. Just remember to tune up on AM at about 10 watts to protect the radio and put the radios tuner in bypass mode.

    I can get on around 10pm tonight or tomorrow night empty slots get taken fast so keep yourself glued to PM here and I will update you at 9:30 pm if that's not a good time let me know.

    Pm me your Call sign if you haven't already I can't remember.

    I would like to try build a doublet at some stage, it uses ladder line instead of coax , coax has much higher loss with this antenna design compared to our EFHW. A tuner is needed for the majority of bands.

    Here's some good reading on the EFHW 49:1 and shows how to build one. I suggest saving the PDF should the site ever go offline.

    http://gnarc.org/wp-content/uploads/The-End-Fed-Half-Wave-Antenna.pdf

    I'll PM you at 9:30 Pm tonight and see if I can find a free frequency.




  • That was a great QSO after Shyboy, thanks.

    The antenna did the job on 80 shame about the qrm from other stations it was busy last night. Get that ground sorted sooner rather than later.

    You could try at some point add another 20 meters of wire to the existing antenna, you would be surprised the difference it would make on 80m you might need to fine tune the length to have it more resonant where you want it. You should get 80/40/30/20/17/15/12/10m.

    Worth giving it a shot, if you add 60 meters of wire you'd get 160/80/60 and 40m if you could add some king of relay system you could switch out 40 m to give you 80/40/30/20/17/15/12/10m and then switch back in the other 40 m for 160/80/60 and 40m that would be pretty sweet.

    As I said I can tune my 40m long EFHw on 160m and it works ok.

    But it would be really really cheap to get you 80/40/30/20/17/15/12/10m using your existing UNUN by adding only 20 odd meters of wire, start with maybe 22 meters and you need a antenna analyser such as the ones by Rig expert. I have the AA-35 as my main interest is HF. Then you can shorten the antenna as needed to get the SWR lowest where you want it. It's very difficult to tune an antenna without analyser.

    What you could try is make a kind of inverted L, put your Unun near the Ground, ground it there, bring the wire up to the pole where you have the Unun now and over to another point, high as you can, height is everything especially for 160 and 80m.

    The EFHW isn't as fussy about installation, you can make inverted V inverted L, start near the ground with the UNUN and work your way from there. Ground the UNUN close to ground then Ground the coax before it enters the shack.




  • Likewise Mad_Lad, a pleasure to have the QSO with you last night.

    Sorry, didn't get near the radio this evening as I promised a family night in front of the telly. Hopefully tomorrow evening, but if all fails, definitely another night in the week or next weekend, if that is suitable for you?

    Yeah, I was quite surprised that the antenna did fairly well, even with the bad QRM on the band. But I know it is only a temporary situation for 80m and I will have either extend the wire to 40m length somehow or look at another option?

    Definitely the earth is coming hopefully in the next week or two, as soon as I can...

    Thanks as always for the brilliant advice, Mad_Lad. I will catch up with you another evening on the radio and let you know how I get on...:)
    Mad_Lad wrote: »
    That was a great QSO after Shyboy, thanks.

    The antenna did the job on 80 shame about the qrm from other stations it was busy last night. Get that ground sorted sooner rather than later.

    You could try at some point add another 20 meters of wire to the existing antenna, you would be surprised the difference it would make on 80m you might need to fine tune the length to have it more resonant where you want it. You should get 80/40/30/20/17/15/12/10m.

    Worth giving it a shot, if you add 60 meters of wire you'd get 160/80/60 and 40m if you could add some king of relay system you could switch out 40 m to give you 80/40/30/20/17/15/12/10m and then switch back in the other 40 m for 160/80/60 and 40m that would be pretty sweet.

    As I said I can tune my 40m long EFHw on 160m and it works ok.

    But it would be really really cheap to get you 80/40/30/20/17/15/12/10m using your existing UNUN by adding only 20 odd meters of wire, start with maybe 22 meters and you need a antenna analyser such as the ones by Rig expert. I have the AA-35 as my main interest is HF. Then you can shorten the antenna as needed to get the SWR lowest where you want it. It's very difficult to tune an antenna without analyser.

    What you could try is make a kind of inverted L, put your Unun near the Ground, ground it there, bring the wire up to the pole where you have the Unun now and over to another point, high as you can, height is everything especially for 160 and 80m.

    The EFHW isn't as fussy about installation, you can make inverted V inverted L, start near the ground with the UNUN and work your way from there. Ground the UNUN close to ground then Ground the coax before it enters the shack.




  • Shyboy wrote: »
    Likewise Mad_Lad, a pleasure to have the QSO with you last night.

    Sorry, didn't get near the radio this evening as I promised a family night in front of the telly. Hopefully tomorrow evening, but if all fails, definitely another night in the week or next weekend, if that is suitable for you?

    Yeah, I was quite surprised that the antenna did fairly well, even with the bad QRM on the band. But I know it is only a temporary situation for 80m and I will have either extend the wire to 40m length somehow or look at another option?

    Definitely the earth is coming hopefully in the next week or two, as soon as I can...

    Thanks as always for the brilliant advice, Mad_Lad. I will catch up with you another evening on the radio and let you know how I get on...:)

    No bother, during the week might be better.

    Without doubt, the cheapest option will be to extend the cable 40 odd meters and then you can relocate the UNUN, get it off the pole at the shed I think it was, then move it further away put it near the ground and ground it there and reroute the cable. So you can go up and across with it keeping as much of it as high as possible.

    An antenna analyser will be dead handy to get it resonant where you want on 80m but I'm not sure how it will effect the rest of the bands.

    Chat soon.


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  • SlowBlowin wrote: »

    I am hoping to have it operational next weekend, so if you do get a QSO arranged I might hop in as well if thats OK.

    I actually forgot about having qso with you haha sorry. It's only when I read back the thread I saw this and said, oops. You should have said, "hey, what about me" :D

    We should arrange it at the weekend and perhaps shyboy will join us ? and anyone else is welcome.

    How's the antenna working out ?

    What tuner are you using ?




  • Hi ML

    Yes I am up for a QSO at the weekend.

    I have not transmitted on the new antenna, its on the ground as I have been repairing the mast, but should be done tomorrow. One mast is on the mountainside, its amazing how much damage the sheep can do to a mast.

    I have an old school tuner...... the antenna has a low swr on all bands but the tuner will be in line as I like cranking the handle..

    palstar.jpg




  • Mad_Lad wrote: »
    I actually forgot about having qso with you haha sorry. It's only when I read back the thread I saw this and said, oops. You should have said, "hey, what about me" :D

    We should arrange it at the weekend and perhaps shyboy will join us ? and anyone else is welcome.

    How's the antenna working out ?

    What tuner are you using ?

    Absolutely guys, just let me know the time and frequency. :)




  • Grand, we'll go with Saturday evening then ?

    Frequency will be posted here around 9:00 PM ? I'll find a spot and keep it warm, anyone can join of course so feel free if anyone hears us on.




  • SlowBlowin wrote: »
    Hi ML

    Yes I am up for a QSO at the weekend.

    I have not transmitted on the new antenna, its on the ground as I have been repairing the mast, but should be done tomorrow. One mast is on the mountainside, its amazing how much damage the sheep can do to a mast.

    I have an old school tuner...... the antenna has a low swr on all bands but the tuner will be in line as I like cranking the handle..

    palstar.jpg

    Sheep can damage a mast ? that's a good one. :D

    I like the tuner, that should get you on 160m, I'd say that windom will get you out on 160. 160 can be a nice band because there aren't too many people on it.


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  • Mad_Lad wrote: »
    Sheep can damage a mast ? that's a good one. :D

    I like the tuner, that should get you on 160m, I'd say that windom will get you out on 160. 160 can be a nice band because there aren't too many people on it.

    Yes the sheep rub thier bums on the mast, they really lean into it, they do it to gates too so they just see the mast as another gate to get off on.

    I thought this windom was only 33m but its over 40m, so I am sure it will tune to 160 with the palstar. The earth is another matter, to really perform on 160 a good earth helps loads. I am not far from bedrock here.

    I have a mountain directly behind me, north (we are half way up it), I get out well east and west. What direction are you from my QTH (my nearest village is Sneem).




  • SlowBlowin wrote: »
    Yes the sheep rub thier bums on the mast, they really lean into it, they do it to gates too so they just see the mast as another gate to get off on.

    I thought this windom was only 33m but its over 40m, so I am sure it will tune to 160 with the palstar. The earth is another matter, to really perform on 160 a good earth helps loads. I am not far from bedrock here.

    I have a mountain directly behind me, north (we are half way up it), I get out well east and west. What direction are you from my QTH (my nearest village is Sneem).

    On the Windom the ground will be very important regardless.

    With my EFHW it's not going to matter much on 160m because the UNUN 49:1 becomes a lot less efficient on non resonant bands. I've seen on youtube where eliminating the 49:1 and connecting just the coax to the antenna direct and a good ground should allow 160 m however it actually works pretty ok on 160m as it is.

    I'm about 5 kms from Carlow Town.




  • Hi ML

    I got the mast in from the mountain (my shoulder still hurts), so I thought I would take a pic so you can see what I mean.

    The mast has been up (and down) for 8 years, but the damage comes from the sheep, as you can see from the blue sheep dye on the wood, they rub their bums just on one side. This puts loads of twisting strain on the mast, as its held in place by big rocks (the ground is too hard 4 inches to bedrock at that end).

    A decent end fed would be ideal for me, but I couldn't get one in time and the windom is a known quantity, I have used them before but they are a pain putting up and down compared to a end fed.

    I am just putting a final coat of preserver on the mast and I should get it back out in the morning, so I am hoping to be operational by tomorrow evening.

    mlad.jpg


    Edit: There are two other sections to the mast that butt up against it to make a solid base, and also increase the height.




  • Ah it makes sense now, I must admit, I was scratching my head thinking how sheep bum could effect a metal mast.

    How do you keep it from blowing over ?

    End feds are grand to hook up but if you can't do it in a straight line like I couldn't then it can be a right pain too, getting any wire antenna up 40 meters long or more is going to be a pain one way or the other because getting rope up 50-65 feet isn't an easy task, it's a pain in the ass especially when access to the trees is a pain also. + the antenna is going to come down sooner or later due to the rope is fraying of the rope against the branches in the wind.

    My EFHW goes N/S E/W Starts at three 1, UNUN is about 3 feet off the ground, goes at around a 90 degree angle north to tree 2 then swings east to tree No.3, tree 1 was grand because it starts at the base of that tree but the birch tree was a right pain in the ass with all those little springy branches three No.3 was a right pain altogether, getting access with the stream beside it.

    I noticed after the very stormy winter the ropes are on their way out so my plan is to get more rope and attach to the existing rope and pull up new rope which will make it a lot easier than starting from scratch.




  • Mad_Lad wrote: »
    How do you keep it from blowing over ?

    If you look at this pic you will see one of the braces lying on the ground. They butt up to the mast frame and a metal strap/collar wraps round the lot (2 top and bottom) and tightens up with a big bolt.

    If there is a big storm coming I can move the big rocks, take off the straps and braces and lay it down.

    One end of the windom is on the house, the end mast is 45m away, straight line, on the mountainside, my land but the farmer grazes mountain sheep there and its beyond my current fence line. The middle mast (with the balun) is in an old stone ruin the other side of the stone building you can see in the pic.

    Being high up on a mountain lightening is a big issue, we have been struck or suffered major damage 2 times in the past few years, so theres an advantage to having something easy to drop, without leaving a metal mast sticking up.

    Mlad2.jpg




  • SlowBlowin wrote: »
    If you look at this pic you will see one of the braces lying on the ground. They butt up to the mast frame and a metal strap/collar wraps round the lot (2 top and bottom) and tightens up with a big bolt.

    If there is a big storm coming I can move the big rocks, take off the straps and braces and lay it down.

    One end of the windom is on the house, the end mast is 45m away, straight line, on the mountainside, my land but the farmer grazes mountain sheep there and its beyond my current fence line. The middle mast (with the balun) is in an old stone ruin the other side of the stone building you can see in the pic.

    Being high up on a mountain lightening is a big issue, we have been struck or suffered major damage 2 times in the past few years, so theres an advantage to having something easy to drop, without leaving a metal mast sticking up.

    Mlad2.jpg

    All good stuff, definitely get that Ground sorted and maybe one of the lightning protectors too, won't do any harm.

    Hopefully you can test it out tomorrow night.




  • So Lads, QSO tomorrow night say around 21:00 ? on 80m ?

    Anyone else want to join in ?




  • I am in, if I am ready. I am the worlds slackest ham, I have done the technical work (mast all sanded and 2 coats of wood preserver), checked and I have enough coax, so I should be ready....

    I might use the Icom 7600 as its got a good tuner, and I discovered the Palstars a bit squeaky, needs investigation.

    I will give it my all to be ready, looking forward to it...




  • SlowBlowin wrote: »
    I am in, if I am ready. I am the worlds slackest ham, I have done the technical work (mast all sanded and 2 coats of wood preserver), checked and I have enough coax, so I should be ready....

    I might use the Icom 7600 as its got a good tuner, and I discovered the Palstars a bit squeaky, needs investigation.

    I will give it my all to be ready, looking forward to it...

    Good stuff, get it up asap, :D check the 7600 tuner is up to the job first :D

    I'll post the freq here around 20:50.

    Looking forward to it. :)




  • Mad_Lad wrote: »
    Grand, we'll go with Saturday evening then ?

    Frequency will be posted here around 9:00 PM ? I'll find a spot and keep it warm, anyone can join of course so feel free if anyone hears us on.

    I presume that's 9.00 pm local, not 9.00 utc,

    don't operate ssb much these days but if I'm around I'l say hello.

    Edit just saw your last post. ok


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  • orm0nd wrote: »
    I presume that's 9.00 pm local, not 9.00 utc,

    don't operate ssb much these days but if I'm around I'l say hello.

    Edit just saw your last post. ok

    Grand no bother the more the merrier. :D




  • Shyboy, you still on for tomorrow night ? hopefully the QRM will be less than last time.




  • Band is packed lads, I'll keep looking.




  • Lads, 3.608 grab it fast, some QRM but unavoidable.




  • Yes I meant to say 9 PM local.




  • Thanks for the QSO last night ML.

    I found out that the connector at the balun was shorted, I have fixed that now. I have also switched to the Icom 7600, all seems good.




  • SlowBlowin wrote: »
    Thanks for the QSO last night ML.

    I found out that the connector at the balun was shorted, I have fixed that now. I have also switched to the Icom 7600, all seems good.

    Good stuff, glad you got it sorted.

    Yes good QSO lads last night thanks for getting on, shame Shyboy couldn't make it, I had a really good QSO with him last weekend.

    You were sounding good for half a G5RV or whatever was radiating that signal! :D




  • I listened to two Irish stations on 17 metres today for about half an hour, on the North West SDR. They were having an interesting conversation about antennas etc. and they were both very strong. Only when one of them needed to go for a meal did he announce his call sign. The other one finished his transmission without giving his call sign. They obviously knew each other well, and forgot the requirement to give their call signs more often. As a listener I find this annoying, especially if there is a pile up with some potentially exotic dx.

    So I hope all the new hams will give their call signs, even if just as a courtesy to us SWL's. With QRZ.com and the like available now, it can be interesting to look up the details. Not possible if a station fails to identify.




  • I listened to two Irish stations on 17 metres today for about half an hour, on the North West SDR. They were having an interesting conversation about antennas etc. and they were both very strong. Only when one of them needed to go for a meal did he announce his call sign. The other one finished his transmission without giving his call sign. They obviously knew each other well, and forgot the requirement to give their call signs more often. As a listener I find this annoying, especially if there is a pile up with some potentially exotic dx.

    So I hope all the new hams will give their call signs, even if just as a courtesy to us SWL's. With QRZ.com and the like available now, it can be interesting to look up the details. Not possible if a station fails to identify.

    I always give my call. several times during QSO and at the end of QSO as per regulations. Usually every time when passing the conversation back to the other person and then when I take over.

    For instance,

    I'll pass it back to you Tom M0xxx from EIxxx

    and when I talk again, M0xxx from EIxxx yes tom it was a lovely day.......

    It's a common thing especially on top band not to give their call signs.

    Why don't you get your licence ? it opens up a whole new world.


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  • Mad_Lad wrote: »
    Shyboy, you still on for tomorrow night ? hopefully the QRM will be less than last time.

    So sorry Mad-Lad, I didn't get anywhere near this forum or the radio at the weekend. The youngest was sick with vomiting bug of some sort, so my weekend was tied up with that.

    All is back to normal here again so I will definitely get on the band this weekend if you might be around yourselves?

    Sorry again guys. :(


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