Animated Model by Dan, AC6LA
For quite a few years I have stayed away from SteppIR antennas. I actually had the 2 element yagi back in 2006, but started reading about problems with the Stepper motors or other associated hardware. I sold it and swore I’d only stick to aluminum because I could fix anything if it went wrong – and fix it very fast – without having to get an RMA, order parts, etc.
Enter the UrbanBeam – its design is just too perfect where I am in my DX pursuit – which is a casual and “just for fun” DX-er. Its coverage of 40 – 6M is perfect, and when I combine that with the US Towers ALM-31 crank up tower, I couldn’t have a better combo. Also – it won’t matter if I am off the air for months – chances are, for the last two that I need there is a low probability that my gear will have issues when I need it most. Plus – I have Plan B and C’s (neighbors contest station and a remote). But I still do want to do everything from my own back yard. In fact, I no longer have a backup rig or amp. But I digress.
Because I hacked the Elecraft K-POD driver software and have Stepper motor experience – both hardware and software wise – I am now comfortable with such moving parts in my antenna system. In fact, I’d say I’m way more interested in it just because of the technology. Back in 2006 – I only wanted to work ATNO’s and thoughts of that 2 element SteppIR going bad was just too much to deal with.
This is yet another good reason not to be a “Slave to DXCC” – I am no longer constrained by an ARRL arbitrary list. Sure – I loved it for 17 years, but now just playing is the award, and there seems to be no constraints or boundaries as far as what I can do and try.