80M Phased Array, RSP2Pro and Ten Tec 515

SDRUno with the RSP2Pro

I was pleasantly surprised that the RSP2Pro can be controlled using my Elecraft K3, because both are running Omnirig. The RSP2Pro thus tracks the K3, and the KPOD tunes both K3 and RSP2Pro simultaneously. This means I can mix the audio from the PC with the K3 and have “Dual Diversity”. Its not different than having the two receivers in the K3 that I have where I am routing the RX antennas into the K3, but it opens up some new possibilities having DSP on top of the K3. Right now – I have the RSP2Pro using the two Wellbrook ALA1530LNP loops phased through the DX Engineering NCC-2. I’m not sure where this will lead – but the RSP2Pro covers DC to daylight, which the K3 doesn’t. Perfect for listening to LF or even VHF and UHF if I want.

60′ (18M) Spiderbeam fiberglass pole with Flexweave wire taped to it for an 80M vertical

With the daylight giving me until 7:30 PM to work on antennas, I was able to get the second 60′ 80M vertical up and get both verticals “semi” tuned. The vertical in this picture is tuning normally, because its ground radials are very strong and fan out from the base. The second vertical needs something at the feed – probably a capacitor because its on an elevated deck and the several wires I have running over to the radial field must be acting like raised radials for 10 or 15 feet. This will be fun to tweak this weekend. The verticals are oriented N – S and I can see a pattern toward the south and in the broadside E – W directions. It will be interesting to see if I can get these to play like the 40M array – where I ran the radials from one vertical base to the other in a “lozenge” pattern, and so the 44 radials there are “bonded” to both verticals. For the 80M array, this just isn’t possible. As a bonus, I was able to get both tuned on 160M – so that’s a very interesting “happy accident”. I have the choice to phase these two or switch one in for 80M and both in for 160M. Hmmmmmmm.

The rare Ten Tec Argonaut 515 – a collectors item

The Ten Tec Argonaut arrived and its so close to Mint – and even “Collectors Class”. Not bad since it was only $300 shipped. I plan on just having this as a “museum piece” in my shack. Every now and then I really miss Ten Tec – before Elecraft, they were my favorite Ham Rdio manufacturer. This is a pretty rare rig – and the nicest of their Argonaut line.

So, yesterday was a day of fun surprises, all of them good. I’m really intrigued with the 160 / 80M possibilities vs. having two 60′ verticals. One expression that I can say is very true – “Get your antennas high and in the clear”. I’ve never had any antenna or support structure this tall, and the Spiderbeam Fiberglass poles makes this easy. I’m going to guess that taping wire to these poles is not quite as good as a fat aluminum vertical, but once you go lower in frequency than 40M – putting up aluminum verticals requires a lot more guying and worrying than the fiberglass. I’m very pleased that at 60′ (18M) these verticals do just fine in the wind – that wasn’t the case a year ago when my 60′ aluminum vertical bent over and was ruined in 35 mph winds.

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