Takeoff Angle Path Analysis on 160M for EU and 40M for ZS and 3Y0Z

Last night, when I saw quite a few spots between Washington State, Montana and parts of Oregon – where they were working EU and Scandinavia on 160M. I am getting excited because maybe we will get some of that here at Chez KY6R . . . I wanted to use Google Earth (Classic) and check to see which direction 10 degrees is – and…

Pacificon 2017

I will be presenting during the Pacificon 2017 Antenna Forum on Friday, October 20, from 3:30 – 4:30, and my topic is “Low Band DXing Antennas”. I will start with a survey of all of the low band antennas that you should consider for DX-ing on the bands 160 – 30M, and I will include transmit as well as special receive antennas. The presentation…

The “Dirty Dozen”!

I’m now on a jag to get to 90 with only 10 left to go. T88XA was spotted this morning after my sunrise – so that’s one that should be easy. 5T5OK will require serious luck as I have not yet heard them, VK9XI starts up in less than 2 weeks, CT9 is a possibility, KG4HH another in October, VK9CI in October, A52SJ –…

ZS3D and ZS6CCY on Mod Bob – 40M

Dani, ZS3D and ZS6CCY were 59 on the Mod Bob tuned for 40M, so I have just confirmed that its as good or better than the broadside direction on the DX Engineering DV-40-P. I broke through small pileups and was first in in both cases. What was especially cool was that this was during a major solar storm – with a radio blackout in…

U.RAT Version 2.0 and Experiments

The u.RAT that I will set up tomorrow will replace the Palstar BT1500A, but only as a test – to see if two Palstar C600 variable capacitors plus one inductor will work on 160M. I expect it will work on 160 and 30M, but not sure about 80M. I split the control box and the drivers so that the Raspberry Pi Zero is in…

Balanced Vs. Unbalanced Antenna Matching

I’m going to add the URAT to a 70′ tall wire vertical with 96 buried radials, and this is a classic 80M quarter wavelength vertical. Its an unbalanced feed with an unbalanced antenna. It will require an L matching circuit: I like VE7BPO’s diagram, and I am guessing that I will need to wire the variable capacitor and roller inductor using circuit B, but…

Lucky 13?

I only need 13 more to get to DXCC on 160M. If there were enough DX stations on Top Band, that would be do-able between now and next summer, but alas, it almost seems like each year there are fewer opportunities from the West Coast to achieve this. I am not hopeful though – but I’d love this Winter to be my last push…

ARRL Guide to Antenna Tuners

This is a decent book which covers all of the different kinds of commercial – and a few home brewed antenna tuners (couplers). It is a high level book and offers  practical explanation of why you might choose one model over another and also whether or not you would use an internal or external or tuner in the shack or out at the antenna….

The Best Antenna Coupling Presentation by W0QE

Excerpt from Palstar BT1500A balanced antenna coupler. I did a few Google searches for “LC Antenna Tuner” and found the best presentation on the topic yet: http://www.w0qe.com/Papers/Antenna_Tuners.pdf It is just packed with so much useful information – and it covers the topic at a level that reminds me that I still have a lot to learn. In fact, it pulls everything that I have been thinking…

U.RAT Ready for World Domination!

The final part of this u.RAT “science fair project” is wiring the variable capacitor and roller inductor with a 50 ohm dummy load resistor and then attaching the Rig Experts AA-30 so we can see how tuning the components affects SWR and what the L, C and X values are. I have been playing with different “equivalent circuits” and using a 56 ohm as…