The Low Band Challenge

Trying to build a great DXing antenna on the Low Bands (on a small suburban lot) is quite a challenge. I’ve tried many different things – verticals, phased verticals, shortened top loaded verticals, full wave linear loaded Delta loop on 80, “Mod Bob” using a Palstar BT1500a, switched base loading Inverted L, and more. And don’t forget the RX antenna – that has taken…

Ham Radio . . . For The Fun of It

I enjoy my ham radio “shack”. Its really is a shack I built in the garage and is quite cozy. Like this fellow above in the Gil, W1CJD (SK) cartoon – it has a heater and cooling. A big part of the hobby is station “configuration” – and its fun to try new gear and swap pieces in and out. In the last year…

Solar Cycle 24 Bottom 1.5 years Earlier Than Predicted?

I’ve believed for some time that the bottom of Cycle 24 would start in 2018 – probably not long after 3Y0Z, and that they would get the “last gasp” of propagation before we get back into the days where even 20M doesn’t open much. This article also says something similar: https://watchers.news/2017/12/20/solar-activity-cycle-falls-to-the-bottom-1-5-years-earlier-than-expected/ I have noticed that the lower bands have been even better than just…

Best 160M RX Solution Yet . . .

Phasing two active loops through the DX Engineering NCC-2 is a great Top Band RX solution for those who live on small lots in the suburbs. My “previous best” solution was using the DX Engineering DV-40-P 40M phased array as a 160M RX antenna, but in the “both” mode, there was no directivity that I could tell. By having two active loops on rotators…

Mission Accomplished!

The switched transformer Inverted L matching circuit works as designed. The biggest take away is that now I can run full power on 80M, which was the biggest challenge. This morning I woke up, came out to the shack and did one last test and found that the 160M position was not isolated when I was switched in position 1 and 2 – so…

KY6R Inverted L Switched Transformer Match

I’m very pleased to have it all wired and working. My original plans did have a logic – wiring bug – the first relay really needed to be in a default NC mode (no power), and I needed a third voltage line to activate it to be in the 1:1 current choke – or direct feed to antenna mode. I tried to get away…

Two Great Lowband Antennas

If you have a good radial field, it’s hard to beat an Inverted L on a small lot. It’s easy to match it on 160M and 80. If you don’t have radials, the Mod Bob is a great way to get on all low bands on a small lot The Mod Bob requires a good balanced tuner like the Palstar BT1500A

New Low Band Antenna

It took a lot longer than I expected, but after trying many LC circuit combinations, and I can make the SPE Amplifier happy on 160, 80 and 75M. Trying to add in 40 and 30M were possible, but by adding in more components and thus causing some loss – which is silly since the DX Engineering DV-40-P works much better on 40M and even…

Urat and inverted l

I now have the antenna in this configuration (128 feet total length), and also have the u.RAT ready to be set into it’s waterproof box and wired up. The fancy schmancy u.RAT control consoleĀ  Because I have a shorter antenna with the far end up off the ground, 160 tunes well, but 80M now tunes at a 3:1, so I will probably have to…

The Lowly Inverted L (Thanks Andreas, N6NU)

My friend Andreas, N6NU has been kind enough to “peer review” my meanderings through LowBandVille. After yesterdays discovery that I can get 160 and 80M to work very well with the Inverted U, Andreas suggested that I only bring the far end of the “bent over” Inverted L so that it is 15 – 20′ above ground. Since the Inverted U was too long,…