RZ3AH on 40M SP at 2349z

The magic of 40M in (almost) winter – Moscow during our late afternoon

I also heard OK2PVF quite well. Nothing comes close to 40M in my book. That’s the #1 thing I’ve learned DXing for 17 years . . .

All I Want For Christmas is a Bouvet ATNO!

Dear Santa. I have my two front teeth, so what I really want is an ATNO from Bouvet Island and 3Y0I.

I know you especially like Hamm’s, so I expect you just might come through . . .  No helicopters will be needed with 3Y0I . . .

Which 40M Antenna Will Win for 3Y0I?

The DX Engineering DV-40-P phased vertical array wins the ZS path (orange), the dipole wins the South Shetlands path (light blue), so which antenna will win the highly coveted Bouvet Path (yellow)? Time will tell.

The most interesting thing is that in both cases, the UrbanBeam did hear the stations in both places. It was not quite as good as the winner – but frankly, I figured that the UrbanBeam up only 34-ish feet would be a total lost cause – and I was wrong. The explanation has to be that the angle of arrival at my end is higher due to the fact that each station was in its grey line – or was past its sunrise. We get this same phenomenon when we are at sunrise. In fact, when I worked FT5ZM and VK0EK on 160M – it was just before sunrise. There are many days where I’ve worked ZS on the long path after our sunrise on 40M, so this is in play for the station in grey line or past grey line.

First ZS Test: DXE DV-40-P vs. 40M Dipole up 60′

At 0425z we are getting past the optimal time for a 40M SP QSO with ZS

However, the only antenna where I can actually hear him above the noise is the DXE DV-40-P. Neither the UrbanBeam or the dipole up 60′ cut the mustard. Oddly enough, the UrbanBeam comes in second place. I can hear Volker a little on the UrbanBam – but nada on the dipole up 60′

Being at the end of this opening – his side probably has more high angle incoming signals – but I’l never know for sure. That could explain why the UrbanBeam is surprising me

I just worked DT8A on South Shetland, and the dipole was #1. Oddly enough I could hear him on the UrbanBeam but not on the DXE phased vertical array.

All of this has to be due to path direction and take off and arrival angles at each end of the circuit. South Shetland is in grey line and ZS is past sunrise. I am in darkness. I never get tired of these “propagation tests” because its theory vs. reality and there are always a few surprises.

The Rebel DXer 40M Special!

Off in the distance, you can see the 40M dipole – up 60′. Nice fall colors! (click photo for much better view). You can see the MFJ current choke in the middle, but it’s high enough where the antenna almost looks invisible (hahahaha).

You can see how much higher the dipole is over the UrbanBeam. I wish the neighbors tree wasn’t in such bad shape or I would leave this antenna up.

One last look . . . I’ll leave it up for 3Y0I, and maybe for the rest of the Winter. Time will tell. For me, 40 meters is by far my favorite band. It kept me DXing at the bottom of Cycle 23, and I am sure it will be what gets me to Top of Honor Roll in Cycle 24 (or beyond).

First serious DX test – VU2GSM was most clear on this new dipole – so for long haul DX – this antenna is looking good. I did hear him on the phased vertical array – and even the lowly UrbanBeam – so that was cool. But the new dipole did have the edge. I’ve learned that at the bottom of the cycle that even 1 dB makes a difference between working them or not. Usually it takes 2 dB to notice the difference.

Bouvet is not guaranteed, but I just have a strong gut feeling that the Rebel DXers will pull this off.

Then it’s Glorioso ….

Collins Gold Dust Twins

This is the full setup from a 1950’s Collins brochure.

Here is the 75A-4 which I have and love . . .

Here is the transmitter – which I would buy of a pristine one fell in my lap like the receiver did . . .

Here is what I have been told is extremely rare – the station console

I also have a brochure for another Collins trasmitter, but this set of “Gold Dust twins is one of the most famous and beloved ham radio setups – and they still compete with todays gear. As far as “user interface” is concerned – I think this set could be the best ever. Digital interfaces just don’t have what this set has. Its hard to explain – but a direct, “tactile” and nicely laid out interface beats menu driven interfaces.

My “Clandestine Shortwave Operation” . . .

The Air Boss will get my dipole up 60+ feet tomorrow

With a 40M dipole perfectly aimed 130 degrees and up 60′, and with an AL-80B – excited with an ICOM IC-7300, I’ll get in the 3Y0I Log. That plus as an early “investor” – they will call me, which will be a real kick.

I got the Air Boss ready to roll starting early tomorrow morning. We had a rainy week – but a gorgeous sunny weekend – so its do or die tomorrow – we have rain back in the forecast this coming week – which is close enough to when they will be on the air – that I need to get this done stat. Work will be busy, and it gets dark too early these days . . . better plan on a few “sick days” heh heh

MFJ Current Balun as center insulator . . . 

The dipole will be temporary since one tree is on my neighbors property – but where it looms large over my property. This 3Y0I 40M dipole is a “clandestine shortwave operation” . . . . put it up – get the ATNO, take it down. I did the same when I worked SV2ASP/A for the last one towards Honor Roll. That (other) neighbor then cut down that giant Monterrey Pine just after I took that 40M dipole down. This time its the same kind of story – this is another Monterrey Pine – which don’t do so well once they grow as tall as this one is – a good 70 – 80 feet. I fully expect that this one will also have to be cut down in 2019.

No one will be the wiser . . .