17M EDZ Up 60′

Initial tests show that a simple 40M ladder line fed doublet (that is an EDZ on 17M) really works great on 15M, 17M, 30M and 40M. It also works very well on 20M, but the 2 element yagi – even in its retracted state out performs the doublet by its designed 4 dB.

The big test is how a 40M doublet up a half wave performs vs. a 2 element phased vertical array – and given that the phasing is a commercial unit – the DXE DV-40-P, which is a great reference as compared to other home brewed phasing methods – such as the Christman – where the home brewer can make mistakes.

At sunset, and with C5, the phased array and doublet are neck and neck . . . its funny, just before sunset the doublet seemed better, and after, the phased verticals. That makes sense, actually – during the grey line the angles are higher – and my 40M Doublet (EDZ on 17M) is on the low side, meaning higher angles. Then after sunset – the angles drop.

ZS6CCY is my short path “beacon” and Bill helps me figure which antenna is best for ZS – which is “close enough” to 3Y0Z. The winner on 40M? The phased verticals.

Its interesting – my 20M yagi and 40M phased verticals are still my best on those bands. However, 17M and 15M the EDZ rocks. It will be interesting to see what happens with further testing . . .



Penn Pursuit II and 20 Pound Test for the Airboss

I will get this bad boy tomorrow so I can finish putting up my 17M EDZ 60′ in my trees. The 20 pound line is yellow – which will make it very easy to see:

Its funny, but when I first moved to Orinda, I put a ladder line fed doublet up in the same trees as the one’s I am using now – but only at about 40′ up. With the Air Boss, I can get right to the top of the trees.

Its a bit “nostalgic” because its like my DX-ing has come full circle going back to those trees after all these years. This time I’m at the end of my DXCC pursuit instead of the beginning.

17M Line Launch for 3Y0Z Using the Air Boss

A 17M Extended Double Zepp (EDZ) up 60′ is a superb antenna. It also is  decent 40M antenna (its a half wave 40M dipole):

and 20M:

and 15M:

and even 30M:

I had so much fun today launching lines over the trees for my 17M EDZ / 40M half wave dipole that I forgot lunch.

This is one superb piece of gear – the Air Boss:


Superb price and superb shipping and design. I couldn’t believe how accurate I was from the first shot onward.

The only thing I would recommend is that you pick a heavier duty spinning reel and line than I did. I purchased a Shakespeare Alpha that only came with 2 pound test. I recommend something much stronger – that thin line was fine for one tree but kept snapping when pulling a rope up in another. I’ve ordered a Penn Pursuit II with 20lb power braid fishing line. It will be a major improvement, I’m sure.

Hey – this single high ladder line fed “doublet” is going to be even more of a help to work 3Y0Z than I expected – and I am pleased that I am working on this this week when I have off – you never know – it might start raining again one of these days . . . . none is forecasted for my entire vacation – so its time to make hay while the sun shines!


The XMAS Special

This is what happens when you have a left over 36′ riveted aluminum vertical that you don’t want to take apart – you use it!

As it turns out, with a little branch trimming, I end up with a great antenna on 160, 80, 40 and 30 – with decent gain on 40 and 30 and in a direction where other antennas (including my 40M array) don’t give as much gain.

I also tested the “Air Boss” pneumatic antenna launcher yesterday, so will be ready to have some antenna fun in the next few days. My plan is to get everything set for 3Y0Z since we are now “close enough”.

The 17M EDZ will also go up. In fact – both might even go up today, and I will also push the 20M yagi up to its full height. This way I will have a month to test and tweak all antennas and be in tip top shape for one of the most epic DXpeditions ever.

10 More QSO’s . . .

I have 10 more QSO’s until I retire from DXCC. 8 160M and 2 for Top of Honor Roll.

Now its a waiting game – with 3Y0Z the only known thing on the horizon. I do expect to maybe work a couple on Top Band before 3Y0Z, because it just seems like 160M will pick up soon for me – just a gut feeling.

Since Glorioso won’t be activated for years, I’ll still be in the game, but very much on the sidelines.

Merry Christmas!

Here at Chez KY6R we wish you and yours the best of the Holidays, whatever holiday you do or don’t celebrate.

And all the best in health and happiness in the New Year!

Can FT8 Get Me to DXCC on Top Band?

This is a QSO where my 2 element 20M home brewed yagi is retracted and pointing towards LU – off the back for JA

I had FT8 set up with my KX3 and KXPA100 combo, but have wanted to get it set up with my K3 + SPE 1.3K amplifier – main station. I figured out what was needed (now that I had the time and energy while on holiday break), and it all works and its excellent.

I do believe that FT8 might help get me from 92 to 100 – I have seen several easy entities (i.e 9Y4) that I need and they have only been on FT8, so today was a good day – I wrapped up my antenna project and got FT8 working on my main station.

Lets see if I can get closer to the goal in the last 10 days of the year!