CQ160m – SOA HP

 

 

 


The always missing 3rd hand…

2021′s motto:
“I’d be really curious what the neighbors think of the most probably sick guy,
pulling wires 100′s of meters long on the muddy land in the dark when damn
cold windy sleet patches his dress… Assuming their openness,
I will rather not ask… :-)”

Rig:
FTDX-101D + PA
21m elevated T-vertical with 4x elevated radials on a 26m SpiderPole

RX side with 2-wire reversible Beverages:
268m USA
268m JA/SA
176m N/AF
176m Carib/OC

My fixed vertical installation was destroyed by wind last summer had to build
not only the RX system but the temp transmitting antenna as well so like a
field day setup. This year’s weather conditions varied on wide scope: from
nice sunny up to cold/windy sleet which made it like a real extreme sport.


On Sun morning. Still cannot imagine how it’s not been flashed over…
…but at least the rating is good, the snow did not melted due to heat.

T-vert was completed on Thurs. afternoon with great match exactly on 1830KHz,
verified by mini VNA. When I finished all the Bevs on Fri evening wanted to
make the final check making sure everything is ready for the rock&roll.
The snowy rain started to become really severe decided not to risk the laptop
and the MFJ-259B was used. Seeing the out of band impedance result on the
screen I could not believe my eyes and my heart started to develop an “attack”.
Tried to use lamps to find out more but it seemed the afternoon wind took down
one of the top capacitance wire. As it was pitch black by then it was hopeless
to check the exact root cause.
After 2 long days of tiring preparation I started to get used to the fact that
despite of the big prep efforts my contest is over before it might have started
Was so disappointed, at least wanted to test the Beverages if I erected them
and see how the new Bev-box works, how they perform. “Sadly” all was great
with excellent front-to-back and directivity patterns.

@21:32 accidentally the F1 button was pushed and surprisingly
enough the TRX SWR meter did not even move… Made a verification double check
with the VNA and realized that due to some new unknown coupling, the vertical
has fairly hairy sweep which fooled the MFJ giving some odd result.
@21:34 with big rush I started to setup the station
@22:06 could log the first station.

…what an emotional rollercoaster.

One other petit malheur over the weekend that the USA Bev’s 2-wires were
twisted at half way which was not visible at the daytime inspection but was
enough to make it really noisy. Unfortunately even the Carib Bev heard better
to US than this dedicated one. Was really painful that this was only
discovered when I took the antenna down on Mon.

The propagation was interesting. Sat morning the bandmap was full of USA but
could barely hear the big ones. Sun morning was much better with couple of
really great callers from CA/AZ/NM. The DX side was challenging due to the
endless caller flow even when the DX was transmitting. At the end there was a
surprising JA caller stream.

I recon still have lot to learn about VC-tune but I love this feature.
Made lots of mults audible out from very deep noise.

Despite all of this above and having needed at least a week for physical
recovery this again was a good weekend. Would start it over again tomorrow.

Thanks a lot for the calls and repetitions.

CU in ARRL-DX CW on 80m only.


Beverage field panarama

 

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