22 April 2020

New antenna arrived

My new antenna showed up today in the mail.  It's physically smaller than I thought but it's very well-built.  The factory was nice enough to install the connection kit parts to the transformer for me.  Here's what I received out of the box (my phone's camera isn't the best):


I'm going to mount the transformer on a 10' high piece of aluminum conduit that I'll be putting into a satellite dish tripod.  I ordered the tripod off of eBay (new) and it should be here sometime either before or on Monday April 27.  Dad and I will attach the tripod to the shed's roof and shoot the wire over one of our trees.  Really looking forward to getting this done and back on the air on my own.  I'll make sure to take pictures with my regular 16MP digital camera (Canon Powershot A810).

14 April 2020

New antenna on the way

I ordered a 10-80 meter EFHW antenna from myantennas.com finally.  I am waiting for it to get shipped.  I can't wait to get a good antenna up permanently.  I've also been working on getting my 2 meter radio in the shack up and running.  It seems that propagation is getting better with the new solar cycle and that's exciting for me.

11 April 2020

The shack

So here's what the shack is looking like right now.  I took this picture with my webcam so it's not the best...

That's my IC-718 on top and my MFJ antenna matcher underneath.  A good little combo for me.  You'll notice I have not one but two SignaLink boxes; the USB one was a gift and the SL-1+ on top I found in a box of goodies that was given to us by a friend.  Both work great.  I am going to use the SL-1+ with the 718 and use the USB one with a possible station in my motorhome.

On the air

40 meters has been crazy busy today.  There's been several contests including the Georgia QSO Party going on.  I've had a lot of local QRM and I'm thinking it's from the neighbor's grow lights.  It is what it is and I am happy to get on the air.  My dad, KD7SXQ, has been letting me "borrow" his G5RV when he is not using it.  I really appreciate that.

07 April 2020

What a mistake...

Yesterday, I had discovered that my dad had accidentally nicked one of my coax feeds with his lawn mower so he and I worked to get the cable up and out of where it was to fix it.  I then discovered, much to my chagrin, that I had mixed up my 40 meter dipole and my 2 meter J-pole connections ... and all this time I was trying to load my J-pole on 40 meters.  Oops.  For now, my dad ran a jumper over to his antenna switch from my shack so I am using his G5RV in the evenings.  It works quite well.

I am planning on buying a EFHW antenna from myantennas.com very soon.  I've already won approval from my parents to mount a 10' piece of aluminum conduit on my shed as a mount for the transformer end of the antenna and will run the antenna to one of three trees on our property.  I hope then I will be able to get on the air full-time again.  I'm really looking forward to it.

For now, I am just mostly listening these days but with what looks to be a promising start to solar cycle 25, I am looking forward for the bands to be "alive" once again.  I am unable to work digital modes currently but will be fixing that soon, hopefully.