24 May 2020

Caught up

I finally uploaded to LoTW and eQSL my logs for the past few days.  I've been busy elsewhere and just fell behind.  I have several direct and bureau DX QSL cards to work on as well.  I'll try to get to those tomorrow.  There's been a lot of good DX popping up all over the bands lately.  I use dxspots.com for my DX cluster and hamspots.net/hell for my Feld Hell spotting.  It's nice having a working station again.

17 May 2020

Busy on the air

My new antenna has been working quite nicely for me.  I have been busy making a lot of contacts and it's been fun.  I've worked all over the world even with not-so-good propagation though 20 meters seems to be doing better.  I've sent out at least 20 QSL cards this week and half of those via the bureau.  That new antenna seems to be making all the difference.  Tonight I worked Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Haiti, and Hungary.  I heard a station from Chile calling CQ but I couldn't work him unfortunately but I tried.  Been doing a lot of digital work with Hell and PSK31 which is a first for me.  A good way to pass the time while I am waiting to get my foot reconstructive surgery.

01 May 2020

Antenna is almost finished

Dad and I got the antenna mounted on the shed today but by the time we were done, we were both completely exhausted.  We will shoot the other end into a tall tree tomorrow but for tonight, I tied that end to a branch on that tree about six feet off the ground.  I went into my shack, connected the antenna to my antenna matcher and switched it to bypass (no matching needed), and immediately worked PB5X in the Netherlands, 4207 miles east of me, on 14.194 with a full 59 signal both ways.  So I'm already thoroughly impressed!  I then worked GB1954PJ in Bristol, England, and then worked PV8AL in Brazil, both on 20 meters.

I'm quite happy.  It's nice to be back on the air with my own antenna!  I'll try to get pictures of the antenna in the morning when there's no glare behind the antenna.

Antenna work

Dad and I worked on putting up the new antenna on Tuesday (April 28) and got as far as getting the antenna tripod and my aluminum conduit secured together then installing the antenna balun on the conduit.  Here's what it looks like from the ground:

The unfinished antenna in all of its glory.
The antenna's quite sturdy though it doesn't look like it from the picture.  The antenna will be mounted on the shed that is behind it, giving me roughly 40 feet in height on this end.  The far end will be shot over a tree to be tied off on.  We're hoping Saturday, which is supposed to be sunny and 74 degrees, will be a good day to finish mounting the antenna.  I can't wait to try the new antenna out!  I've been waiting a very long time for this.

I still have my Mosley RV-4C 10-40 meter vertical antenna, which includes an optional 80 meter coil, to install.  It requires a lot more work and also a new antenna base which is around $50 with shipping direct from the Mosley factory.  Once I have my needed foot reconstruction surgery on my right foot and I'm able to use it, I may go ahead and set this up permanently at my parents' home (where I am at now) so my dad can use it if he wants.

I am also considering setting up my Raspberry Pi 3B+ with Slackware./ARM Linux and using it for a shack computer.  Considering I have a little eight-foot by eight-foot room to myself, that would save a lot of space for me.  I'd still be able to do everything I wanted on the little Pi though.  Another project to think about.