02 November 2013

RADAR Contest November 2nd

This was a tough contest. Only a few stations operating and also tough conditions. The 40m band went long early today and DX could be heard booming in. I operated the first two hours on 40m and switching between CW and Phone. No stations heard on CW.

I then switched to 80meters for 45 minutes from 18:00Local - 18:45Local but nothing heard.

I had some problems trying to tune the coupler I had for the 40m efhw. I built this coupler using trimmer caps. This is not easy to tune in the field. A variable cap is definitely required for field operations.

I was able to load the End Fed up on 80m by deploying two 30meter long radials. I was able to get the SWR down to 3.5:1. I then used the internal ATU to tune the system to 1:1. I think that deploying at least 2 more long radials would get the SWR down to below 2:1. The antenna appeared to be resonating within the 80m band although I didn't have my analyzer with me. This is very interesting and further experimentation would be fruitful. The best would be to adjust a length of wire to achieve a good match on 40m using it as a halfwave and on 80m as a quarter wave. Thereafter it would be a matter of deploying enough radials to get the SWR down. Perhaps 66ft is this length!

It was very pleasant sitting in the park at the picnic table. A lovely sunny day!

ZS6RSH RADAR filed Portable Cedar Lakes Fourways
End Fed 66ft up about 5 meters

Field Coupler. Not easily tunable

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