31 May 2014

QRV near Wake Tech S of Raleigh NC

This morning I had a really enjoyable couple of hours down at my friend and elmer Paul AA4XX's radio site. This is a radio site that Paul and I built about 8 years  ago. It is located in the woods towards the far side of his lovely farm. We carved about a half acre out of the woods for the location. Here we labored with great effort to install the tower and antennas. Notable was the rotor which was recovered from a WW2 airplane and was a modified prop pitch motor with tremendous torque. As you may note in the attached pics the site is surrounded by very tall trees running up to about 70 feet in height. It is in fact possible to install wire antennas from these sky hooks and facing in many different directions. Notable was a phased 2 element 40 meter beam that Paul erected at one time. This antenna beamed up and down the east coast and was oriented at a height optimized for the east coast distances. Our signal could be copied loud and clear in any QRP contest. Yes Paul and I are true QRP nuts.

For a short time we deployed a full size 5 (or was it 6?) element 20m yagi atop the 72 ft crank up. This thing was a challenge to keep in the air. The boom was something like 35 ft long! I remember once receiving a 59 signal report from VK land using a 2 watt DSB rig hi. In the end we replaced this monster with a more manageable TH6 antenna. This antenna is still in the air today and probably works FB.

Paul has also deployed a FB TopBand vertical and has participated in a number of Topband contests at QRP level. The radials stretching out into the surrounding woods.

About 2 years ago the tower and rotor were struck by lightning. This also started a small fire in the small shack that Paul and I built at the base. So the shack and the whole antenna system are in need of a complete overhaul. This will be my summer outdoor job for sure.

This morning was like old times. I set up my portable rig under the lovely trees. It was a nice cool morning with a gentle breeze blowing. I launched my  trusty, well travelled, end fed halfwave 40m wire into a tree. The 6ft counterpoise was thrown on the ground and my Norcal 40A 1.5 Watt rig was fired up. I was in business! The band was quiet with very few stations on the air. I enjoyed two nice contacts. One with om Marc W4MPS in Clayton NC 599(S)559(R) and NM1I om Butch in MA 559/559. Butch was using 5 Watts. Lovely to have a 2XQRP contact.

It is nice to be back home and taking up where we left it, 3 years ago, before going to South Africa. I do look forward to getting the site QRV and to erecting some nice gain antennas. Especially for my favorite band 40m CW. One of my major aims will be to make a QRP QSO with my good ham friends back in ZS Land.

I plan to keep my blog updated as progress is made on this project. Thanks for reading. 72 de Dick N4HAY.

N4HAY/QRP/P at the farm of AA4XX. Temp about 75F.

A view of the shack and tower + TH6DXX. Work needed!
All American! My new Dodge Ram 1500 Supercrew 2WD. 390HP V8. Not QRP!

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