Monthly Archives: October 2014

How heavy is a Cushcraft A3S TriBander Yagi?

The A3S is 14Kg (That’s 30 pounds in US money :) )

I was worried that the combined weight of a Create Rotator an aluminium pole *and* DSC_0106an A3S Cushcraft might be too much for my little lighting rig.

To test it out, I fitted the Create Rotator to the mast and added a 20Kg dumb-bell weight and started the motor.

It lifted without an issue so I’ll go ahead and plan to use the A3S for next field day.

How mad is that? !

CQWW SSB 2014 Example QSO recordings

DSC_0041Had a ball with CQWW this weekend putting just over 1,000 QSOs in the log. 10m was very busy. The band scope on the TS-990s radio was extremely full with hardly a gap from 28.300 to 29.000 (and some!).

A couple of times, I used Audacity (software) to record out the back of my Kenwood TS-990s and caught some interesting sound-tracks.

Mostly, I forgot to hit the record button, particularly when I hit a very fast pile-up to the US but I found time to catch the tail end of this one after it had slowed down a bit.

 

Here’s a “perfect” example of a CQWW “rubber stamp” contact.   Continue reading

How to build a tilt-over 60 foot antenna mast from scaffolding poles

This job is not for the feint-hearted. You will need a natural tendency for engineering, be accurate and be comfortable with knots. However, there’s no reason that most small teams of keen amateur radio operators can’t build this as a project for field day use.

Let me explain how I built the one shown in the pictures, then I’ll cover the learnings with you later along with my own do’s and don’ts.   Continue reading

How to fit T&K brackets to the corner of a wall

I love engineering challenges and I needed an elegant solution to mount a vertical antenna right on the corner of my house.
In the end, I used 3 x 24 inch T brackets from Barenco Antenna Hardware store. Poor Brian (Barenco owner) was a little confused by my request but he dispatched my order all the same and I’m pleased with the results.

By the way, a little tip. Don’t use those RawPlug type anchor bolts, they expand and they are tightened and could break off the side of the brick, particularly right on a corner. Instead, use Multi-Monti bolts. These cut a thread inside a pre-drilled hole. The beauty of Multi-Monti bolts is that you can remove them and re-install them at will. If you want to fill in the hole afterwards, use Frame Mastic from ScrewFix (or similar). You will never know your aerials were once there.

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How to join antenna wire together

They used to call this the “AT&T Wiremans Join” but frankly, it’s the best way of joining wire together anyway. If you are joining insulated wire, first strip away about an inch of insulation of both ends.

If you have stranded wire, twist the strands on each wire together and solder them into a single fat strand.

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What size pole to insert to a steel scaffold tube?

Most radio amateur operators look at a pole* and immediately wonder how they might use it in their hobby. It becomes a weird past time and can become somewhat of a burden when passing for instance, a section of tubing in a handy-man store. I have to stop and work out if they nest together – or will they go inside some other tube I might have.

However, I have solved one riddle which is what diameter pole can I slip inside a standard steel scaffold tube?

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