We finally built the 40m array on Saturday and conducted a full test on Saturday night, in preparation for CQWW this weekend coming (24th/25th Oct 2009). The good news is that signals bearly audiable on 40m on our standard Mega-Loop came up a few db on the array, to around 5 and 7.
The front to back ratio could be higher. Germans were crawling all over us, working Worked All Germany contest which was a good test, but it did hamper our out-and-out gain tests to US. Many of them probably switching off and saving their energy for next weekend. The modelling we went for gave us maximum gain at 10 degrees take-off. We could have gone for slightly less low-angle gain and instead aimed for a very high front-to-back ratio dialing in up to -15dB off the back. As it is, this current antenna only gives us around -6 db gain off the back. There are some benefits though, like working VK “off the back of the beam”, which I’ve never said before on 40m. Great fun.
Essentially, we have the gain of a non-steerable 4-square array so we should have fun into the top end of South America as well as all of North America, right up to Vancouver and Alaska.The proof of the pudding though, is this weekend and needing 40m to work all through the night, from 7 at night through to 7 in the morning – possibly more. This antenna needs to give us 12 hours out of each 24 hour slot, a must for a Multi-Two entry. Station #2 will have 160m, 80m and 20m to play with all night.
Remember to dial your logging program to update GetScores.org. A live scoreboard is hilarious fun for teams and will keep you on your toes all weekend.
Good luck and have a blast.