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Obligatory evening shot of a three element 40m array

DX Commander 40m 3 element vertical array £299

Hours of planning, modelling and experimentation both in software with MMANA and also real-world testing has finally produced an excellent and extremely economical method of producing excellent DX gain in one direction with reasonable front-to-back ratio with fast set-up time and potential for /P operations for the heavy duty operator. (Scroll down to ...

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Antenna Tow Ball Mount

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is an experimental tow-ball mount. Under test, I achieved some extreme loading however I can take no responsibility for anything going wrong. Playing with portable antennas inevitable leads to the odd "accident". So please do your own risk-assessment by calculating what would happen in any failure and that you have considered the ...

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DX Commander Bare Bones Complete 10m Multi-Band HF Vertical

SEE LATEST DX Commander ABV Release Notes 2017 I listened! Some of you wanted an economical bare-bones system without all the little "bits". Here it is! Note: Using Nylon 6 or UHMWPE, this is suitable for world-wide QRO operation. Of course QRP will work just the same. This is the listing for the "Bare-Bones" ...

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DX Commander all-band conversion kit

This is the QRO conversion kit using either Nylon 6 or UHMWPE plastic. It's taken me a few years to get the dimensions "just right" and is the expensive part of the project. In the box: Ground Plate(2018 spec, not with long tab) Driven Plate (2018 spec, 150mm diameter) Guy Plate (Upgraded to 8mm thick) Upper ...

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DX Commander Premium Build - HF Multi-Band Vertical System

This listing is for the Classic QRO version of the DX Commander vertical. Ideally suited to Christmas Presents, Birthday Presents and for those people who need a "plug-and-play" approach to their operating with a small amount of prep. This is EXACTLY the same kit as the 80m / ALE product I also list ...

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M0MCX Banana Antenna - an end-fed choke sleeve resonant feedline T2LT antenna design

A new document fully documenting the design of the Banana Antenna has now been released entitled, "Banana, a Half Wave End-Fed Choked Coax Antenna". Antenna can be known as - and is similar to: Sleeve Dipole / Flowerpot Antenna The Sleeve dipole has traditionally been used by VHF antenna designers by sliding an ...

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JT65 UK Band Plan and how to stay within

The 5 MHz band is pretty cool and I've written about it before however out the box, JT65 allows you to very easily transmit out of band on 60m band. The segment we're interested in the UK is the freq block between 5.354 and 5.358. This has taken me a little ...

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Introduction to the 60m Band Plan (5 MHz)

60m is an interesting band. it's partly channelised into small segments and the propagation is a cross-breed of 40m and 80m.The band was first introduced apparently in 2002. Over the years, various countries have allowed their amateurs radio operators to use the band. All this is negotiated and approved in conjunction ...

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Obligatory evening shot of a three element 40m array

10m Telescopic Flag Pole Antenna Support DX Commander

DX Commander Antennas: These are the best selling heavy duty telescopic antenna support on the market. With over 500 sold and 100% track record, I know what I’m doing – and I use these myself in real-world RF applications. Club members, personal friends and other regular amateurs love the quality and ...

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Working 15m band on a 40m vertical antenna

Note: This article discusses the merits of a 3/4 (three quarter wave) vertical -vs- a 1/4 (quarter wave) antenna. You can build a 40m vertical quarter wave antenna and ground mount it with 16 x 4m radials and operate it at the third harmonic; 21MHz. Actually, all my experimentation has shown that ...

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Converting a 40m vertical to run on 80m / 75m band

Recently, I created a slightly loaded 40m vertical with 25 ground radials. It seems to work very well although the receive noise is pretty lousy compared to my loops and dipoles, however on transmit, it does seem to work as planned; a typical 1/4 wave pattern that outperforms regular dipoles at low angles of ...

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Raising Steel Antenna Mast on T&K brackets with pulley

I'm gradually swapping out any aluminium antenna poles for steel. Clearly these are very heavy, particularly with an antenna on top. The trick is to use V bolts (like U clamps but in a V shape) and not to use saddle clamps because the pole will not slide easily past the ...

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How to make a stealth amateur radio wire antenna

How to make a stealth amateur radio wire antenna

Until recently, I had a) a 40m triangular loop in the back garden which I called a "micro-mega-loop" and b) a 60m loaded loop that allowed me to get on 80m. The two loops looked a bit horrendous not only because of the wire in the air, but because I ...

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Special Event Operating Procedures

This note will be particularly beneficial to those who may be required to run a special event station either on the lower bands or maybe on VHF. These tips & tricks will also help you anywhere on the band, regardless of your circumstances. Preface: There are a number of aspects that ...

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Coax Loss Comparison

I can never find the comparison charts between RG213 and Henry Westlake's Westflex W-103. At last, I'll have this logged forever now. Per 100 meters: RG213/URM67(Mil spec) Westflex 103  100 MHz                      7 dB 3.2 dB  144 MHz                    8.5 dB 4.5 dB  200 MHz                     10 dB 5.4 dB  300 MHz                     13 dB 6.2 dB  432 MHz                     15 dB 7.5 dB  1000 MHz                   27 dB 13.0 ...

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Antenna DesignsFree Download & Film

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Amateur Radio Antenna Blog

Need a quick logger in spreadsheet format?

Confused? See the film here:

I notice that CamDesk is offline. This is my download which I originally deleted – but since I have discovered that CamDesk is offline, I managed to find it in my recycle bin for others to use.

This is a ZIP file. Obviously take necessary precautions when unzipping etc. I’ve had this installed for about 2-months.

NOTE: It’s a self executing program file. It doesn’t need DLLs and doesn’t “install” itself in Windows. It just runs from the install directory and you can move it around, say on a USB stick if you like.

When is an Ugly Balun just dead weight? Check out my facts and figures for Choke Baluns.

How to make high quality local contacts within a 500 mile radius.

Fan dipoles are the easiest multi-band antenna you may wish to have a go at.

You can buy an expensive switch box to accomplish phased array system. But to test out the theory if you’d like to go down this route, you could try a simple vertical yagi?

Check out my film and decide for yourself.

Make your decision wisely.

Tips for new Ham Radio (Amateur Radio) operators.

We have all made mistakes when we buy the wrong radio.

I give you some tips to work out how to achieve perfection. Well, certainly a balance!

I thoroughly recommend adding a dimension to your club station or special event station by live-streaming your event.

It’s not as hard as you think – and the tools are free.

Check it out.

I have since learned that some radios are more susceptible to causing this problem than others, however in my opinion, keeping your ALC to tick-over and no more will be the best policy.

Check the film.

We’re always told to check our house before accusing neighbours of local noise.

Oh heck, I wished I had listened nine-months ago!

Check my results.

So I had a requirement to connect my RE20 / PR40 / Shure SM58 / SM57 professional microphone to my Ham Radio (Kenwood TS2000 / TS590 / TS990s) and I show you an easy trick.

The pin outs are all over the internet, so I won’t bore you with them here.

But check the video.

There are benefits to both. Height above ground will kill a vertical. But do you have the height?

What a fabulous microphone.

Check back for review and shoot-out of RE20 and PR40 soon.

Many people have got one of these. But what are they really like?

I show you.

Some people aren’t quite sure how easy it is to build a mono-band quarter wave. They are cheap and extremely easy to build.

Check out the video.

Surprise surprise. I was astonished that a cobweb isn’t as bad as I thought it was, certainly in software modelling.

Check it out.

A G5RV is really a doublet, using the feedline to transform (automagically) some pretty nasty impedances to a suitable impedance for coax.

I explain this here:

I’ve discussed this before. 40m band quarter-wave does resonate on 15m.

But is it worth it?

You bet.

An inverted L is just like a vertical apart from the fact that instead of going straight up (like a tuned quarter-wave), it turns 90 degrees somewhere.

I discuss this in this video:

I cover this in my youtube video. CHeck it out.

Here’s the spreadsheet:

EXCEL: <quarter wave vertical calculator> link

In this video, I show you why you shouldn’t worry about height for your wire dipoles and loops.

Unless you can achieve leaps of a quarter-wave in size, just go with the flow (or put up a DX Commander All-Band-Vertical! :)

All contests have some sort of report, mostly the signal report then additional pieces of information, from your age to your shoe size (seriously).

Here’s me on 15m during IOTA 2017:

(100 Watts, recorded straight out the TS590SG into Audacity)

Antenna: DX Commander Vertical 80m-10m

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q-wave-vs-5-8th-wave

Compare Red 5/8th -vs- Blue W/wave

Anyone who has mucked about with verticals will no doubt have worked out that a full-sized quarter-wave for the 40m band, more or less tunes up for 15m band.

It wasn’t until my entry in IOTA Contest this year that I convinced myself that they are not a cloudburner (as many people suggest) but compare favorably with a quarter-wave, even producing more gain by 2 dB at 10 degrees above the horizon.

OK, so 2 dB isn’t a huge gain, but hey – it’s free. Take it when you can!

Don’t forget, you can do the same for 10m band too by making an element 6.83m long and folding it back a further 1.11m (for 28.5 MHz). So you’ll need nearly 8m of wire. Don’t forget, that’s insulated wire!

I’ve recently “made” a 4-element Yagi in software for my YouTube channel which should give a great match to 50 ohms.

If you’re into MMANA software modeling, here’s the file:

NOTE: This is a ZIP file because my Content Management System doesn’t like files ending in MMA. By all means have your Virus Scanner check this Zip file. There is only one file inside this ZIP. Just the MMANA file.

Quick-SWR-calculator

Here’s a really simple way of double checking how to much to trim your antenna elements.

You only need to type in the numbers in the Cyan boxes.

Just type in where it is resonant right now – then type in where you would like it to be resonant and the spreadsheet will auto-calculate the trimming.

Film: How to use the SWR Adjustment calculator.

tokyo hi power

So I have just taken delivery of a very gently used Tokyo Hy-Power HF linear amplifier.

The previous owner (retired communications and instrumentation technician for a large, multi-national organisation) replaced both fans with ultra low noise “Arctic” fluid bearing units. These are installed in 2 speed via voltage regulation manner: Low speed during stand-by (RX) and High speed during TX. (read more…)

Inverted L multi-band

Regulars will know about the DX Commanders very cool results which are now filtering through in real world successful contest scenarios.

My own issue is that I needed just one antenna that would deliver an all-band solution, certainly for the contest bands of 40m, 20m, 15m and 10m – but I also needed 80m in the mix too.

My holiday home has a very compact small garden so the option of putting up a dipole for 80m is out the question, but modelling suggested than exchanging the 30m element for an inverted L for 80m should work.

The 80m element therefore starts vertical, like all DX Commander elements and turns a sharp corner at 6.9m above ground and droops down for around 13m or so, hanging over a bush at around 3m off the ground. Probably not perfect but perfectly adequate to score 44 QSOs inside an hour on the Saturday eve of the IOTA contest. That score includes 16 different IOTA multipliers, certainly a wide spread around Europe.

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featuredimage-ground-plate

IOTA-graphicI’m absolutely delighted to report that I was placed 4th overall in the world for IOTA-Fixed station, Unassisted, Low Power, 12-hour section. This was from a holiday home and I installed the antenna inside 1-hour.

Results here  – but what makes this more remarkable is that I only used the one antenna from 80m through 10m; DX Commander All-Band-Vertical.

For 80m, I confirgured the DX Commander as an Inverted-L, replacing the 30m element. Of interest, 30m was still achievable (albeit with a 4:1 SWR). Although 17m is not a contest band, I did notice some slight interaction with the new 80m element, however SWR was still acceptable without an ATU.

I logged 300 QSOs however I notice after adjudication, that fell to 289. Pretty good, only dropping 11 QSOs. And I was amazed at how effective the 40m element produced such startling results on 15m, effectively as a 5/8th. Even 10m as a 2.5m long, ground mounted quarter-wave was getting in the action with short skip too.

All in all, I’m extremely delighted that I test-proved this antenna from a holiday location in competition with my peers, who were using genuine fixed-station antennas.

a

I’ve been scratching my head for years how to model an appropriate ground with my ground mounted Vertical Antenna radials.

I’d like to thank Sigi, DG9BFC for clearing this up for me.

HOW TO:

NOTE: I like to draw a small feedpoint in all my HF antenna models, like a 5cm length of wire where my “source” (coax) is connected to. Particularly useful for fan dipoles and for making other adjustments. I’ve left that part out for simplicity on this How To since I’m trying to make this super easy.

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