Ive been a Ham since 1980 as VK5NOT 1993 as VK5XE then changed to VK5CZ a while ago i forget when.
I am 63 years old and live and work in the wine industry in The Clare Valley 140 km north from Adelaide . My home station consists of several Icom and Alinco radios with wire antennas for 80 40 30 metres and I have 2x7 element Log Periodic arrays. My bigger LPA is at 50 feet with coverage from 13 to 30 MHZ ,7 elements on a 7 metre boom and this antenna has been in use for 35 years with a couple maintanence rebuilds. The smaller LPA is home made again 7 elements on a 5 metre boom and it covers 24 28 50 MHZ, this antenna is 25 feet off the ground on a separate smaller tower. The formular for element spacing on the home brew log was given to me by my brother vk5fb many year ago and it is simply the element spacing and element lenght is minus the previous element and spacing by 16.4 % until the boom was full of elements which turned out to be 7. The longest element needs to be around a half wave on the lowest band you wish to operate on.
I enjoy activating and chasing SOTA summits. I use a Elecraft KX3 for SOTA activations, my current QRP / SOTA antennas are SOTA beams 2 band link dipoles one for 40/20 m and 30/15 m or a 53 foot endfed wire plus 9 foot counter poise which tunes nicely with the KX3 internal tuner. My higher power SOTA rig is an FT 857 using a 53 foot end fed wire tuned with the MFJ 904 travel tuner, and SOTA beams link dipoles which work fine straight into the rig. I fitted a Banana socket on the chasis of the MFJ tuner for plugging in banana plugs for the counter poise wire or plugging in ribbon type feed lines for a doublet antenna . I have experimented with several antennas for SOTA, I am still undecided which antenna is better as I usually manage to make contacts on what ever antenna I take with me. But!. What they are is what they be. A piece of wire. Keeping that back pack as light as possible is a great challenge as well when walking up hills, LiFe and LiPo batteries have helped a lot as a good power source that is reasonably light and reliable.
The latest Rig, "as you can never have enough" is a YouKits HB-1B qrp cw trx with a YouKits MT1 tuner which works quite well. The HB-1B has a very nice reciever even on a noisy 40m band it pulls signals out very well and the MT1 tunes the 53 foot end fed wire nicely. I use about 9 feet of counterpoise wire for all bands when the 53 foot wire is the radiator.I have tried the 53 foot end fed on SOTA and it works very well on 15/17/20/40m with the YK MT1 tuner to the HB-1B and the KX3 tunes it easily on the same bands with the internal tuner. That was good news it saves me taking an antenna tuner when using the KX3, one less thing to carry on my long quest to be an old MT Goat. Being an antenna skitso geek i am always experimenting with antennas or fumbleing in the dark in my back yard when not out on summits, I will often give chase to other acivators to test my antenna to know if there would be a possibility of a Summit to Summit qso.
I enjoy cw mostly but I am able to converse in voice modes as well,there is an IRLP repeater close by on vk5rmn and i am part of the management team to run vk5rlh 2m repeater 45km to my west. I have written about the rebuild of the Lochiel repeater in one of my Blogs at the link below. 146.600 simplex is the local 2m liason frequency for an active group of like minded folk who keep in touch there.
73 DE Ian vk5cz ..
7113661 Last modified: 2016-02-24 03:38:20, 3754 bytes
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