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Old calls WD4NRO through 80's - AB4EN thru early 2000. Grew up in Wilson,NC tobacco country. Passion is CW, meteor scatter and more recently EME on the digital modes. Employed in the Electric Utility industry since 1981starting in my hometown Wilson, NC and with the North Carolina Electric Cooperatives since 1993. Experience spans generators, distribution substations, rtu's, telecommunications, DNP3, RF, microwave and Ham radio pretty much started it all.

Looking for some fun to re-spark the interest? Try Moonbounce on the JT65 modes - It doesn't take all that much and is within reach on even the most modest budget.

 

 

This is a 14 element Hygain yagi on a makeshift alt/az mount. A very short span of flexible 9913 coax connects the driven element to about 50 feet of 7/8 inch hardline into the shack. A Yaesu FT-100 drives a modified Motorola Micor RF amp with 10 watts to an output of around 600 watts. I'm also using only the pre-amp of an old Mirage "brick" amp that I used to use in the beginning at the 150 watt level. It was possible to make some contacts even at the 150 watt level so don't be discouraged if you can't run legal limit. This is the modified Micor rf amp

 

Another closer view of the antenna mount for elevation control. I've mounted a typical tv rotor on it's side and carefully counterbounced the whole mechanism. Rotor control is only on elevation currently but am planning an azimuth rotor sometime in the future as well as adding another yagi with vertical polorization. This setup will easily contact any station with a 4 x antenna array or larger. One can even make EME contacts on overcast days by using a decent compass and a protracor with pendulum string.  Try your aiming accuracy with these instruments against the alt/az numbers in WSJT on a clear day to note any adjustments needed.  With the relative broad pattern of this 1x14 you don't have to be perfect just within +- 5-10 deg or so. You'll have to experiment with ground gain patterns to see how soon above the horizon you need to worry about elevating.  In my case I have a lot of obstructions nearby -  fences, etc... I have found my useful ground gain falls off pretty quick so I typically start elevating after the moon reaches much above 6-8 degrees. Good luck and have fun!

6430478 Last modified: 2015-07-16 00:35:00, 2795 bytes

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