Monday, September 17, 2018

Nostalgia, Antenna repair, QRP at the worst of times and etc.

 Back in 2012, or there about, I tried to look up my old call sign (WB1AHE) on the F.C.C. U.L.S. site with no results. I could not remember when exactly I had gotten my first Ham license and wanted to see if it was in their data base. Alas, No.

The other day, I decided to google my old call signed and got a pleasant surprise. There is a web site called .that has a ton of free material on line. It actually had the Radio Amateur Callbook on line and searchable!! Visit the site. I think you will find it interesting. Oh, bye the way, I did find my call sign in the 1977-78 Radio Amateur Callbook.

As you know, I just moved into my new/last QTH. As I was unpacking, I noticed a book marker in a 1976 ARRL Handbook. When I opened to the bookmark, I saw the article for the QRP transmatch that I had built for my HW-8. I had forgotten all about it. It even had some of my hand written scribbles for a switch I had added for a 50 ohm resistor load used to tune the final of the HW-8! Also I found the section for the first dipole antenna I built. It was a folded dipole (bazooka) antenna cut for 15 meters.

It actually worked quit well. Conditions must have been good back then because I made a lot of contacts to TX, MS and LA with it.

My first home made dipole. A 15 meter "Bazooka"
The QRP transmatch I build for my HW-8 random wire antenna
When I moved from VT at the begin of March 2018, I had to take down my outside antenna. There was still a foot of snow on the ground. One end came down without a problem, but the other end; was not coming down. The rope I used to tie that end had wrapped itself around a branch. I could not budge it. I finally was able to break the wire at the crimp. Of course, I wound up flat on my back in the snow. Was pretty funny, but it was down. So now I need to repair it.

I got all the pieces to repair my Carolina Windom™ antenna. Up until now, I have been calling this a OCF dipole, which turns out to not be exactly correct. I think when you add the vertical radiator, it becomes a Carolina Windom™. But since that is a trade mark name, W8AMZ (SK) could not use it. Therefore, it is called an OCF dipole / Windom. If you are interested, there is a good explanation here of the  Carolina Windom  by Jim Thompson, W4THU.

The dimensions for the W8AMZ are slightly different then the  Carolina Windom™. The short side is 44' for the W8AMZ and 50' for the  Carolina Windom™.  Overall length is about the same, only where the off center is placed is different.

So repairs are complete. Just waiting for the leaves to drop.

My W8AMZ OCF dipole/ Windom missing the short leg
First Step: solder new wire to the end of the old wire and do the strain relief.

Second step: measure out 44' and add isolator to the end

I had a great time with the September WES this month. I was not able to work most of Saturday, but was able to work almost all of Sunday. I finished with 72 QSOs and 870 bonus points.

I was 22nd overall and 15th in the QRO 100 W or less group. I will take it.

This month's theme was Cootie/sideswiper operators, of which, I am one. So for every cootie contact I made I got double points.

Had a good August brag count. 106 plus the bonus station, Steve  VK7CW. September will probable not be as good.

I have decided to try for thr 1xQRP and 2xQRP awards. Since conditions at very poor and will only get worst in the next year or so, I figured it would be a good challenge. Lets face it, anyone can work QRP when the conditions are good HIHI.


  1. Nice page Dave, enjoyed reading it.
    Curt WA2JSG 3018S

  2. WOW... look at that solar data at the top of the page ----- EVERYTHING is marked as POOR ! I believe it! I am hearing very few SKCC signals this season - lucky to make 3 or 4 contacts a day - some days there are no QSOs in the log. However, I find that I am also adding a few new SKCC numbers to my log each month. WELCOME ABOARD to those new ops. de Jerry k6iii

  3. K6III testing the notify me at the bottom

    1. I am here using the REPLY button de Jerry k6iii