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.