Sunday, November 6, 2011

New Shack Update!

Well the in-laws have left town and we're finally able to continue unpacking our boxes.  My new shack is relatively complete, but there are still a few things that need tweaking, primarily on antenna front.
Operating Position
My operating position has sprawled out across my big desk with operation across 2m, 10-80m from QRP to QRO [if you can call the HW-16 QRO].  I will probably try to go to a 2 tiered system to give myself a little extra space but this is what I have right now.

Then there's the work area.  Parts bin, unfinished projects, my Hakko FX-880, and scope and frequency counter (both borrowed from Joe, N0NS).  As you can see, I've been working on my VF-1 for the HW-16 but not having much luck.  I will probably have to reverse my grid-block keying modification to see if it works without it, that should narrow down the failure mode.

This weekend I finally got my dream doublet up with the help of Joe, N0NS and another Joe, AA0KW.  AA0KW donated a surplus military fiberglass mast kit and N0NS helped with the construction.  I ended up with 32' of mast in the air and 100' of wire fed with  450 ohm ladder line (also donated by Jeff, W0ODS).  I finally have an antenna that should work all right on 80m.

Mast from the kitchen door
The mast is attached to one of the legs of the pergola on the deck and is guyed to the other side and to a couple spots on the privacy fence on my lot line.  It seems to be stable enough, time will tell!   Today is fairly breezy and it seems to be holding steady.
Can you spot the antenna from the street?
Results are promising so far!  10m has been open to Europe most of the morning and I have several contacts with Sweden, Switzerland, Italy and the Netherlands already, all 5w CW.  We're having fun folks!!!

Well, I suppose I'll get back to working the DX and catch up again next week!  Thanks for reading, come back soon.

73 W0EA ..

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