Sunday, 22 May 2011

Latest Elecraft Radio

No idea on costs at the moment but internet rumours put the price fo this at $700 - $900

I think this could be my next purchase if so.

Here is a demo of the Elecraft KX3 prototype, and a run down on the features.

Monday, 16 May 2011

New toys

My house has over the past week been filling with a mass array of cardboard boxes all with 1 thing in common: The installation of the mini beam.



So here is a rundown of what I have opted for.

  • Antenna : MQ26-SR
  • Rotator : G1000DXC
  • Mast : Tennatmast 10m
  • Coax : Westflex 103.
I asked for help on the installation as I am useless at this sort for thing, and I was overwhelmed at the response and support. Saturday the project started to take shape, I had already made a start on making the reflector on the antenna during the week, and had done 101 small jobs that needed completing for the bulk of the work.

Within a couple of hours the mast went up, within another hour the rotator was up, then the time consuming task of tuning the antenna, and what we thought at the time was a dodgy section of coax didn’t help.

The tuning took about 2 hours, was a methodical process headed up by Robin Dave and Clive of snipping and tuning the radials on the antenna.

And so into the afternoon and after another round of Tea (Rob im still amazed how quickly you drank that Coffee!), the antenna was lifted into place. Firstly the beam and driven element were taken up and secured in place, and then the slightly more complex reflector was erected, again secured into position. All the roofline tasks were performed by Clive who was a real star.

Then the real fun began. Initial thoughts were that the coax connections were not correctly fitted (the only bit I actually did, I will add – and will always be reminded). These I fitted via a crimp tool onto Westflex103. Never had an issue with these (I do solder the pins) but 1 was a bit on the intermittent side, so hands up from me, Mat remade the connection and we thought the problem was solved.. .alas…

In fact the issue was a very badly assembled Balun (Comet 2500) which when we opened we discovered instantly what the issue was, a loose connector to the S0239 and a loose ferrite rod. So with a spanner and a hot glue gun, all was fixed, installed and the antenna sang away.

A big special thanks to the following chaps who gave up their Saturdays to install the new antenna, who without their help none of this would have happend - In alphabetical order:

  • Clive – M0KGV
  • Dave – 2E0DNC
  • Ian – M1KGC
  • Jon – M0OTM
  • Mat – G7FBD
  • Robin –G3TKF
  • Rob – M0OZD

Once all is settled here I will post how the new antenna is performing, and some pictures of the new installation.