Tower 1

Tower 1
Tower 1: Main tower supporting 50MHz 6M2WLC yagi, 14MHz 5 element yagi and 75m full wave loop.
Please note that all times are in UTC. As such comments relate to the next morning/day AEST unless otherwise stated.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Nice and early, Remi FK8CP CQn on 50,1106 RST 519 via scatter.... this is an almost daily 1,500km path.

Last Sunday's Brisbane Microwave Activity day was a great experience... not only being able to get out and operate portable from the fantastic site near 'Walter Henderson Park' above Kobble Creek, but also so have completed contacts on 1.2, 2.4 and 10Ghz. 24GHz contacts were attempted, but unfortunately the RX on the borrowed trvtr I was using failed (at least we are assuming as the TX was reported as being very strong!!)

The following map prepared by Adam VK4GHZ, highlights some of the paths worked.
Tnx to Doug VK4OE for the lend of the tvtr, and also for VK4KLC, VK4JE, VK4EA, VK4GHZ, VK4ADC, VK4UH, VK4IIO and VK4KJJ for contacts.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Looking unlikely that we'll be out in the field for the Brisbane Microwave Activity Day this Sunday!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Completed a 2403.1MHz trial with Doug VK4OE today. We started with the path between VK4CZ and VK4OE, knowing that there would be some terrain issues.

I was using Doug's 3-in-1 box... and 144MHz txcr/IF with 2.4GHz and 10GHz  transverters in one handy box. Although we had a reasonable copy of each others carrier signal and we could detect each others SSB signal when transmitting, the path was unworkable.
Located on the drive near the front door. Power sourced from the ride-on mower!
The small 2.4GHz yagi with the 144, 432 and 1296MHz yagis in background.

A quick decision was made to establish VK4CZ/P and relocate the equipment to the corner of Eatons X'ing Rd and Clear Mt Road and a slightly better result was obtained, but still unworkable on SSB. A further shift to the Clear Mountain 'lookout' was made and a very easy QSO was completed.

Doug's signal was easily over RS59 on carrier and on SSB varied between RS51 to RS59 on peaks.

 The VK4OE 3-in-1 'box' on the front seat of the Patrol.
Doug's small  13el 2403MHz DL6WU yagi.

All good for the Brisbane uWave Activity Day this Sunday - weather permitting! And I will trial my 24el 2403.1MHz DL6WU yagi!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A break in the WX late this afternoon, and I spent an hour in the shed finishing the 2403.1MHz 24el DL6WU yagi.

Aligned all the elements to ensure they were as square as possible, then mounted the driven element.

Finished it, and brought it up to the house. Might even get a try out 'sniffing' for WiFi in the neighbourhood... but given we are semi-rural, might need this amount of gain ;)

VK4RHT 50.281 just coming in and out. Trace with noticeable MS pings.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Interesting.... a burst of video 50Hz sync buzz seen at 2319z!

I should have included this over the weekend, but got distracted... KH9/WA2YUN bcn 50.014 was heard for nearly 1 hour on Feb 17 starting at 0539z.

First time ever heard by myself, and would have been a new DXCC, but once Colin KH9/WA2YUN appeared on the band, the JA wall prevented a completed QSO. And whilst there were reports by VK4s that they'd worked him, they've since been discounted!

In the meantime, I've completed the 'Field Day' Battery box to hold an 80AH deep cycle battery in time for the uWave Activity day this Sunday (subject to WX)

And commenced building the 2304.1MHz 24el DL6WU yagi... just as a wet weather project!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

What to do next? Why not try a 2304.1MHz driven element made to DL6WU specs!

I made a jig to ensure accuracy in bending the driven element. This required a small adjustment (nail in one end) to have the driven element tip-to-tip measurement exactly 57mm.
Completed prototype driven element with UT-141 4:1 balun, and short feedline to SMA socket.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

It's always great to meet fellow amateurs on the air, and enjoy their company. Even better when you meet them in person and they match up with the 'on air' persona. I've been fortunate over the years to have been able to include many in this and share our house and hospitality with them.

Today Brad VK2QO visited...  great to have him in the shack and join the 'group'!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Finally it's up!

Tower # 3 was put back into use today. Installed the repainted brackets, installed new aluminum mast section (6m 50MM tube 5mm wall).

 Then the 70cm and 23cm yagi's.
 And finally the 2m yagi!
 First time raised, with just the LMR400 UltraFlex tails.
 Finished with the LDF4-50 hardline runs completed.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

36el 1,296MHz yagi boom brace was welded on today... all systems are now go for tower #3 return!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Maintenance on tower #3 progressed today with the painting of the rotator and thrust bearing brackets was completed. After the final coat of paint had dried the rotator and thrust bearing were mounted.
Also progressed today was the building of a battery box for use on Field Days (and camping!). After researching a range of similar commercially made battery boxes, I've elected to build my own.
Inside is an 80AH deep cycle battery. On the outside, a 50amp Anderson plug (for charging [either from car or solar panel] and for connection to a power board), two binding posts fused with a 20amp fuse and a digital volt meter with push button activation.
Two separate leads were also made. The first is to connect the battery into the Patrol's dual battery system allowing charging while driving. The second is to be incorporated into a power-board that has multiple binding posts and fuses for connecting radio equipment for Field Day style operation.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Monitored the VK5RBV 50.315MHz beacon this morning. Some good MS pings, with the occasional burn, but nothing heard of the stations working MS on 50.200.

Today's maintenance on tower #3 concentrated on the rotator and thrust bearing. Although both had been greased approx 6 years ago, when they were pulled down it's obvious that this maintenance was timely!
Bearings and races cleaned. Bearings returned and packed with marine grease (after photo was taken so as not to get grease all over phone).
Good for another 10 years!

Painting of the brackets still another 24 hours away as the rust converter requires

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Finally some great weather to do tower work!

With a very sunny day, and not too much else planned, today was the perfect day to get stuck into the maintenance work on tower #3 required before I install the new 144, 432 and 1296MHz antennas.

With the tower cranked over I could remove the 5 element 15m mono yagi. The Patrol with a full roof rack makes the perfect work platform (probably now OHS compliant but).
With the yagi off, the tower was lowered completely., removed from the supporting mast and the hinge, rotator platform and thrust bearing bracket removed.
The brackets were wire brushed and painted with rust converter. These will be painted with a Killrust matt enamel in the coming days.
Withe the 15m yagi off the tower I thought about trying 15m mobile before disassembling the antenna (until the tower is ready to go back up)!!!