Monday, January 24, 2022
Using an IC-705 remotely from macOS using SDR-Control
Sunday, January 16, 2022
An off centre fed dipole antenna for more bands
It's been great having a dipole up high in the trees but I wanted to be able to use more bands so I made an off centre fed dipole, cut for 80, fed with a 4:1 balun. This gives me a number of bands with a low enough reactance that the IC-7300's tuner can match it. Here's a plot using AntScope2 on macOS.
The grey bars are ham bands. I'm sweeping from 3MHz to 30Mhz. As you can see I get low SWR on 80m, 40m, 20m, and 11m. With a manual tuner I've been able to use 30m but it's quite a stretch.
Speaking of stretch... The antenna wire is half of a figure-8 speaker wire and I think it is slowly stretching. I had a doublet for 160m up but the wire broke.
I did notice that 40m on the OCFD was not as good as it was on the dipole cut for 40m but the extra bands and convenience make it worth while.
The shack is improving! I ordered a 2m bench, a gas chair, and a 4 draw unit from Ikea. Delivery cost almost as much as the furniture.
The afternoon sun hits the other side of the corrugated iron in front and it gets very hot. Next step is to insulate and line that wall at least.
Update: Winning at WSPR reception
It's a combination of height, antenna and of course the low noise location. I'm pleased to see that after 24 hours of WSPR reception on 40m I'm at the top of the global chart by accumulated distance.
The WSPR challenge is a wonderful idea. I love the concept of competing by reception rather than transmission.
(Of course it's a bit unfair as we VKs are very distant from most stations so we have an advantage).
Thursday, January 06, 2022
Another antenna improvement - more height
At my new location I was able to throw a line up a tree to support the balun for a 40m dipole. Dallas, VK3EB, kindly visited with an 18m squid pole and was able to get a line over a much higher branch.
With extra height, reception, as measured with WSPR, is visibly improved.
Sincere thanks to Dallas for visiting and helping to improve the antenna.