Saturday, August 22, 2015

Helping a soon to be new ham in Bowral

Recently I had a very pleasant train trip to Bowral to assist and old friend, and soon to be amateur radio operator, William.

I was able to make the full return journey using my Opal card at no cost, which was an unexpected bonus.

William lives on a nice sized block near the centre of Bowral. Here he is in a very nice shed.

By the time I turned up, William had the rig up and running with a run of coax to a simple dipole in the back yard. I was very impressed with how far he's got. Electrical noise seems to be a significant problem though.

I brought along an antenna analyser and it turned out that the dipole was rather short for 40m and was nicely resonant at 9MHz. We replaced the simple centre connection direct to co-ax with a proper balun and made a longer dipole.

Unfortunately the two trees are a little close together but we managed to get everything going (after the picture above was taken) by having down hanging ends. (Also I did put the co-ax through the strain relief on the balun.

Here's William's operating position:

I responded to a call and had a good contact with a chap in Victoria who gave us 57.

The electrical noise could be from high voltage power lines running just a house away or it could be from an appliance in the house - more investigation is required.

Thanks William for the hospitality and I look forward to our first on air contact.

3 comments: said...

Good work!

William R. Bullock said...

Hey Peter, I finally got here. What can I say but thanks for all your support, help and encouragement. Since your visit I have managed to get the dipole up even a little higher and am still exploring the possibility of stretching it further somehow. I have also discovered that one of my Belkin AV power boards was a major contributor to my noise problem but one of the power supplies for an HDD also causes problems. I have managed to minimise this by only using the power board when absolutely necessary and am looking at an alternate power supply for the HDD.
Thanks so much Peter for helping me gain yet another hobby.... I haven't quite caught up with you yet though.

Peter Marks said...

William, I'm looking forward to our first QSO!