Had a great start to the day by having an FT8 QSO with ZL3IO – amazed that even without all the radials down on the Hustler, I’ve managed to reach New Zeeland.
I checked to see if the QSO had been logged on QRZ, where I could see that I’m now able to use the QSO’s from my other callsign (M7ALU) which already had Australia in it ! A quick application and sure enough I have received the Contienants of World award !
Fantastic start to the day and looking forward to increasing the Hustlers performance – have to say with only 3 days of activity, I’m really impressed with it.
Its been a busy weekend at the QTH, but all good !
In hope of good weather over Easter and the lifting of groups mixing, i’ve got some comfy garden furniture. It took the best part of 6 hours to build, but am looking forward to trying it out. I might even try my IC-705 outside before heading out with it, as its not had alot of use outside the shack !
Having completed the furniture, the next day I continued my work with the Hustler 6BTV.
I used the DX Engineering documentation on how to build the hustler. It was really clear and easy to follow, with practical tips on construction methods. The detail and clarity on each step was really good. I got all the sections first connected together then looked at how to attach the SO-239. Whilst fiddly due to the small parts, it was easy enough to get it put on.
The forums (eham) strongly recommended usign plenty of copper grease for making good connnections and when the antenna has to be moved. As the pictures show, i wasnt shy about how much to use and it did make moving the linear loaders and posts easier.
I followed the guide and put the distances accordingly, it was all really straightforward.
Having done alot of the work for the radial plate before hand, i set about reusing the radials I had from my previous antennas, just to get me started. I was not to be disapointed with the results !
Having only put down roughly 20 radials to start with I was happy with the SWR Results. I’ve not got 80 tuned yet, but will spend some time for that when time allows. My first job is to get as many radials down as space/connectivity will alllow me, i can then tune the bands to the resonant frequencys I want
I’ve already made contacts on 40 and 20 meters, reaching the US and all across Europe on FT8, reception on ‘Phone’ end of the bands is equally good.
Overall this is becoming an excellent antenna, and hindsight is 20/20 vision, probably be one I would choose to start with, its construction and build quality is excellent and has the ability to tilt over in bad weather. There is still plenty of work to go, but for such few hours, it really has stood out as an excellent antenna. I’m sure as I add more radials and complete the coax installation/fine tuning will only go on to be an antenna i use for a very long time.
So having looked at reviews for a multi band vertical, the Hustler 6BTV looked the right model for me. The hustler came from Radio World, and the accessories from ML&S, as they didn’t stock the 6BTV at this time. Needless to say both arrived very promptly.
I dug a hole to recommended depths and sunk a decent bit of scaffold pole I had into it. Having never done anything like this before, i was happy with the outcome in that the pipe came out level and the concrete set well. At the moment, it looks like what it is, a post in th eground, but it will look much nicer once the installation is complete.
It should be noted the reason to try out a new antenna is that the tilt-base on the Nebula had a defect and would require a new bolt and drilling the base again. I also wanted something that was easier to take up and down as even with the tilt base the Nebula is quite a weight, and the guy ropes tended to get tangled quite frequently.
It has set a very high standard in band coverage and reach, so it will be interesting to do a comparison on the same transceiver.
The post to attach the DX Engineering and Tilt base has gone in really well, and very level. I had one section of PVC piping already in the shed, and have ordered one more and some vent-like structures to feed the coax thru under the radials will obviously check the coax for connectivity before burying it !
I’m waiting on some more radial plate bolts, so far it has 20 on there, but i want the full 60, as I’m limited in space in some directions, I want to get as many as I can down in a very radial/spoke fashion as described in the documentation.
So far I’m really encouraged by how well the instal is going and the documentation supplied with the antenna and components is top notch, but the proof will be in the performance of the antenna, which I hope wont be too long in happening !
So with us coming out of winter into Spring (20/3) I really wanted to tidy up. And tidy up everything. My shack had become a really bad ‘mess’ and as an engineer/student/professional this is my ‘small home office’. I’ve had used these Keter Store-It Out Midi Outdoor Plastic Garden Storage Shed around my back garden for storing various things and they have proved really good, in capacity and being waterproof. With an electric screw driver i was able to put it up and thanks to a mild Friday evening, started filling it. Swiftly I had reclaimed my floor and alot of other space in the shack/office 🙂 I then turned my attention to outside the office !
With the bad weather forecast I had already lowered my Nebula, as it look pretty high wind forecasts. I’m pretty sure my mast would of been ok, but I don’t like to take a risk where its not necessary, so the best part of the week I was without HF on my main right (IC7300). The end fed antenna for receiving Weefax was still doing a grand job thou pulling in the images
I took the opportunity to inspect the Nebula and i noticed the main pivot bolt had got seriously bent out of shape, so I took the decision that i would have to rebuild the swivel base with a much larger bolt for the scaffold pole to go thru. I six hours then tidying down the Nebula and al its components. I think for now I wil keep my DX Commanders (I Now have 4) for when I can construct a full phased array with them. I know how good the Nebula is and the classic, so getting a phased array for amazing DX. What I do have now thou is a lovely clear garden, free from antennas apart from my 40m dipole for WSPR and my end fed an NVIS heights for RX.
I have a staggering amount of uni work going on as well as work-work, and I feel that i could get my shack and all my equipment really in tip-top order before mounting another antenna, be it HF, UHF or VHF. Hopefully the weather and longer evenings will mean that I’m not off the air for long (other than WSPR) and soon trying out a new and exciting antenna.
Not sure how many people read this on a regular basis, but needless to say apologies for the absence of updates in recent weeks. I’ve got loads of updates to do, with pictures and videos but my MSc has taken over my life at the moment (outside of work).
Good news one of my modules on Web Technologies i’ve embraced my course and my hobby and am using WSPR data, amongst others, as one of the components of a website I am building.