Enjoying 80 meters

With a busy work and study schedule as well as being slightly under the weather due to a rather nasty cold, which thankfully seems to be in remission, I’ve not had a whole lot of time for doing anything external to the shack.

In the shack I’ve been working on improving the antenna switching and coax routing. I’ve come up with this novel switching mechanism to go between the 6btv and UK Antenna 80M multiband end fed.

early days – but this will switch between 6btv / end fed and the TS690S and IC-7300

The IC7300 has a pretty decent internal ATU and the TS690 will be routed via the MFJ-993B intellituner. This will allow me to switch easily between antennas and see the difference in operation between them. I’ve not been able to resume my work on the 6BTV lately due to other commitments, but I am aiming to resume my work on increasing the performance of it. It will be good to do direct comparisons between the end-fed and 6btv on two very interesting radios (Superhet Vs SDR).

Operation on 80m has been fantastic lately. I do admit to enjoying listening to the QSOs on 80m as they tend to be very good length exchanges, sometimes comical, but mostly interesting and relevant to the hobby. With 80m being quite ‘local’ I can clearly hear both ends of the QSO across operators in the UK, Ireland, Netherlands and Germany (but my Dutch and German fails me in being able to listen for any more than 5 minutes !)

80m is proving to be an excellent listed and operation in the evening

I will continue to tidy the shack and hoping to stay in good health for more external work over the weekend. I am looking forward to contrasting the 6btv with the Endfed.

Hope you are all keeping well – take care and stay safe !

Alan / 2E0FWE

Getting back on 80m !

Having got some much needed help in the evening after work, my friend and I erected the 40ft mast. This went pretty well between the two of us, and resulted in a nice vertical mast.

A nice vertical mast

As this was done after work on a Friday evening, we headed in for a lovely meal prepared by XYL Monica.

The next day the weather was unusually good and a day of productive antenna erection could commence ! Having guyed the mast the previous evening, my intention was to get the 80/40m dipole attached to the top with the feedline going up the mast. However, after several attempts I was getting this result.

more like a catapult than a mast !

The tilt base from Barenco really came into its own, doing this any other way would of been difficult, not to say incredibly frustrating boarding on insanity.

After several breaks to contemplate a solution I figured on using the hardware I had but changing the antenna. Thankfully I have a UK Antenna 80m end fed in storage, so I lowered the bent mast to a more sturdy but decent height and used another of the fibreglass poles I had. Feeding the end fed thru this I was able to get it a good height and not as intrusive as when i had two fibre glass poles going into the front garden. I ended up with a ‘sloping L’ configuration rotated 90 degrees from the feed point.

back on 80m

The above video makes this much clearer and you can see the height of the initial mast and fibreglass pole which support the 80m wire.

The SWR results across 80m are impressive and I attached to my IC-705 to test, the reception was fantastic.

The multi band was resonant on every frequency stated, so I will be really looking forward to trying this antenna out on a more frequent basis

40m gave impressive S.W.R. readings as well, I am only planning to use QRP levels, with the occasionally 50W from the TS620S. I am very excited to get this antenna into the Kenwood Ts690S as its a super-het receiver with many filters in it. Thats not to say the IC-7300 wont be the main transceiver any more, but will be fun to see the difference between the two.

Until next time.


Alan / 2E0FWE