May 27, 2009

Es III; Building antenna's just for the fun of it

Seasonal holidays on Thursday and Friday.
Two days free from office stress.
Dry sunny weather.
Fresh Diemme coffee beans, grinder and Gaggia Espresso machine.
YL on a 5-day trip.
These are the perfect conditions for a few days out in the wild. Errr... the antenna backyard that is.

Step 1: collect aluminium

Collected all aluminum of the 7el 50Mhz long yagi which we succesfully used in HB0_2008. Taped it to my bicycle and of I go. What a nice way to start the day :-)

However, it turned out I missed the long middle boom-section. So after a nice espresso & cappuccino we collected the other antenna parts, including another 5el version, also home made. Us have plenty of (home made) antennas by now. It has paid off well. Both in the fun of building them, as well as using them.

My hybrid sports-bicycle has a pretty short wheelbase. And that is VERY scary with this pile of alu tied to it. As soon as you make a turn the alu is trying to keep going straight ahead and starts shaking its head and tail. The whole bike starts oscillating and that makes each road turn a struggle.
The second standard dutch city-bicycle (ages old model) did not suffer from this effect.

Step 2: build antenna

Empty transport boxes from last summers HB0 dx-pedition. Find baseplate, connection box, coax transformer and several brackets. Locate that carton of very special screws. Drink some more espresso & cappuccino.
Start building the element brackets again.

TiP: through the process we learn that it (would have been) is very important to proper indicate all parts involved, for future reference (yes, please?).

That ends day one. Time for some espresso & cappuccino.

Step 3: mount mast construction
Local rules and neighbourhood control prevent us from building a giant mast. But an antenna is an antenna and certainly beats no antenna. Next, Rens' garden has an almost free view to the west with very low noise. Opposite to my home situation, which makes this a valid remote rx site. Now let's start with some fresh espresso & cappuccino.

Stones are 10cm thick. A special mounting screw for professional use in machinery is being used.
Top bearing and G-1000 Yaesu rotor are added. Time for some lunch and more espresso & cappuccino. Not that you think we started already at "ooh-eight-hundrud". No way, it's holiday time ;)

Step 4: hoist up the antenna

At this relatively low height the antenna is easy hoisted up and mounted to the mast.
Both seriously sweating here under the direct sunlight. Now the 20m Ecoflex-15 (15mm dia) coaxial cable is attached and connected to an Elecraft K3 +pre-amp.
Let's catch some multi-hop-Es dx.
Fire up all equipment...... and .....
Band closed.
Time for some more espresso & cappuccino.

The 50MHz 7element, PA3FGA design @10mtr AGL, QTF caribic.

Step 5: fresh pork
Earlier this day we visited an 'old fashioned' butcher. One which cuts the meat in their back shop. Not any vague import meat from far-far away. No supermarket pre-sugared-thin-slices-crap.

Make fire.
Start with some lovely marinated spare ribs.
Next the real stuff.
Only meat today.
Certainly NO vegetables or salad-trash to upset your stomach.

Now, there's always room for a finishing espresso & cappuccino.

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