Friday, May 3, 2013

A nice way to rest a sore back.

Relaxing on the deck.
Last evening myself and a bathroom mat had a little hip hop time.....translation.....I was standing on a bathroom mat lost my balance causing me to "hop" and out went the hip!!! Today it was no work, off to the Chiropractor and physio. The good news is no disk problems just muscle but I still have to be very careful as I do have lower back disk issues. So what does this have to do with ham radio....nothing....BUT this does...It was a very nice sunny day out and I wanted to relax on the deck and not become board, so I gathered up (very gently) the KX3, Alexloop, Sony MDR-V150 head phones and a pad of paper.

Some things I tried with the Alexloop
1. I emailed Alex regarding his opinion about adding some extra coax so I did not have to be that close to the loop. He (as always) emailed me back within 10 minutes explaining there should be no problem doing this. At first I did try 12 ft of RG 213 and found I could not get a decent SWR. I then tried a 6ft piece 
and all was well. This would allow me to sit at the patio table and not have the loop under the patio umbrella.

2. When tuning the loop if I was in front of the loop while adjusting it's capacitor I found I could get a 1.2.1 match on 20m..but..as soon as I moved my hand away from the loop the SWR rose to 2.1.1. I found by adjusting the loop from the back of the antenna the SWR was not affected. 
New loop to tripod adapter

3. In the past I was using plastic zip wraps to attach the antenna to the tripod. I made and wanted to try a new antenna to tripod holder made of plastic pipe and heat shrink. It turned out to work just fine and will allow me to set the antenna up much faster in the field. 
 
I called CQ on 14.060 for about a 1/2 hour and was not spotted on the Reverse beacon network. This does not concern me as conditions were not that great. It was not my plan to really make any contacts but the see how the loop fit on the deck. Also how the new adapter I made fit both tripod and Alexloop.  Regarding the Reverse beacon network not sure if it is up and running properly today. I tried to refresh the spots and it seem to get stuck trying to refresh.

6 comments:

  1. Hi Mike,

    You better throw away that bathroom mat before you or your spouse make another hop to the hip ;-)
    That deck looks like a nice relaxing place to enjoy some outdoor radio.
    Good luck with the AlexLoop, hope you can make some nice contacts with it.

    Enjoy the weekend and be careful !

    73, Patrick ON4CDJ

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    1. Good afternoon Patrick, the mat is gone!! The deck is very nice and we have some bird feeders setup as well. I did not make any contacts as the bands were not in great shape but I was spotted on RBN in the States.
      Mike

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  2. Hello Mike,

    I'm glad to hear that your back should heal quickly and I can't think of better therapy than to enjoy your favorite hobby in such a nice setting. Anything on the SWL bands?

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    1. Good afternoon John, I have not check out the SWL bands as of yet but that too would give a good indication of how the bands were doing. The back feels much better today after giving it a good rest on Saturday.
      Mike

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  3. Hi Mike, I hope you soon recover from your back problems. Yeas, condx were awful. 20m was almost dead. Your outside set up looks great. Summer has arrived here too. Sunny weather and good temperatures. Have a nice Sunday. 73 Paul

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    1. Hello Paul and great to hear from you, the back is getting back to"normal" I was very fortunate to catch it soon and see the Physio and Chiro. Today I am feeling a lot better.
      Mike

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