Sunday, June 16, 2013

A trip into the attic.

Alpha Delta DX-EE with balun.
Hy-gain noise antenna
Being in an antenna restricted community.....now when I say restricted it is in the most extreme way. We have what I call the "condo cops" they do a walk around at least once a month to make sure all is well. If I ever even had a temporary antenna up I would be under their watchful eye!! In a way it's kinda comical it's like these folks on the board have nothing else better to do with their time.....maybe they should get a hobby. Anyway it was time for me to head up to the attic to check on the antenna farm. It has been cool these last few days which makes the attic a bit more bare-able. I have done some reading and it seems the attics in the States have A.C. units, furnaces and even plumbing. Up this way it's great for antennas as there is nothing other than electrical wiring (which can have it's own challenges). I always like to see how the Alpha Delta DX-EE is looking making sure the supports are secure and in good shape. I was good to see the center support rope is in good shape along with the support ropes at each end of the dipole as well.  I did notice one of the 40m traps was sagging a bit......BUT......as they say "if it's not broke don't fix it" Goodness knows if I tightened up that leg (just for my piece of mind only) Murphy could have a hay day with me!!
H-900 active antenna
The antenna looked fantastic other than the sagging I mentioned.....but they say that comes with age!! Anyway I did want to make a minor change for the antenna. I wanted to add a 1:1 balun at the antenna to improve the coax isolation. I have used Balun Designs baluns for all my attic antennas and they are very good quality and super support. Before making any changes I used my trusty MFJ-259B antenna analyzer to check all the bands SWR. I wanted to see if adding the balun changed the SWR at all. I did find that the SWR did go up on some bands and down on other after the balun was in place. It was a very insignificant change in either direction. The other antennas that I have in the attic is an old Hy-gain 18TD portable dipole  that winds in and out like a fishing line and can be set to individual bands. It's similar to  a measuring tape so you can set it for the wave length of the band you want to use. I use this antenna as a "noise" antenna, the MFJ-1026 needs to have a separate noise antenna for the unit to work. The unit does come with it's own telescoping antenna but I did not want to have that antenna extending in my shack. I also have another antenna with is the LF engineering H-900 active antenna. I use this in conjunction with my Elecraft K3, it is the antenna for the sub-receiver. As a side note I just was looking up the Hy-gain 18TD antenna to provide a link......came across someone who sold this antenna on Ebay for almost 500.00!!! Are they going for this much???? If so I can part with it and raise a another noise antenna!
Sagging 40m trap

6 comments:

  1. Hello Mike,

    I'm glad to hear the antenna's are in good shape. Your Alpha Delta DX-EE does a great job on those QRPp contacts!

    When I was doing mechanic work, there was an old saying about "if it's running, don't touch it". I'd leave the 40 meter antenna as such too.

    We have "preservation police" in our "Historic District" where I live. They must read the same books. Yes...they need to get a good hobby. hihi

    I think you're right about the $500 antenna. You can buy new toys with that much extra cash.

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    1. Good morning John, good to know I'm not alone when it comes to condo snoops.
      Mike

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  2. Hi Mike, nice to see your attic antenna farm is doing well and its well hidden from the cops ;) ...why not suggesting those condo cops to enter ham radio? LOL

    Have you ever seen AC0C sthealt antenna farm? Maybe you could implement some of his ideas. Seems like a well done job and much cheaper than that 500 bucks ant.

    Cheers
    Stefano

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    1. Good evening Stefano, I have been to AC0C's website and seen his work. He sure does use up all attic space. I am not really all that dedicated to running around in the attic with antennas. I would rather put up the trap fan dipole tune it and that's it.
      Mike

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  3. I wanted to drop you a quick note and say 'hi', as there are a few parallels between us. I live in an antenna-restricted neighborhood and also operate with a DX-EE in the attic. (Also my rain gutter works super as an antenna). My rig is a TS-590 and an planning on building a KX1 very soon.

    73
    Dave WB7OBG
    Phoenix, AZ

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    1. Good evening Dave, the 590 is a great rig and has had many super reviews as well. My DX-EE had to be put it in a "Z" configuration in the attic. I have never tried to load any rain gutters but I have read they can work very well. The KX1 is a great little radio for portable op's. I have used mine (before it was sold) on many outings. It's very nice to meet someone who has the same restrictions and setup as I do.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment and read the blog.
      Have a great weekend
      Mike

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