Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A mystery at the new QTH

Things are coming along
The boxes are slowly getting unpacked and things put away, the roll top ham radio shack is taking shape as well. I found I had a lot more gear than there was room for in the condo and may have to shed more gear! At this point there has been some bumps in the radio setup but all seems to be slowly coming together. I can't believe all the cables that are involved in having the radio talk to various hardware components. There has been one major mystery I am not as of yet to solve.....I have setup the Alexloop and added the K3 to the mix. I was able to get a great SWR and surprisingly a low to moderate noise level...BUT.....I was calling CQ on different bands with 5 watts but was not once spotted on the Reverse Beacon network. Hmmmm I then went "simple" I hooked up the KX3 to the Alexloop and again calling CQ at 5 watts was not spotted at all on the Reverse Beacon network????? I have tried to move the Alexloop closer to the window and the balcony door, the only thing that happened was the SWR was very hard to adjust on the Alexloop. I then move the loop about 4 feet from the balcony door and the SWR was great but no spots?
My setup is a stealth operation and really can't put the Alexloop on the balcony but I am 6 stories up and back in the townhouse I did have the Alexloop inside and it did very well so at this point I am stumped.

11 comments:

  1. Hello Mike, I can imagine the disappointment. Could it be the propagation? Which band were you calling? May be you should try WSPR. I can't imagine there is no one out there that doesn't hear you. Good luck, 73, Bas

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    1. Good evening Bas, not really disappointed but taking it as a challenge. I am also going to try the loop in the horizontal position and see how that does.
      Mike

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  2. Mike, there have been times when I have not been spotted on the RBN. Just for the heck of it, put your loop out on the balcony, at 1 AM at least once , and see what happens. The neighbors will probably be in bed.

    Perhaps the loop is interacting with building materials not present at your old QTH.

    You might contact the antenna manufacturer for advice.

    Good luck 73 Dick

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    1. Hello Dick, your thoughts are the same as mine as it gets dark early at this time I was going to get the loop outdoors on the weekend sometime and give it a go. Alex at Alexloop is very good with giving advice and info. I will keep the blog updated with info.
      Mike

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  3. Mike, beautiful desk you have in your new QTH! I'm thinking about building something similar for my shack so I can close it against dust and unauthorized fingers ;-)
    Any tips from a experienced user?

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    1. Well good evening Anonymous, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I will be posting very soon about the in's and out's of the desk. This is the first time I have used a roll top desk setup but I will be soon blogging my setup and how it's working and any tips that I have come up with .
      Mike

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  4. Looking good! Well organized. 73!

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    1. Thanks but there is more organizing that has to be done before the shack is all set and ready to go.
      Mike

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  5. Mike,

    I wonder if the Condo you've moved to is built with conctere and rebar?? If it is you may have a hard time getting a signal out with an indoor antenna.

    73
    Bill VE3CLQ

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    1. Good evening Bill, for sure this place is both of the above. At this point I am looking at some stealth balcony antennas. One is the MFJ fan box antenna not the greatest option but it will sure not raise any eyes when it's seen.
      Mike

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  6. I had the same problem inside my steel-reinforced condo. Could receive signals by putting loop right against window, mounted horizontally or vertically. Could never get usable SWR to transmit because of proximity of building's rebar. Might have done better had ceilings been higher. Depending on the building, the rebar in walls and ceilings can function as a Faraday cage. Creatively configured stealth wires or whips set up under cover of darkness on balcony may be your best bet.
    Ernie NH7L

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