There was a nice thunderstorm just to my northwest the other day. You can see the 80/160m antenna in the tree to the left. The large coconut tree in the middle of the photo is the end support for one side of the horizontal “TEE” top. My two low band receive Beverage antennas are located in the jungle on the other side of the fence.
I had a rare chance to get on 40m just after my Sunrise this morning and quickly had a small pileup of callers. For some reason, however, the behavior of some calling was very, very bad.
When I ask for an IZ2? I would like the JO3 to stop calling. In this case, the JO3 would not stop calling. I finally got the IZ2’s call because the JO3 paused for a moment. Even when I asked for EU only, the JO3 kept calling. I finally had to work him so he would shut up and go away. Very disappointing.
This behavior continued. It did not matter who I was trying to work, stations would continue to call. I lost my patience when trying to work a PY1 – EU callers would not let me work this PY calling on the long path, so I went QRT.
Very disappointing – if callers would listen, I would be able to put more stations in the log faster, including many of those who were only creating QRM.
After using pieces and parts of my old setup for switching relays and antennas, I decided to build one box designed specifically for my current configuration.
I am working toward a fully-capable SO2R (Single Operator, Two Radio) setup. To my right is an Elecraft K3 and Ameritron AL1200; on the left is a Yaesu FT1000MP, Heathkit SB1000 (Single 3-500) amplifier, and Heathkit SA2060 antenna tuner.
Both outputs are connected to a transfer relay, then onward to two feed lines leaving the shack. One feed line runs to the 160/80m vertical, the other to a remote coax switch feeding the Spiderbeam and 40/30m dipole. Additionally, there is a hairpin match at the vertical that needs to be switched in on 160 but taken out of the circuit on the other bands. That’s another relay that needs to be switched.
Parts are very limited here. There are no Radio Shacks on island, and an order from Mouser takes about a week to arrive. I decided to use what I had on-hand, even if it complicated some things. For example, I have a nice toggle switch, but it is only a SPST switch with two solder lugs. The remote relay it powers requires 24V, so how do I drive two indicator LEDs? I used a separate relay for that, but needed to stack two in series as they only have 12v coils. The completed project is kind of a Rube Goldberg device, and it’s not as sexy as SM2WMV’s OpenASC box, but it works!
My plan is to use the Spiderbeam/Dipole with one radio, and the 160/80m vertical with the other (via the tuner). The difference in polarization as well as 200ft separation should minimize interaction. The transfer relay allows me to switch either antenna to either radio. The other switches are for the hairpin, remote coax switch, and main power (for both 12 and 24v).
With a lot of antenna work planned for the weekend, I only intended on making a
couple hundred QSOs. I was hooked after making a couple hundred QSOs in the
So much JA activity! I was really surprised! There was also a lot of activity
out of China. On the other hand, there seemed to be very little Russian
activity from what I could tell. The Russian RTTY contest was probably the
It seemed that most JA’s gave ages in the 50’s and 60’s. On the other hand,
the Chinese were mostly in their 30’s. I worked two 9-year-old Japanese
stations, and the 9-year-old op at the AH0BT multi was doing a great job while
I was listening.
I only was able to operate about 9 hours in between other projects. My good
friend Al, WH2Z stopped by Sunday night (Sunday AM GMT). While his kids were
playing with mine, he hopped on the radio and added another 100 QSOs to the