Receive antenna success

After going through the effort to install a new NA Beverage (see previous posts), I was nervous the first time I listened with it. Turns out, I needed not to worry. The first station I listened to was VE1ZZ – the most difficult area in NA to hear on 160 except for VO1. He was peaking 559. Better yet, I had no copy on him at all on the old NA Beverage, the one I have used for the last 18 months.

I can tell that there is some feed line loss – this antenna seems to have less gain – but there is no hint of line noise, which is constantly present on the old antenna, sometimes S2. The noise floor is significantly lower – by 12-18dB – but signals are about the same strength.

Today I disconnected the old NA Beverage and reconnected the SA wire. I will probably take down the old NA Beverage and use it for a new receive antenna toward New Zealand – a direction which can be somewhat difficult for me to copy currently. A 160 degree heading should cover ZL, east VK, and EU long path quite nicely.

Before then I need to build a new remote coax switch capable of switching more than two antennas. I’m working on a schematic now built around a LM3914 chip and a bunch of 78XX DC regulators. I should be able to design something that can switch 5 antennas remotely with only the feed line – no control wires.

The station is set up now for CQWW DX RTTY this weekend.

I have RTTY working on both radios so I should be SO2R ready (two CPUs, stations interlocked via PTT lines and W6NL designed lockout box using NTE2357 devices). If you’re wondering what the two feed lines are that run under the amps; these have BNC quick-disconnects so I can manually insert bandpass filters. Not much of my station is automated.