At our contest station ED1R we have no space for permanent Lowband Verticals. Each Contest, the verticals have to be installed temporarily in a field nearly. Especially the deployment and removal of the antenna radials is very time consuming. Over time we optimized our system which reduced the required time from 2 hours down to 30 minutes.
At our Contest Station ED1R we have on each highband 3 Yagis available. In 2012 I built 4 high power Stackmatches in order to switch and combine them properly. Since I never liked the way of WX0B’s stackmatch controllers with the rotative knob, a microcontroller and button based solution was the answer. After a few contests the solution has proven it’s reliability and comfort.
One of last years projects was the improvement of our Contest Station ED1R. For the various Yagis we needed smart ways to combine antennas. Instead of buying commercial stackmatches (antenna combiners) I decided to build them up buy myself and adjust them to our needs.
With his low cost, high precision Vector Network Analyzer, Tom (DG8SAQ) started a revolution in Ham Radio. Thanks to his efforts, amateur (and professional!) enthusiasts have now the possibility to perform measurements which were reserved to well funded HF laboratories before. In this video, Tom explains the evolution and capabilities of his VNWA and why even NASA relies on it now as well!
Over the last years I spent a lot of time simulating antennas. One annoyance I encountered over and over was the unavailablity of values for ground conductivity and the relative permittivity. Two figures which have quite an impact on the antenna performance, especially on vertical antennas. This finally led to the conclusion that both figures need to be measured. In early 2012 I built a measurement kit and finally determined ground conductivity and relative permittivity at our contest station.
It seems that the exchange of GU74b / 4CX800 tubes in Amplifiers like Alpha91b, Acom2000A and Acom1000 is of more interested than originally expected. In my post on how to replace the tubes of an Alpha91b I explained in depth why it is so important to recondition, to “getter”, the tubes at least 24 hours before any other voltage can be applied. Often amplifiers apply automatically HV and grid voltages which makes them unsuited for the gettering process. My Buddy Matthias, DK4YJ built…