Monday, May 7, 2018

New Antenna for 6 meters

I designed this 6m Moxon antenna using EZNEC.  The SWR figures predicted are pretty much spot on, with a dip right around 51250.   It is pretty flat across the entire 6m band with 1.8 at 50.0 and 1.3 at 54.0 MHz, although model predicts higher at the upper end of the band.  See the SWR chart below:

The SWR only follows the model somewhat around 50500 and 51000 kC and then the model diverges and shows a monotonic increase in SWR up to 54000 kC.   Both measurements track as the SWR remains below as the frequency goes up.

The gain and F/B are pretty impressive and rivals 3 element beams on gain and very decent F/B of close to 14 dB at 3.5m AGL.  The reflector is isolated from the driven elements by a couple of plastic blocks.  Overall weight of the antenna is less than 3 lbs.   It uses no transformer but will have a more predictable pattern with a choke at the feedpoint.  The following plots are for 6m AGL

The front to back is decent and actually gets better at lower heights

The forward gain is best at the height of 6m and the max lobe is at a relatively low takeoff angle.

Tried hitting the RBN with 500W of RF but no luck on getting any hits beaming northeast.

And all of a sudden a pileup - without even hitting a beacon

K0ZK, K3ZA, K1RNO, K1SX, W2SM all in rapid succession.

To those that may be interested in building it - Elements 2, 5 and 6 form the driven element and Elements 1, 3 and 4 for the reflector

All dimensions are in inches:

Element 1 - 14 ga THHN insulated - 76 
Element 3 and 4 - 5/16 aluminum tubing - 17 and 3/16 long
Element 5 and 6 - 5/16 aluminum tubing - 12 long
Element 2 - 3/4 square aluminum tubing - 42 long per half driver

The 2 half drivers are separated by an insulation block which is bolted to an insulated angle which is also the mast holder.  If you are interested in having me build it for you - contact me at  The pattern is very sensitive to the length of element 1 and this length should not be compromised.  I almost forgot that the spacing between the driven element and parasitic element is 2 and 3/16 inches.  I used 2 blocks of UHMW plastic drilled with 5/16" holes at each end leaving 2 3/16" between the holes as solid plastic.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

New Milestone for QRP #180 Z66D

Z66D was pretty loud on 80m - giving me the hope that with reciprocal 2 way propagation, I can be heard with 5 Watts even with high QRN.  Well it worked, no pressure since I already had Z60A on 80m.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

3B7A Agalega and St. Brandon Island DXpedition

ATNO #310 and ATNO #300 CW 7023 2340 UTC 6APR
#164 on 80m from QSO on 09Apr2018 CW 3.523 0115 UTC
#183 on 40m from QSO on 06Apr2018 CW 23:41 UTC

Slightly northeast in Azimuth.  This will be #310 ATNO if I can get it.   Team arrived April 4 in Muritius and has taken the boat ride to St. Brandon Island.  Saint Brandon Island is indicated by the light blue pin.

ATNO Possibilities for 2018

I already realized an ATNO for 2018 with Z60A for #308

The following are the projected ATNO's if I can get them all:

#309 4B4B Revillagigedo March 1 to March 15 QSO made - confirmed Clublog
#310 3B7A Agalega and Saint Brandon Islands April 5 to April 17- QSO April 06 - confirmed
#311 VK9X/N1YC Christmas Island  April 14 to April 21 - QSO April 19 1156 40m CW  confirmed
#312 9N7WA Nepal April 20 to April 27
#313 KH1 Baker Island June 1 to June 30
#314 VP6D Ducie Island Oct 20 to Nov 3

Saturday, March 31, 2018

New Trans Continental Distance Personal Best (MILES PER WATT)

New Transcontinental Personal Best- 

I had to a call a second time to break my personal best with margin (previous best 9800 MPW from NY4G to CE2AWW)

First Call NY4G to HA3NU - Hungary 4982 miles with 1/2 watt or 9964 MPW 0131 UTC
Second Call signed as VY2AJ/W4 to HA3NU - same 4982 miles with 0.4 watt or 12455 MPW 0145 UTC  (VY2AJ is my Canadian Call Sign)

Third Call Signed as NY4G/QRPp to HA3NU - same 4982 miles with 250mW or 19928 miles per watt @ 0154 UTC

HA3NU asked me how much power I was running - I told him 250mW.  He asked me what kind of antenna - I told him dipole at 60 feet.  His comment was that my signal was super steady  - gave me a 559 report

Made it to US Virgin Islands with 1 Watt on 160m CW.   NY4G to NP2J 1621 miles per watt

The previous days resulted  in Intra-Continental Personal Best

NY4G to W2EG 684 miles with 100mW  6840 miles per watt (40m CW)

Tried hard to beat it - but all I got was the following (40m CW)

NY4G to EI5KF 3685 miles with 5W
NY4G to WB8WKQ 542 miles with 100mW 5420 miles per watt
NY4G to W2RR 567 miles 100mW - 5670 miles/watt
NY4G to HB9CVQ 4522 miles 5 Watts
NY4G to K9OM 434 miles 100mW 4340 miles per watt
NY4G to N6AR 456 miles 100mW 4560 miles per watt
NY4G to NA8V 552 miles 100mW 5520 miles per watt
NY4G to LZ1KPO 5354 miles 1 Watt 5354 miles/watt
NY4G to N8OO 636 miles 100mW 6360 miles/watt

Till K1RM came along
NY4G to K1RM 687 miles 100 mW 6870 miles per watt 40m CW

Made it to Ireland with 1 Watt on 80m CW.   NY4G to EI5KF 3685 miles (confirmed in LOTW)

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

New Ones on 80m and 160m

March 27 Update

QRN was high, then all of a sudden PJ5/SP2GCJ signals went up a tad and noise levels dropped.  I was able to make contact at 0122 UTC on 160m for #118 on 160m

Worked TJ2TT on 80m for #162

March 22 Update

Worked OZ5DX on 80m for #161

March 20th Update

3B8XF Mauritius - Nigel Cawthorne confirmed for #160 on 80m

Also worked 3C0W  and PJ5/SP2GCJ Saba and St Eustatius on 160m.  Without internet can't confirm whether the 3C0W is a good QSO

March 14th Update

80m continues to be a productive band.
#154 3C3W Equatorial Guinea on 03March
#155 Z2LA Zimbabwe on 05 March
#156 XR0YD Easter Island 05 March
#157 TY7C Benin on 09 March
#158 TN5R Republic of the Congo on 10 March
#159 3C0W Annobon 13Mar

On 160m - CU2DX Azores confirmed in LOTW for #115.

Got new ones on 160m
#116 XR0YD - Easter Island
#117 TN5R - Republic of the Congo.    Solar wind effects killed 160m propagation.  It took all kinds of tricks - diversity receive and audio peaking filter to dig the really weak signal out

March 3rd Update

Was able to get 3C3W on 80m CW on the evening of 03March for #154.

3D2EU Rotuma Island DXepedition  is underway - was able to get them on 80m and 160m on consecutive days on the early morning grey line #114 on 160m and #153 on 80m on 27Feb

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Receive Antennas at NY4G

Some really interesting references:

At NY4G's Station are two reversible beverages on ground (RBOGs).  Both a re 200 feet long. with RG6 feedlines.  These replace the K9AY that I used to have.  These use the KD9SV feedline and reflection transformers.    The antenna switch will be the receive antenna switches from HiZ and the pre-amp for 160m and 80m are from KD9SV

A short video showing the performance of the beverage against the transmit antenna - inverted L.  One can hear that with such a weak signal, on the inverted L, the signal is buried in the noise and indistinguishable.  It is a much better copy on the beverage.

The following video gives an idea of  the front to back ratios between the different directions.  The DX station is 3B8XF in Mauritius some 10000 miles away and the bearing is 75 degrees.  The DX Op is Nigel Cawthorne G3TXF and a very very good CW Op.  The northeast beverage should be the strongest and it is. The inverted L signal is very strong, although the noise is higher, the signal overwhelms the noise.  The F/B ratio is about 12 dB or perhaps a little bit better is my estimate.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

New ATNO #309 4B4B Revillagigedo, More New Ones on 80m and 160m

Interesting DXpedition - appears to be only SSB and only one Op.   I was able to make contact on 20m 14.225 on March 6 at 23:39.  This was one of those times where I had to dig for a microphone buried in my junk drawer.  I had to wipe the cobwebs off of it.

80m continues to be a productive band.
#154 3C3W Equatorial Guinea on 03March
#155 Z2LA Zimbabwe on 05 March
#156 XR0YD Easter Island 05 March
#157 TY7C Benin on 09 March
#158 TN5R Republic of the Congo on 10 March
#159 3C0W Annobon 13Mar

On 160m - CU2DX Azores confirmed in LOTW for #115.

Got new ones on 160m
#116 XR0YD - Easter Island
#117 TN5R - Republic of the Congo.    Solar wind effects killed 160m propagation.  It took all kinds of tricks - diversity receive and audio peaking filter to dig the really weak signal out

Friday, February 23, 2018

Back to Making QSO's While Mobile

One thing about CW is that it is a perishable skill.   If you don't use it enough, you get rusty in decoding code in your head.  So I put the TS480 back in the truck.  This morning I had a QSO with K1PUG - Hank from CT, N2KOF, also from CT and K4LNN in Florida.  I also listened to several ongoing QSO's.  It makes for a short ride to work when you are ragchewing at 15-20 words per minute.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

ATNO #308 Z60A

Z60A was booming in South Carolina this Valentines Day - connected at 22:35 on 14Feb2018 on 80m CW 0n 3527 kC.

CT8/RW7K Azores was a new one on 160m.  Made contact on 1828.5 Kc on 22:57

RA0FF Asiatic Russia - New One on 160m 1145 UTC 1823.5 on 15Feb2018

CN2DF Morocco at 00:02 15Feb2018 on 3504 kC.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

New Ones on 80m and 160m

Canary Islands EA8/RW4RW was calling CQ on 1819 kC with a lot of callers working it simplex.  Finally got throughat 2337 UTC.   ZC4A is on 1820 but too weak to copy

ZC4A was really strong on 80m though and I was able to get him at 0202 UTC 26Jan2018.  A couple of days later - finally got him on 160m.  I also connected on 40m and 17m.  All 4 QSOsare now confirmed in LOTW.

Monday, January 8, 2018

6O6O - Somalia - ATNO #307

Tried working on 7023 on 2124 UTC on 8Jan2018 - weak copy - no luck
Finally got him on 7023 on 0355 UTC on 09Jan2018 - workable - not to strong on my dipole.
The Log is updated almost real time and I was able to get instant confirmation in Clublog

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2018 DX Marathon - Operating Focus will be 6 Meters

I will use the 2018 DX marathon to keep me focused on 6m DXCC for 2018.  I expect this will be tougher than the 160m effort as the band openings are fewer and far between.  I plan to build a 4 element Moxon beam for the effort.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 DX Marathon - Summary

My entry has been turned in to the DX Marathon manager.  I will find out on January 18 what the high claimed scores are and whether I made top 5 in the claimed score (prior to adjustment by the DX Marathon checkers).

Current Countries 107
Current Zones 26
Current Score 133

Friday, December 29, 2017

New Milestone For 80m Band - Reaching 150

2017 has been a banner year for the low bands - with the emphasis on my operating having been exclusively 80m and 160m for the past year.    It has taken me 4 years to reach DXCC on 80m and another 3 years to get to 150 DXCC.  To be fair, however, much of that time was spent in other pursuits - which extended the elapsed time.  For example - all of 2016 was focused on QRP DX Marathon.  In 2015, 1  took advantage of the sunspot cycle to go after DX in the high bands.   It would have taken much longer had I not been focused in the low bands in 2017.  The slope of the curves will certainly be shallower in 2018 - but it is nice to end the year with a couple of bangs -DXCC on 160m and 150 DXCC on 80m.