Monday, February 22, 2010

News from Amateur Radio Station KD8JHJ

Lots of activity to report from KD8JHJ.  Saturday my ground man (my son Wyatt) and I hoisted up a 30 meter End Fed Half Wave wire antenna up 30 feet.  This antenna is resonant at 10.125MHz and allows me full band operation between 10.100MHz  to 10.150MHz with less than 2.0 SWR.  30 meters is one of my favorite ham bands.  30 meters is a digital data/CW only band with a 200 watt maximum power restriction.  30 Meters is one of three WARC bands open to ham radio use in the high frequency spectrum.  WARC stands for World Administrative Radio Conference.  In 1979 this group set up these bands for world wide amateur use.  Because the WARC bands are relatively narrow about 100 kHz or less there is a gentleman's agreement that the WARC bands not be used for contesting.  This is ideal when the big contests take over the other traditional bands leaving the WARC allocations as a haven for casual contacts and experimentation.
The Weather has been a bit warmer and calm compared to the recent blizzard conditions so I jumped at the chance to put up a new antenna.  We have a foot of snow on the ground and more to come in the forecast.  The EFHW antenna's feed point is up my TV tower about 28 feet just below the EFHW 40 meter antenna at 30 feet.  Both antennae are supported by the same tree branch about 70 feet from the tower.  The length of the 30 meter wire is 46 feet.   The spacing between the two antennas is about 3 1/2 feet.
Once back on terra firma I confirmed a low SWR on the feed line coax and antenna wire system using my MFJ 259B Antenna analyzer. I sealed up the ingress point of the feedline and connected up the cable to the alpha delta coax switch #3 position.  My first contact on 30 meters was W2JLB Joe in New York about 471 miles.  The mode was PSK-31.  First contacts on a new antenna, radio or telegraph key are always neat.  My second contact later that afternoon was a nice surprise.  While scanning slowly around the band I noticed the sound of an Olivia mode transmission barely above the noise.  The signal was not visible on the spectrum display of my software.  That is the cool part with some of the digital modes.  They will still provide solid transmission of data when you can't even see or hear the signal.  Once I got tuned in I caught the CQ call (CQ - "calling any station") and a call sign.  I answered the call and established contact with VE7NBQ  Peter in Vancouver B.C.  We had a nice chat for about 45 minutes. The distance between us was just over 2000 miles and  power out at my transmitter was about 15 watts.  This was the second contact between Peter and I.  We first worked back in October 2009.  Amateur Radio is the original "Facebook" and it is always nice to check in and catch up with hams already in the logbook "friend list".

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post on your new antenna. I hope you will report more on how these end fed antennas perform.