Monday, September 19, 2016

Ham Radio at the Beeton Fall Fair

Some members of the club set up a ham radio display at the Beeton Fall Fair for two days on September 17 and 18. Above is Jack VE3RDQ and Brant VE3UME. Also there were Al VE3RRD (taking the picture), and Jay VE3JXT.

Above, I have my KX3 set up on a small table with paddles and straight key. To the right is my home made 15m through 40m magnetic loop antenna which I didn't try transmitting on, but also seemed to pick up quite a few signals. In front of the magloop is my 80 AHr battery with TGE N8XJK 25A boost-regulator to provide 13.8 VDC to the radios (see for more on this product).

The silver pole on the left is a 16 foot painter pole with an Arrow 2m/70cm J-pole antenna on top. The black one is a 33 foot MFJ-1910 telescoping fiberglass mast which I used to support a 31 foot end-fed antenna with 9:1 unun (Balun Designs 9130sw). This antenna performed very well even though I was using the van as the counterpoise.

In the foreground is the painter pole inserted into a surplus tripod staked to the ground. Behind it you can see the "foot" made from a 2 foot long piece of 2x6 with a pipe flange bolted to it and a 6 inch piece of threaded 1-1/4 inch pipe. I have one of the fiberglass 4 foot military tent poles (available from Mapleleaf Communications or from Princess Auto) slipped over the pipe (I had to add a piece of rubber hose over the iron pipe to tighten it up inside the tent pole). The 33 foot mast is fastened to the tent pole with duct tape, and with the van wheel sitting on the "foot", the whole vertical antenna was very stable. The 9:1 unun ended up being about 2 feet off the ground. Since I couldn't have counterpoise wires because of the people walking around, I used my booster cables to fasten the ground lug to the body of the van.
This antenna worked better than I expected, with strong signals being heard through the day on 15, 17, 20, 30 and 40m. Although we only worked a few stations, we did have a good time at the Beeton Fair, and I had a chance to try out my 31 foot endfed configuration. I also have a 52 foot wire that can be used when tall trees are available as the support; this longer wire also works on 80m.

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