Helicopters and more

Trailer Mods

We have acquired a trailer for the Club to put the Scam mast on from G1NGE up in Norfolk.

Other than needing a grease nipple for the wheel bearing it seems fine and it will be great to see it with the mast on.

I have knocked up some supports to carry the antenna bits out of some steel section I had around. The front one tilts to allow working on the mast with it in the down position.
I am bit worried that it might clash with the mast. If it does then we will need to move it forwards a bit. Difficult to tell without it on the trailer.

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trailer - 2

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The paint needs to dry overnight and then maybe tomorrow we will have the mast finished and on the trailer.


Rotator Base Takes Shape

Here is the rotator base for the bottom mounted rotator.

Why a “T” shape I hear you shout. Well if the hex beam ever gets here from its disastrous trip from Poland, which has now taken 2 months due to the driver having a hear attack in Belgium (good place to have one knowing their hospitals) it will need the base to tilt over for the beam to be put on. And seeing as this is only to keep the rotator from moving three pegs should be fine. I am not relying on it to hold the mast up it has lower guys for that.

Hopefully if Mr Nevada get the adapter here today (should have been yesterday) then we will have it tested this weekend

Well the Nevada adaptor was not the right size and I had forgotten I had some wood and a lathe.

mast - 3

This is the adapter for the mast to the rotator turned out of a bit of spare timber

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And the good news is that it works. I had the 2m beam up at 10M in bit if a wind and it turned it fine. It was a bit jerky in the stronger gusts as I expect the flexing of the mast against the guys give is a bit too much resistance.


Go Box 2

With the 991 in the car now the go-box can be finished off with the rotator cable that Charlie delivered from ML&S.

Box 2 comprises the 991 with a nice neat Alnico power supply.
The radio is connected vial a laptop to a Spid rotator controller and a signallink sound card for digital modes.
I have got rid of the noise cancelling speaker and put my old CB one in which is fine and most of the time it will be used with the headset in any case.

I have put a USB distribution block in to link the laptop to the radio, the rotator and the SignaLink so there is one cable out of the front and thats it.

I have removed the 240 power distribution as the problematic BHI speaker is no longer so that might make it a bit lighter.

The cooling fans are retained on the back
sotapole - 1 (2)

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sotapole - 5

sotapole - 3

I have tracked down a good location for a portable station so fingers crossed if I get permission we might get the show on the air for the next 144mhz contest


50mhz UKAC May

Yesterdays 6m comp was fun. Conditions not fantastic but i am still green enough to need to practice (a lot)

  • Contest :50MHz UKAC
  • Submitted :Wed May 27 12:27 2015
  • Deadline :Tue Jun 2 2015
  • Section :AR
  • Callsign :2E0LDZ
  • Group :Burnham Beeches RC
  • QSOs :63
  • DXCCs :2
  • WWLs :10
  • UK WWLs :9
  • Mults :19

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 12.27.45

Mast For VHF

Well whilst I am still waiting for the mast that is coming with the HexBeam from Poland I need to get something ready for the summer. I just can’t wait any longer.

So I have pushed the Moonraker 15M masts into operation.

You can get a guy kit from Nevada which, although designed for Spider poles works equally as well with the Moonraker one.

I tried it with two sets of guys and it was fine until it came to trying to lift the antenna on it. The problem is that the mast sections are 2.5m long so you have to be up a ladder, or on top of a car to push them up and you have to have something stabilising the bottom section.

I added a third aluminium guy section, without the bearing, on the bottom section and that solved the issue.

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I made up the guys with the same braid i used for the home mast and added the neat stainless steel connections to the ends.
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I tried lifting it with just the two guys but no go.

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So a third on the bottom section stabilised it all. Pity you have to have ladders to get to the top though.

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Here are some shots of it up at about 10M. It did oscillate a bit in the wind but I had a couple of QSO’s on 2W on the KX3 which proved that it works.

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Mobile Install

Now the 991 is here the ic7000 can be installed in the truck. Having spoken to a few people the key ingredients seem to be

1 Tarheel screwdriver antenna
2 MFJ Battery Booster
3 Target Tuner
4 good bonding

The mfj battery booster is a complicated bit of kit that ensures that you have 13.3v to the rig even when the battery power is down at 10v. This way everything stays stable and power is maintained. Be warned though it does drain the battery as you carry on for longer than you would have without it. I have a twin battery setup so hopefully I won’t get stranded.

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Here is the kit all mounted so it can get some air.

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and the business end of it

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The target runner from West Mountain Radio is an interesting bit of kit. It measures the swr and tunes the antenna to the best possible match. You need to key the radio to do this so on 10w am or fm does the trick.
Once you have a good match you can memorise it and with a CAT connection cable the antenna then follows the radio. So foe example if you switch bands the antenna goes to the nearest match on that band.

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It is built into the centre console
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I have put the BHI noise cancelling speaker in to the car as I could not get rid of the feedback in the go box. I have separated out the power to the speaker and so far it is not too bad, BUT there is an issue with these powered speakers and RF feedback through the common feed which spoils a rather good idea. Unless I just have a duff one.

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Tarheel for the HF and Martins magic wand for VHF

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Vantage Vue

I managed to pick up a bargain Vantage View weather station on the bay and have the ISS sensor station mounted on a pole on the house. That measures wind, rain, temp and humidity and sends the information the 40m wirelessly down to the shack.


There is no RF interference from either the HF or VHF signals and it just gives the confidence that siting inside on the radio that a gale has not suddenly blown up to whip the mast down.
Plus the forecasts are more accurate than the BBC so far.

What a waste of time


It was too windy to put the mast up but to compound that we had a station in Surrey bleeding over the whole band which knocked out an hour or so for me.

I am sure it was not intentional but good practice would tell you as soon as someone tells you that you are causing a problem to shut down and sort it out. Well done for doing that in the end and I am interested to hear what the cause was. Because as sure as eggs are eggs we are all likely to make similar mistakes in overdriving amplifiers or whatever.

All in all a very frustrating night.

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 09.17.17


Need a good app for the iPad that shows you all the terrain so you can find where you want to plonk your aerial.

Ukmaps seems to be the one.


BBRC Club Comp

Yes the day dawned bright. Lovely and sunny and yours truly trooped up a nearby hill with the KX3 and buddipole ready.
At 6.45pm, as I am told is tradition for this particular competition, it chucked it down.

So I had to say goodbye to the buttercups and cows and get into the car.

With the buddipole lashed to the back of the Landy I had a go but managed 6 poor QSO's. I had betted on some sort of propagation to give me a chance on 2M SSB but with flat conditions and only 2W from the KX3 I was not even in with a chance with the FM boys on their verticals.

So I need to get a rig installed in the Landy for these sorts of low power HF comps and luckily now the 991 has taken over from the 7000 in the GoBox it won't be long before we have that in and working.

Nevertheless is was great fun and just a pity more did not hide under and umbrella to give it a go. Mind you can you blame them with the weather!


2M Yagi for Portable Use

I was intending to use the 9 element for portable use but that is now stuck up on the mast so I decided to make another one.

This time a 7 element which is about 3m long so it can go on the roof rack in one piece with the elements folded in. No need for joiners.

It is to G0KSC’s plans again and comes out of the box at 1:1.3 on 144.300 at the shed testing level facility.




I am still waiting for the hex beam and mast to arrive. When it does this will go on top and we will pop over to wales with the go box for a test.
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