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Author Topic: Don't you hate it when.....  (Read 680 times)
AC0DV
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« on: September 25, 2006, 09:21:57 PM »

Don't you HATE it when:::

You do a bunch of detailed antenna work.......

And then the bands are ALL dead. (So far tonight anyway. <SCREAM>)

=============================

For my vertical I have a DX Engineering radial plate... with 80 ground radials made of 18# insulated tinned copper wire that I originally just stripped and wrapped around the bolts on the radial plate... with a little penetrox just to be sure.

Today I cleaned off the penetrox and added tinned "lugs" and soldered all of them to make sure of good radial connections.

I don't expect it to really be better... maybe a little... I was hoping... But then the bands tonight ALL DEAD!! (So far.)

Drats. Darn it. Poppycock. Durn. etc.

Of course tomorrow I might add a few more radials... and these new ones will be 70' long... that should make more change on 80M than just "correctly using soldered lugs. These new radials shouldn't hurt on 40M either. I might just keep going until I have 120 radials... just to be "safe"... this will mean about 4200' of wire in the yard...)

Oh well. Sorry... just had to complain somewhere. I hate doing a bunch of work... then not being able to see if it had any results.

----AC0DV
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KB2VXA
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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2006, 09:38:25 PM »

You've given so much attention to the radials that maybe you overlooked the radiator? Try connecting it and see what happens.
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AC0DV
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« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2006, 10:09:23 PM »

Hi hi. I wish it was that easy. (Although I have been know to do stupid things like that...)

The people I DID hear tonight were generally all saying: "Conditions are so bad tonight... I'm going to log off. Good night."

On the other hand... I CAN say that I heard them very distinctly on the vertical... and couldn't hear them at all through the noise on the horizontal.

Ah well... it must be my fault... so I'll just do more work on it tomorrow. <sigh>

--AC0DV
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2006, 07:52:08 AM »

"The bands" certainly weren't all dead last night.

It might depend on where you are and what bands you're trying.

I was on 20m SSB 0000-0130 UTC (5PM to 6:30PM my local time in CA) and having excellent rag chews with half the world.  The sun pulled the plug on the band around 0200 or so, although even then there was still some propagation to the Pacific and a YE0 station in Indonesia was still about S7.

After that, 40m was fine.  I went there and worked a few friends back on the east coast before dinner.

The "higher bands" 17m and up were probably dead.  I didn't listen there.

When are you listening, and what bands?

Usually when everything else dies 80m and 160m are still alive, very late.

WB2WIK/6
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AC0DV
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« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2006, 12:13:52 PM »

Dead here in Colorado.

20M and up was doing nothing... just some S-7 noise.

The late night 40M net... closed early because nobody could hear anybody else. (A few people talked for about 30 minutes... and some VK's checked in with the relay in Hawaii... but nobody else could hear them.)

I could hear some activity on 80M... but it was the ragchewers that generally run full power.

Other than that... it was a definately dead night.

(Oh... I have another antenna in addition to the antenna I worked on yesterday... so I know it's not the antenna.)

Oh well. Here's to hoping it gets better tonight. (It's been dead here the last 3 or so nights.... last night being the worst.)
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2006, 09:50:24 AM »

Dead in Colorado?

I was on 40m last night, 0130 -> 0230 UTC and the band was wide open.  I was rag chewing with the whole east coast, from Maine to Florida, from here in Los Angeles.

Seems impossible it would be dead in Colorado, unless you were on much earlier than this.

After dinner, I came back to the rig just to listen for a few minutes around 0300 UTC and the band was so "full" I couldn't find a clear frequency between the hams and the broadcast stations.  So, I watched TV with the XYL...

Something doesn't seem right, unless you're on at unusual hours.

WB2WIK/6
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AC0DV
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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2006, 10:15:14 AM »

Actually I'm on much later than that. Usually about 3:00 to 9:00 UTC.

On that night they were completely dead. 80M and 40M. NOTHING. It was just one of those weird nights when I posted that. You may have had signals out there... but it was just straight S-7 to S-9 noise on 80M and 40M. (SO I guess I shouldn't say "dead". I should say "totally not usuable".)

The next night (last night) they worked much better. (And they're open now... at 17:00 UTC. Although it's too early for me to be up.)
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KC8VWM
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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2006, 10:25:58 AM »

Did you overlook connecting the coax to the antenna?

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AC0DV
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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2006, 02:46:10 PM »

Hook up the coax? That's so 20th century!!!

My system works by the new 21st century "mutual inductance" theory. The coax is never hooked up. You just put it next to the antenna.

Using this unique approach you don't have to worry about things like:

1. Static.
2. Lightning.
3. TVI.
4. RFI.
5. Signals.

(That last one... pesky little bugger... those rogue signals can get into your wires and radio and seriously degrade the lifespan of the equipment.)

Oh.. and BTW... I also tested the system using the old 20th century type of "direct coax" hookup. Just for nostalgia.

SERIOUSLY THOUGH: the bands are all picking back up now. It was just a few days.. they all died out.

(Or as I said before... S-9 noise all night long... which is as good as "dead"... only really the opposite... but equal.)

Oh.. and as a sidenote: The soldering makes the tinned copper radials LOOK better at the radial plate. But... of course... didn't do anything for performance. But now it's a lot easier to add those last 40 radials to the system... and they might get me an extra dB or another degree or 2 of lower angled radiation. I want that extra degree... you never know with DX.

--AC0DV
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