Today i will have my introductory session with Dan Brock WB4RFQ of CWOps. This is going to be my third attempt to learn and use the Morse Code on the air.
My first attempt was self-study using the audio tapes from Chuck Adams K7QO. I learned the alphabet and the numbers, but i failed when the speed was picking up. I think Chuck starts too slow because i learned to count the dits and dahs.
My second attempt was with the Spanish CW group Los Tortugas. This were online live sessions where two teachers walked us through the 20wpm exercises on LCWO.net. After lesson 3 my head exploded and i was not able to get the practice sessions done.
This time it’s with CW Academy. They are using an online tool built by Stephen C Phillips. I will do my utmost best to get it done this time.
To be continued.
So, the reason why my previous setup broke was because we tend to have a lot of wind in the afternoon here. I live in a valley and many times the wind takes the valley as a tunnel through which it wants to multiply its wind force. So first the plexiglass supports broke and at the end the wires gave up as well. So i had to find something sturdier.
What i came up with is to make the supports from PVC pipe. This is what i did:
At the DIY store I bought 4m PVC pipe 20x2mm which I cut up in 25cm long pieces. These supports are 12-14cm wider than the ones i had before, just to avoid interaction between the wires. So the idea is to somehow mount these supports to the antenna and guide the extra wires for 10 and 20m through them. At the end of the spacer i drilled a hole to guide the wire through. But how am i going to mount the spacers to the antenna?
At the end of the spacer i cut out a “half moon” to prevent the spacer to turn and to make sure that the hole i drilled in the end is always aligned with the antenna, so the wires are guided properly.
To mount the spacers to the antenna i just drilled another hole, a bit bigger (5mm), i used a tie-wrap to fix the spacer to the antenna. I can assure you, this won’t move. Here’s another detail on how i did this. The tie-wraps on the wire is to prevent the wire from moving through the spacer and from the spacer to bend downwards and fold in case there is a lot of wind. Yes, it can be windy here.
The rest is history, just adjust SWR for the frequencies it needs to work on and lastly put it up in its final location.
This is what SWR looks like right now. Pretty cool, eh? 😉
Here’s the antenna in its final location. Let’s see how long this setup lasts this time.
Ok, so apologies for not having posted anything for a long time. Lots has happened, mostly work-related, not enough radio focus so nothing to write about.
Until last month when i found out that the makers of WSJT-X had invented a new digital mode, FT8. Awesome! Fast (15 seconds per cycle, so around a minute for a full QSO), convenient (auto-sequence makes that you only have to click twice, once to select who you want to contact and once to confirm the QSO in the log) and you can do it without even being at the PC.
So a few hundred contacts later i got the radio virus again. Same time i receive that i am selected for this autumn’s CW Academy course, so i will pick CW learning up again (let’s see how far i get this time).
Today i noticed that my SWR of my antenna was going haywire. I already lost one radiator before, the 20m one, today i lost the 10m radiator as well. So time to find some new spreaders, new antenna wire and to take down the antenna and fix stuff. Probably with more than 2 extra radiators.