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It's already February!, NAQP, House Hunting, and more...

 

Wow where does time go? We have been busy at work with some overtime, so I have lost some time at home to work on ham radio related stuff, but still have some time. I had some free time to work the North American QSO Party (NAQP) on January 18th. I didn't do too bad, about 170 contacts with 100W and an OCF dipole. It was fun, but by the last hour or so I worked all that I could. I have come to the realization that while the OCF dipole is 50' up and away from the buildings, it is a bit far away, and losses are a factor. The feed point is about 300' of RG6 and 50' of RG58 away from the radio. What it has done is lower the noise floor anywhere from 2 S units to as much as 7 or 8 S units on 80M and 160M. When running the SB-200, the extra +/- 7dB does help.

The Repeater. I have most of the repeater working 'ok' The TKR-820, mobile duplexer and controller are working well. The antenna? Not so much... I have only maybe a 3 mile range at best. Height is a big factor in this. It is only about 30' feet up, and there is terrain close to it that is as high or higher. It probably doesn't help that it is only a ground plane antenna. I have plans of changing both, I am gathering material for a vertical collinear dipole. This would be similar to a Station Master Antenna, however I am not going to place it in the fiberglass radome. I am going to shrink wrap it with heat shrink tubing, and hopefully try to be as well hidden as I can be, then try to put it up another 30'. It will still be an under-performer until I can get it up on a tower, tall building, or some other tall structure.

House hunting....  Well we are looking again. So this means a lot of ground work looking for a new QTH, instead of playing radio, BUT the result will be a place that is much more radio friendly. Looking for one or more acres with trees, and hopefully a place for a tower, or two :) And neighbors who are understanding, am I asking for too much?  And before I forget, NO HOAs, NO CCRs

The website... I have a bunch of pictures of all the stuff I am working on, and hopefully I will get some time to start putting them into some of the posts I have. Maybe even get some pictures of the shack up...

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