For those of you who have no interest in the ongoing issues to do with Radio Amateurs of Canada (see post below), here’s something on why you shouldn’t sit with smart guys.
It’s a breakfast meeting that often sees 10 to 15 participants and includes myself and Marion, VE3HEN.
Now Marion and I think we’re both fairly capable when it comes to smarts but we’re like a couple of the stupidest people at this table. We’ve got engineers and physicists even a lawyer or two. There are lots of retired guys and a few newbees but here’s where the smart guys come into the picture.
We talk about everything at breakfast with a predominance of the topics being about whatever is of interest in Ham Radio that day. Sometimes we talk about contesting and strategy or how to get into D-Star or station and antenna design.
It gets me thinking that my RigExpert AA-220 antenna anaylizer might not be telling me if my coax has degraded so I took my QRP wattmeter and dummy load out to the tower and put it on the remote antenna switch.
A test running five watts out showed under three watts at the tower. Yikes. This is not good. So I tried another 100-foot run and it showed almost five watts at the meter. Fearing a problem where either in the cable (which is buried and has been for 10 years and likely has soaked up moisture) was failing or the antenna switch was dirty, I took the switch out of the line.
But to be safe I left the old coax (LMR-400) connected to the five-position remote switch where the verticals and dipoles are connected and laid a new line of LMR-400 to the Explorer beam (40/20/15/10) which is my bread and butter antenna.
The new LMR-400 run is above ground and runs along the bottom of the fence coming up an eight-foot mast lashed to the fence at the back of the yard and then across a tramline to the tower.
Now when I run the wattmeter at the tower I see over four watts of startling power and signals seems stronger in the wonderful receiver in the FlexRadio 1500. (BTW heard a guy on 20 meters on the weekend complaining about the noisy audio on his new $8000 Kenwood 990s. Poor guy should have gone FlexRadio which was melodious easy-to-listen-to audio even on the $600 QRP Flex 1500.)
The big advantage to all this work (let alone expense) is now I’ve got an open connection on the remote switch just in time to add a Butternut HF-2 80/40 vertical at the back of yard before the fall contesting season gets underway.
QRP: When you care to send the very least 🙂