New Receive Antenna and Headset/Microphone Work Great in Sweepstakes SSB

After long being tired of the poor performance of my HF9v with 18 radials, I finally sold it off to a fellow ARROW club member for what I had invested (not a lot) and was left with the radial field in the woods (now mostly buried after 3 years). I let it sit for a while, wandering out there every few weeks to prune a few branches and stare at the mast and wires sticking out of the berm between my yard and the freeway. I went by it when I was re-working the big horizontal loop, which broke around Labor Day, and kept thinking of what to do … pull up the radials? That seemed like a shame. Or put them to use them somehow else?

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Eleven newly minted hams

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Congratulations to all the new hams from the Hands on Museum class of 7 November 2009

KD8MJU    Adam R. Carpus
KD8MJV    Ari D. Morris
KD8MJW    Brian M. Retzlaff
KD8MJX    Steve R. Peterman
KD8MJY    Elizabeth C. Gilday
KD8MJZ    Dawn Chambers
KD8MKA    Nandan Sawkar
KD8MKB    Karin K. Riske, no email address
KD8MKC    Daniela Gomez, no email address
KD8MKD    Sally A. Carpinella
KD8MKE    John I. Hritz, Jr.

Hope to see you all at the next Arrow club meeting on Dec 9th at the Red Cross chapter 4624 Packard Rd.

The Big Horizontal Loop Goes UP! And down! And up again!

Spring contest season demanded a new antenna that would handle 160m with some efficiency and compliment my other antennas.  I settled on the >1 wavelength horizontal loop for its multi-band potential, relative invisibility, and ease of matching.  Anything over a wavelength on 160m (540′ length) would be sufficient, but longer is better, as it lowers radiation angles and improves performance.

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Radiation Angle Counts for a Lot – an Argument for Having Both Vertical and Horizontal Antennas on HF

Since I reconnected the coax to it, my vertical dipole – a tribander driven element hung from a high tree branch – has still not seemed to work well. I would switch back and forth between it and my 20/40/80 horizontal fan dipole, and the horizontal was always at least an S-unit better. In the WPX SSB contest the vertical dipole was only better when the signal came from directly off the end of the horizontal dipole, and I began to think I had water in the coax.

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