2018-09-06 Awabakal Nature Reserve

Headed out again to VKFF-1882 today to qualify this park, needing 20 contacts.

Set up slightly differently to ensure that there was always a bend with the wind in the pole (see the picture with the dipole layout. Wind was from the NE). As a result I had zero pole collapses today.

I thought that I had fixed all that I needed to on the antenna last night. When I went to put the antenna on the pole I noticed the the lug that I had soldered to the centre conductor of the SO239 had broken off. I had two options, try to fudge it, or go back to the car and pull out the end fed 22m antenna and L-match, which is really not as good an antenna as the linked dipole.

I elected to fudge it.

I pushed the slide hard on to the remainder of the lug (see picture) and given that I had no collapses of the pole today it managed to stay put.

The other thing that I discovered on turning on the rig was that it appears that I’ve got an intermittent in the PL259 that plugs in to the back of the rig. I could take the pole back down and replace with another run of coax, or I could do what I ended up doing, and sat my phone on top of the coax at the end of the plug and that seemed to hold it for the duration (well except for the time that I had a telemarketer call me and attempt to keep me on the phone and I didn’t put it down properly).

Propagation was not my friend today (again).

For the most part, I made contacts only in the first 15 minutes of the hour, which was weird.

Only made three contacts on 80m which were very marginal. The other 17 were on 40m. Propagation changed a lot on 40 during those three hours too.

I got to describe what I was doing today to an elder gent walking his dog (who was wondering if I was monitoring the birds) and to a council worker on a ride on mower.

I made the numbers for the park but it was a very slow day and no park to park calls.

 

Stats for the day

Modes
SSB: 20

Parks
0 park contacts - 0 unique

Bands
40M: 17
80M: 3

20 unique contacts (0 duplicates)

20 log entries
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This image shows how the dipole was run. Given that I don’t run straight through where the pole is, It will lean a little to the south west, making it less likely to collapse.
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A slightly higher view of my location
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An even higher view of my location.
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Getting started on 7.144MHz
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Wider view of my workspace today.
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Looking up the hill to the NW end of the dipole from where I was sat.
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Looking SE to that end of the dipole from where I was sat.
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Where I was set up. For the most part the weather was lovely.
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A nice bend in the pole meant for zero pole collapses.
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Phone sitting on the coax coming out of the PL259 to ensure a good connection (I’ll redo the plug tomorrow)
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Fudged fix on broken lug

The kludgy fix of the centre of the dipole with the slide pushed hard on to the broken lug.

This photo is also good to show how I attach the dipole to the squid pole.

There is a ring through opposing sides of the SO239 where I tie off each leg of the dipole so I don’t have tension on the slide connectors.

Another ring attached to a removable clip that I have through a plastic cable mount which is held closed with some gaffa tape. The cable mount is snug on the second top part of the squid pole. The top is too thin to take the weight.

There is a lug bolted to the remaining hole on the SO239 that takes one end of the dipole and there was another soldered to the centre conductor of the SO239 taking the other.

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You can see here how the lug broke

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