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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The only station on 80 in Rome at 0430 local: W1AW... then K1JJ

I was up earlier than usual this morning (my Italian ham friends think my schedule is totally nuts!). As usual, I tuned across 80 -- it seems 0430 is a bit too early even for the hardcore fanatics who can be heard starting at around 0530 local. But there was one CW signal distinctly audible: good old W1AW, pounding out code practice close to the color burst frequency.

A bit later I tuned up around 3.8 Mhz, where the DXers hang out. There I heard a familiar call (and voice!) from the homeland: K1JJ. I used to listen to OM JJ on 75 Meter AM. What a signal he has in Europe! The Italians were all saying "Mama mia!" And what an antenna! From JJ's web site (at QRZ.com) :

NE/Europe: Dual quads system. (4 elements total) A two-element quad on a 40' boom at 190' high (63 meters) phased to a second identical two-element quad at 190' high on a separate tower. These two-element quads are spaced 1.17 wavelengths apart from each other, (spaced 100 meters apart) beaming broadside to Europe. The horizontal pattern is narrow, only about 35 degrees wide because of the collinear gain...intended for central Europe. The two quads are fed with equal length coaxial hard-lines that are run into the shack, and connected in-phase. The take-off angle is about 28 degrees, much like a flat, horizontal Yagi at 135' high. The AVERAGE height of the quad loops dictates this take-off angle.

I went out for pizza last night with I0YR, IK0JNI, and IK0ZMH. We had a great time.

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