Santa managed to include in his delivery some of the materials that I needed to build my 160 meter inverted L antenna. You see, Steve Silverman, Pete Juliano and I have collectively more than 150 years in ham radio, but none of us have ever operated on Top Band. The three of us have taken A SOLEMN OATH to correct this horrendous deficiency. I am in the vanguard, partly due to a weather pattern that is perfect for antenna building.
Armed with a new elastic band for my Wrist-Rocket sling shot and some perfectly shaped lead sinkers, yesterday -- with the obvious cooperation of The Radio Gods -- I managed to get two ropes over some 70 foot trees. Soon -- with minimal gnashing of teeth -- I had 185 feet of wire in the air.
This morning I was messing around with L networks at the base of the antenna. I took a coffee break, leaving the 185 foot wire and the ground system connected to the coax. I had the transmitter off, so I was surprised to see the SWR meter jumping around a bit, up significantly from zero. What could that be? It wasn't coming from my station, so it had to be coming from some other transmitter. And the slight bit of jumping that I saw on the SWR meter had the familiar pattern of the human voice. Some radio sleuthing ensued.
I flipped the station antenna switch to the "bench" position, and connected my scope to the coax. Wow! I immediately saw a big strong AM signal with modulation, at about 5 or 6 volts peak to peak. The Rigol 'scope gave the frequency: 1220 kHz.
I tuned the HQ-100 to that frequency. As I listened to Gospel broadcast, I could follow the voice peaks on the 'scope.
Some Googling ID's the station: WFAX 1220 AM. 5 kilowatts in the daytime. 1.5 miles from my house. The vertical portion of the inverted L is obviously picking up a LOT of energy from the WFAX tower. And the horizontal portion of my antenna is broadside to the WFAX tower.
Of course this all made me think about throwing together a crystal radio, but then I realized I'd already listened to WFAX with simple diode -- the one in my SWR meter. That little SWR meter was acting like a crystal radio with a visual output!
Re: Elecraft KPA1500 announced - Elecraft makes very good gear. Their stuff is a bit pricey, but well made and they have a very loyal following. Saying that, it seems to be in the same p...
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