Podcasting since 2005! Listen to Latest SolderSmoke

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New antenna for the HW 8 station

Now that my HW 8 station has been moved indoors (good thing -- there was snow on the hilltops this week!) I had to put up a new antenna. I decided to go with the same design that I had earlier: a dipole fed with TV twin-lead. I knew I needed a bit more wire than I had used in the original -- I had trouble getting that antenna to tune up on 80. So I went to the local hardware store and asked for 20 meters of AC line cord. That cost me 8 Euros. Not bad.
We had a nice sunny afternoon on Sunday -- Billy and I took the line cord out into the olive grove and pulled apart the two wires. (Hint: Start from the center, and pull slowly, or else the cord will get all twisted and a two minute job will turn into a twenty minute exercise in untangling.) I got to use some of those Radio Shack "solder strips" -- I just wrapped a few around the connection points and applied heat from a cigarette lighter.
I put some parachute cord (550 cord) over a conveniently placed tree branch using the venerable rock and rope method. One throw was all that it took. The radio gods were smiling on this project.
Success! With the Trastevere flea market Pi network, the thing tunes up nicely on 80, 40, 20, and 15. I notice that the cheap CB SWR meter that also I picked up at the flea market doesn't seem to sample much RF at 80 meters. I'm guessing that the designers were very focused on 27 MHz.
I quickly worked stations all over Europe, and even worked one station in Israel. I worked G4OEC in Somerset -- I immediately thought of Tim Walford, and asked OM OEC if he knew the wizard of the Somerset farm. Mac said his village was far from Tim's QTH.
It is nice to once again get familiar with the daily routine of the bands. 80 is hopping when I turn the rig on at 6 am local time. 40 seems to be active too. 20 opens a bit later, and I can hear stateside stations starting around noon local time. I really like hearing KZ1H up there in the high end of the 20 meter band -- I can hear him almost every day.
Check out the ad for the HW 8 in a 1978 catalog. This must be a non-U.S. catalog because the ad brags of the HW-8's ability to "work the States."
Not much astronomy this weekend -- Sabina and most of the rest of Italy fell under clouds on Sunday night. But I did catch a glimpse of Capella and the Kids.


  1. Hi Bill,

    I say gut that CB SWR meter and convert it to a Stockton circuit. You'll be glad you did!

    73 from S.S.E. of Stockton :-)

    Steve Smith WB6TNL
    "Snort Rosin"

  2. К слову сказать, лучший способ обезопасить себя от слежки - приобрести Подавитель сотовых


Designer: Douglas Bowman | Dimodifikasi oleh Abdul Munir Original Posting Rounders 3 Column