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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Success on Seventeen Sideband!

Wow, sometimes scratch-built homebrewing can be a frustrating masochistic activity. Who among us at one point or another hasn't sat back from the bench and wondered why he didn't take up stamp collecting? But then sometimes the radio gods are smiling on you, the smoke stays inside the components, the antenna rope doesn't break, oscillators osc and amplifiers amp and all is right with the universe. I had one of those days yesterday.

The RF feedback measures I described earlier took care of that problem very nicely. Conditions on 17 were not that good yesterday, but as soon as the sun was up I started hearing stations. I called Phil, K5ACR, in Oklahoma and he came right back to me. He said the signal sounded OK, but he thought I might have been driving it a bit too hard. I backed off a bit and he said it sounded very nice.

Our weather was really disturbingly pleasant yesterday (we're not supposed to be out in T-shirts on January 31). I took advantage of it and went out with my fishing pole and sling shot (the neighbors love it) and got a line over just the right branch. This allowed me to turn my low-to-the ground 17 meter inverted Vee into a proper dipole, up about 15 meters or so.

Back to the shack and K5USI said I was booming into Mississippi's Gulf Coast. I turned off my 20 watt linear and he could hear me just fine barefoot. Then I worked K2BQ in Florida. All stations report that the signal sounds very nice.

I remembered that I did a QST article about this transmitter a few years back. I can't find it on the web, but here is an old page that describes it as it was in the last solar cycle:

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  1. Congratulations Bill!

    I too am having adventures on 17m, but at the other end of the band. I put together a RockMite for 18.086MHz last week. I'm having some difficulties getting the RX/TX shift amount correct, so I keep having the 'why don't I just use the FT817?' moments. I did try the rig into an antenna at the weekend and got picked up on the Reverse Beacon Network in Finland, some 1000 miles away! Not bad for 100mW into an inverted vee on a 20ft fishing pole! Good luck with your 17m activities, 73, Colin M0CGH

  2. Bill,

    How did you manage to tame that Ramsey amplifier way back when? I ask because I ran across this from when you were experimenting with one of your Azorean rigs:


    73.......Steve Smith WB6TNL
    "Snort Rosin"


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