Date   
The April 6th RaDAR Challenge is coming up soon.

Greg Lane
 


Welcome to all subscribers! 
 
See http://radarops.co.za/index.php/radar-rules/

Also, note there is a MeWe Group 


Let us know you RaDAR Challenge plans and results.

73

Greg N4KGL

Re: Introductions

Bruce Hymon
 

Bruce K8CJM
New to this group. Have not yet operated portable but I am considering a backpack station. I have watched some You Tube videos and have an idea on the equipment (plan FT981, Draws Workstation, LiFePo4 batteries) but I don’t know what will work for an antenna. Maybe we could have a section on what has worked well for other)

Thanks for the interesting group. 73, Bruce K8CJM Dayton, Ohio

Re: Introductions

N5VMO Pat
 

Bruce check out the YouTube videos of the RaDAR group has done over the years on their outings =)   Wires and Mini-loops are used by many here as to keep a lite weight and small pack out =)    Check out Eddies blog and Greg's blogs as others =)   Each has a different answer and work for them =)    I have yet to make a mini loop antenna and usually do wire dipoles, long wire and a vertical mounted on a camera tripod =)

DSCF1701.JPG

and  wires
DSCF1671.JPG


On Thu, Mar 21, 2019 at 7:02 PM Bruce Hymon <Hymonb@...> wrote:
Bruce K8CJM
New to this group. Have not yet operated portable but I am considering a backpack station. I have watched some You Tube videos and have an idea on the equipment (plan FT981, Draws Workstation, LiFePo4 batteries) but I don’t know what will work for an antenna. Maybe we could have a section on what has worked well for other)

Thanks for the interesting group. 73, Bruce K8CJM Dayton, Ohio

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73's Pat  N5VMO


40m Delta Loop

John VA3KOT
 

Finally got some mild weather in southern Ontario today so I put up an antenna I've been waiting to try out. It is a vertically polarized Delta loop for 40m. It uses 137ft of wire supported on a 30ft pole at the peak with the low, horizontal section just 4ft above ground. EZNEC modeling showed promising expectations so I was excited to test it outside as a possible RaDAR antenna.

I fired off some CW CQs at 5 watts using my Hendricks PFR3 radio and received an immediate spot on RBN from a station in Wisconsin 400 miles away. My signal was reported at a very strong 21dB so this antenna may be doing its job! Unfortunately I didn't get any QSOs but that has become all too common the way the bands have been lately.

Now I'm looking forward to a new RaDAR operating season with some new antenna designs. Hope to catch you all on the bands this summer.

John, VA3KOT
EN93XX67

Re: 40m Delta Loop

N5VMO Pat
 

John that looks like a great antenna to use =)   I have seen in the past Greg using one and I may give it a try as well =)    Hmmm .... a 30 foot push-up pole now with tent rain-fly spreaders =)


On Sun, Mar 24, 2019 at 2:58 PM John Corby <va3kot@...> wrote:
Finally got some mild weather in southern Ontario today so I put up an antenna I've been waiting to try out. It is a vertically polarized Delta loop for 40m. It uses 137ft of wire supported on a 30ft pole at the peak with the low, horizontal section just 4ft above ground. EZNEC modeling showed promising expectations so I was excited to test it outside as a possible RaDAR antenna.

I fired off some CW CQs at 5 watts using my Hendricks PFR3 radio and received an immediate spot on RBN from a station in Wisconsin 400 miles away. My signal was reported at a very strong 21dB so this antenna may be doing its job! Unfortunately I didn't get any QSOs but that has become all too common the way the bands have been lately.

Now I'm looking forward to a new RaDAR operating season with some new antenna designs. Hope to catch you all on the bands this summer.

John, VA3KOT
EN93XX67



--
73's Pat  N5VMO


Re: 40m Delta Loop

Thomas Robinson
 

I am very fond of delta loops. My home QTH antenna is a horizontal loop for 80m. This is fed by an auto tuner quite some distance away from the shack. The antenna is fed from the atu by open wire feeder and tunes up on all bands 80 thro 10. However I have delta loops available for 20m and 17m. These are deployed in upside down pyramid and are fed by a quarter wave of 75 ohm coax. Normal 50 ohm coax from the rig to the quarter wave.  The deltas can be horizontally or vertically polarised depending on how the are deployed. I normally use them vertically polarised as dx antennas.  They perform well in this mode. Without any salt water amplifier effect I have worked Antarctica on 17m. I have not tried them portable as yet.  But I will give them a go on the salt marsh this summer.  They should work well. Bit more work to deploy compared to an end fed half wave though.

Re: 40m Delta Loop

N5VMO Pat
 

I to like loops Tom =)    When I had a house I had a 80 meter horizontal loop about 10 meters off the ground fed with 20 meters of ladder line directly into the back of my manual tuner balanced line port =)   It worked GREAT on any band 10 to 80 meters  WARP bands where a bit to tune but worked =)   I built a 10 meter vertical delta loop for a new tech ( my first Delta Loop ) that worked and tuned by changing the feed point at the top by sliding down the feed point ( RG-58 ) a bit one side to a perfect tune all across the band =)   So I will have to make a 40 and 30 meter band Delta Loop for camping =)


On Sun, Mar 24, 2019 at 6:57 PM Thomas Robinson via Groups.Io <g0sbw=btinternet.com@groups.io> wrote:
I am very fond of delta loops. My home QTH antenna is a horizontal loop for 80m. This is fed by an auto tuner quite some distance away from the shack. The antenna is fed from the atu by open wire feeder and tunes up on all bands 80 thro 10. However I have delta loops available for 20m and 17m. These are deployed in upside down pyramid and are fed by a quarter wave of 75 ohm coax. Normal 50 ohm coax from the rig to the quarter wave.  The deltas can be horizontally or vertically polarised depending on how the are deployed. I normally use them vertically polarised as dx antennas.  They perform well in this mode. Without any salt water amplifier effect I have worked Antarctica on 17m. I have not tried them portable as yet.  But I will give them a go on the salt marsh this summer.  They should work well. Bit more work to deploy compared to an end fed half wave though.



--
73's Pat  N5VMO


Re: Introductions

KC3TOM
 

Hi all,
This April's RaDAR challenge will be my first.  I've fallen in love with QRP operation.  While testing a shorter/lighter wire to use with my 49:1 endfed transformer I made contact with a station in California from my front yard here in Western PA with about a 33 ft sloper antenna up about 15 feet.  I do have pretty good elevation for the region I live in.  I was using some really thin SOTA beams wire.  I about got my gear all put together and plan on hitting a trail I know.  I'll be using my Yaesu FT-817nd, love that little guy.  I've been learning CW and start the CW academy next month.  I'm trying to get more members from my club involved.  I've never been one to let the weather stop me, some come rain or shine I plan on being out there.

Cheers,
Tom - KC3TOM about 30 miles SW of Pittsburgh PA.

Re: 40m Delta Loop

John VA3KOT
 

Of course the downside, as Tom pointed out, is that a Delta Loop takes longer to erect than, for example, an End-Fed wire. That could make it less suitable for a RaDAR exercise. I am also experimenting with other antennas involving a full wavelength of wire. 137ft is about 5% long for a full-wave on 40m but that is the recommended length for a delta loop. I also plan to setup the same wire as an End Fed Wave antenna. That's an interesting concept inspired by the US Marine Corps who used wires one or more wavelengths long, hung in a straight line, close to the ground, for HF comms in the Vietnam era. A signal along the wire interacts with its image in the ground to produce vertically polarized propagation off the end of the wire. EZNEC modeling suggests a height of about 8ft produces a lossless antenna with a takeoff angle around 55deg. If the wire is any lower (e.g. on the ground) the losses are considerable but the takeoff angle is even lower. If the wire is too high it becomes an NVIS antenna. Another variant is the End Fed Half Rhombic antenna which uses the same length of wire supported in the middle by a 30ft pole.

The purpose of the exercise is to find antennas that will keep QRP field operations alive during the solar minimum. Two or three years ago I worked DX with just a homebrew buddistick but the bands are getting a bit tricky as we pass through the solar minimum for the next couple of years.

Re: 40m Delta Loop

N5VMO Pat
 

Use a counterpoise wire on the ground in the opposite direction of the signal direction will be a BIG help in those =)   I have used those during Summer FD and they work great in pointing a signal where you want it =)


On Mon, Mar 25, 2019 at 10:26 AM John Corby <va3kot@...> wrote:
Of course the downside, as Tom pointed out, is that a Delta Loop takes longer to erect than, for example, an End-Fed wire. That could make it less suitable for a RaDAR exercise. I am also experimenting with other antennas involving a full wavelength of wire. 137ft is about 5% long for a full-wave on 40m but that is the recommended length for a delta loop. I also plan to setup the same wire as an End Fed Wave antenna. That's an interesting concept inspired by the US Marine Corps who used wires one or more wavelengths long, hung in a straight line, close to the ground, for HF comms in the Vietnam era. A signal along the wire interacts with its image in the ground to produce vertically polarized propagation off the end of the wire. EZNEC modeling suggests a height of about 8ft produces a lossless antenna with a takeoff angle around 55deg. If the wire is any lower (e.g. on the ground) the losses are considerable but the takeoff angle is even lower. If the wire is too high it becomes an NVIS antenna. Another variant is the End Fed Half Rhombic antenna which uses the same length of wire supported in the middle by a 30ft pole.

The purpose of the exercise is to find antennas that will keep QRP field operations alive during the solar minimum. Two or three years ago I worked DX with just a homebrew buddistick but the bands are getting a bit tricky as we pass through the solar minimum for the next couple of years.



--
73's Pat  N5VMO


Re: 40m Delta Loop

John VA3KOT
 

Thanks for the tip Pat!


On Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 12:22 N5VMO Pat <n5vmo00@...> wrote:
Use a counterpoise wire on the ground in the opposite direction of the signal direction will be a BIG help in those =)   I have used those during Summer FD and they work great in pointing a signal where you want it =)

On Mon, Mar 25, 2019 at 10:26 AM John Corby <va3kot@...> wrote:
Of course the downside, as Tom pointed out, is that a Delta Loop takes longer to erect than, for example, an End-Fed wire. That could make it less suitable for a RaDAR exercise. I am also experimenting with other antennas involving a full wavelength of wire. 137ft is about 5% long for a full-wave on 40m but that is the recommended length for a delta loop. I also plan to setup the same wire as an End Fed Wave antenna. That's an interesting concept inspired by the US Marine Corps who used wires one or more wavelengths long, hung in a straight line, close to the ground, for HF comms in the Vietnam era. A signal along the wire interacts with its image in the ground to produce vertically polarized propagation off the end of the wire. EZNEC modeling suggests a height of about 8ft produces a lossless antenna with a takeoff angle around 55deg. If the wire is any lower (e.g. on the ground) the losses are considerable but the takeoff angle is even lower. If the wire is too high it becomes an NVIS antenna. Another variant is the End Fed Half Rhombic antenna which uses the same length of wire supported in the middle by a 30ft pole.

The purpose of the exercise is to find antennas that will keep QRP field operations alive during the solar minimum. Two or three years ago I worked DX with just a homebrew buddistick but the bands are getting a bit tricky as we pass through the solar minimum for the next couple of years.



--
73's Pat  N5VMO


Re: Introductions

N5VMO Pat
 

Welcome to RaDAR Tom =)   Sounds like you are ready for the challenge coming up in April =)   Look forward to making contact =)


On Mon, Mar 25, 2019 at 12:31 AM KC3TOM <tom.pghmtb@...> wrote:
Hi all,
This April's RaDAR challenge will be my first.  I've fallen in love with QRP operation.  While testing a shorter/lighter wire to use with my 49:1 endfed transformer I made contact with a station in California from my front yard here in Western PA with about a 33 ft sloper antenna up about 15 feet.  I do have pretty good elevation for the region I live in.  I was using some really thin SOTA beams wire.  I about got my gear all put together and plan on hitting a trail I know.  I'll be using my Yaesu FT-817nd, love that little guy.  I've been learning CW and start the CW academy next month.  I'm trying to get more members from my club involved.  I've never been one to let the weather stop me, some come rain or shine I plan on being out there.

Cheers,
Tom - KC3TOM about 30 miles SW of Pittsburgh PA.
_._,_._,_




--
73's Pat  N5VMO


Multiple operators?

KC3TOM
 

Hi,
I'm trying to get some more people in my club interested.  I invited another member to go with me, but I don't want him to get bored.  Is it OK if he uses my callsign and takes a turn at the microphone?  There is no mention of this in the rules.  
Thanks
Tom.

Re: Multiple operators?

Greg Lane
 

I have a ham friend Dennis that does the RaDAR Challenge with me. I would say sure go ahead and enhance the experience.

Thanks,

Greg N4KGL 

On Tue, Mar 26, 2019, 9:22 AM KC3TOM <tom.pghmtb@...> wrote:
Hi,
I'm trying to get some more people in my club interested.  I invited another member to go with me, but I don't want him to get bored.  Is it OK if he uses my callsign and takes a turn at the microphone?  There is no mention of this in the rules.  
Thanks
Tom.

Re: Multiple operators?

N5VMO Pat
 

Hi Tom  ...... the same here .... I have two live - in state park rangers ( now Hams ) come by most times they see me out and got em hooked that way 8-)    I even go visit when they are off work and we talk radios and antennas =)


On Tue, Mar 26, 2019 at 11:47 AM Greg Lane <LaneKG@...> wrote:
I have a ham friend Dennis that does the RaDAR Challenge with me. I would say sure go ahead and enhance the experience.

Thanks,

Greg N4KGL 

On Tue, Mar 26, 2019, 9:22 AM KC3TOM <tom.pghmtb@...> wrote:
Hi,
I'm trying to get some more people in my club interested.  I invited another member to go with me, but I don't want him to get bored.  Is it OK if he uses my callsign and takes a turn at the microphone?  There is no mention of this in the rules.  
Thanks
Tom.



--
73's Pat  N5VMO


40m Antenna Comparison

John VA3KOT
 

Gadzooks! Snow almost gone and southern Ontario daytime temperatures above freezing! So I hauled wire, poles and radio into the backyard for a comparison test. These are the antennas I tested:
1. Vertically polarized Delta loop
2. Half Rhombic (full wave, end fed wire, center supported at 23ft with ends up about 6 feet)
3. End Fed Full Wave wire up 8ft
4. Quarter wave sloping vertical

All four antennas produced multiple RBN spots but the Delta loop was the clear winner both in distance and signal strength of reception reports (up to 24dB S/N). The half Rhombic was a good second and the End Fed Full Wave wire came a close third. All three used the same 137ft wire. In last place was the quarter wave sloping vertical which produced disappointing results but used only 33ft of wire worked against ground through a GTU (Ground Tuning Unit - a series connected LC tuner). All tests were done at 5 watts.

Tomorrow I plan to hold my first outdoor operating session of the season in a place where the ground is solid 3 billion-years-old Canadian Shield rock. That will be a new challenge that will really put the Delta loop to the test. If you're around during the early afternoon (Eastern Time zone) listen up for me around 7.030MHz CW.

John, VA3KOT

Antenna Choice - If I Follow Saturday's RaDAR Challenge at Home QTH Rather Than Taking Part On Foot

Thomas Robinson
 

After reading John's (VA3KOT) post on the RaDAR  IO group of 26th March I decided to deploy my old 20m, vertically polarised, delta loop thinking it would be an improvement on the permanent horizontal loop antenna (this loop is cut for 80m but tunes up on all bands).  RBN results seem to suggest the large horizontal loop is a better performer - I am a bit miffed about that.

Attached are two images.  One shows the RBN results, the other shows the delta loop and part of the horizontal loop.  You will note the willow has been severely lopped, but is generating a lot of new shoots now that spring is upon us.  The eagle eyed will note the crow at the top of the antenna support - I don't think he influenced the results.

The  14:47/48 results were from the vertical polarised 20m delta loop, the 14:53/54/57 results were from the horizontally polarised loop.  Interestingly when I first tested the 20m delta I heard, on SSB, an Indonesian station at 5by7.  This would have been at least twice as far away as the Canadian station - so maybe this antenna is for ultra DX :-)


G0SBW's RaDAR Challenge

Thomas Robinson
 

I was operational at my first location ( JO01MT85TS) at 13:25 UTC. I quickly got my first 5 QSOs, on 20m, by 13:56. These were 4 Europeans and N4GNR, Dan, in N.E.Georgia. So it was clear 20m was open to N. America.

I motored to my second location at JO01MS64KV . Here I concentrated on calling CQ Radar rather than just making QSOs. I did not manage any Radar contacts. Whilst at this station 20m filled up with contesters working the Polish SSB contest. So I moved to 17m which had very variable conditions.

I had some interesting QSOs there but again concentrated calling for RaDAR. There were periods when the band was open and when the band seemed closed. On 17m I tried to work 9Q65BB (Democratic Republic of Congo) who was working split. He was quite a strong signal, but by the time I managed to get the FT857 in split mode the band had closed and I lost him. I did work Rob, VE1CHW in Halifax and also W1XX who seemed desperate to work the Florida state parks special event. I managed to break into his constant calling of "CQ Florida State Parks" and informed him of Greg's whereabouts on 20m and 17m. He thanked me but I think he was a bit puzzled that a "G" station was pointing him in the right direction for Florida  An interesting QSO was with G0HUZ/MM who was operating with a KX3 and a vehicle type G-Whip from a small passenger cruise ship near the Canery Islands off West Africa.

I decided to call it quits after 3 hours operating with no RaDAR contacts. It was still an entertaining afternoon. The FT857 with 70W feeding the "hamstick" type antennas worked well. A couple of photos showing the camper van at the two locations are attached.

RaDAR on 2Metres

Thomas Robinson
 

Hi I recently watched a Utube video by "Radio Prepper" regarding use of 2M SSB.
https://youtu.be/LaRsBtT52kc

This got me thinking about 2M SSB/CW for RaDAR use.  The key point of the video was the ease of deployment of the antenna he was using which is a design of M0UKD
https://m0ukd.com/homebrew/antennas/144mhz-2m-portable-yagi-vhf-beam-antenna/

The novel construction of this antenna makes it ideal for /P RaDAR use.  Assembly time for the antenna is claimed to be about 30 seconds.  I considered such an antenna mated with my RaDAR trolley would make an good combination.  I have therefore made one using bits and pieces I had available.  I had some 4mm solid Aluminium rod suitable as replacement for the 6mm tubing made in the design.  The resulting antenna has an SWR of 1.4:1 over 144.000 to 146.000.  I suppose I could start trimming elements to try improve the SWR but I think I will leave the antenna as is.  the antenna I have built seems quite robust enough for occasional /P outings.  Certainly it is very fast to assemble and deploy on the trolley.  Have made the mast adaptor suitable for fastening to the 10M Clark, extendable mast at the home QTH, should improve access to a couple of local CW practice nets. It can also be deployed from a 7M Aluminium mast fastened to the tow hitch of the camper van.

So, this should prove to be quite a useful addition to the antenna stable.  Just got to vanish it now.

Some photos below:-

Re: RaDAR on 2Metres

N5VMO Pat
 

Very nice set up you built Tom =)   I really like the "cloths Pin" element attachment =)   Really makes it portable =)

Listening to the the SAT pass on AO-92 ( GREAT FOOTPRINT ) Saturday on the HT with Greg's group got me to thinking =)   I added the SAT frequencies to my mobile 2 m rig in the truck so if in travel maybe I can operated =)     I just missed the schedule by 15 minutes because traffic heading to the State Park mountain =(    I could hear the SAT for over fifteen minutes on that pass while being fifteen minutes late ( almost a total time of 45 min. for that pass alone once in place =)   I was even on the wrong side of the mountain driving up to the park and had perfect copy of the SAT 8-)   I could not use the HT while driving up a winding narrow road up the hill; but could listen =)   The mobile has Bluetooth headset and now has SAT frequencies in its memories 8-)




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73's Pat  N5VMO