1 week down, 2 to go

QRX 3 weeks, what was I thinking? ON4BHQ feeding me nice propagation reports doesn’t help either!

It has been a very productive week. Quite some ‘civilian’ items off the to do list. Also ham-wise I did some work. I wrote the code to send out the UBN log check reports to the participants of the UBA DX SSB contest. So far, no complaints heard. Using a ‘no reply’ email address of course helps  🙂

I started checking the CW logs now. I immediately encountered some problems that needed changing the code. That means I’ll have to adjust and sharpen the email log acceptance procedures for next January.

Yesterday I tilted over the tower. After putting up the 40m rotary dipole (here) I wasn’t quite happy because a) it got shifted and b) the elements were drooping. The first thing isn’t really bad: the shift is only visible to the very critical eye (like mine) and I’d like things to look clean. So I adjusted the whole thing but we’re not quite there yet. It’s not easy to see if the dipole is aligned with the 20m driver when the tower is tilted over. Anyway; the next time I tilt the tower I will turn it some more. The sagging halves were more of a problem. Not only makes it look the dipole flimsy, which it is not, it also makes the element ends approach the 20m driver.

It wasn’t drooping at first but I used the white nylon rope. That is very strong but stretches about 10-15% even to 25% according to some online articles. So the rope got stretched and the element ends were hanging down. This time I used 4mm Mastrant-D / Dyneema rope (and switched to stainless steel hardware). Elasticity is only 1.5% under maximum load which is 750kg. I think it’s safe to say with only a small dipole, stretch will be neglectable. The antenna is now 100% straight. It looks better now 🙂

Still an unsolved problem: what to do for CQ WW SSB? SB15? SB10? I’ll probably do SOAB for fun and just run any band that produces rate. If the SFI rises to 190 again and A/K are low, I might do a SBx effort. Luxury problems  🙂

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