DX stuff

Monday morning things opened up into 43div and had 153AT063 breathing fire through the back of the antenna as well.
Leo from freo and accross the south to NSW and up to Nth Queensland as well as Darwin. Just like the old times of high sunspot activity. Later in the day spoke with Leon 393, Jordan 280 and Rob triple 3 down in Taswegia.
SMS’d Grant 045 and he replied he is looking after his parents in Perth after his dad broke an ankle. No radio in sight for grant at the moment. Need to get a hold of Mick 062 and see what he is up to after getting the golden handshake from the Perth mint! Evening still had Darwin rolling in and worked Geoff in Darwin and Max 236OD001 in Bangledash simutaneously. Max does not seem to have much luck getting out to Europe but probably due to his vertical antenna. Supposedly has parts for a beam en route.
Spoke to Alex in Italy last night on the radio and hope he will have final prices and postage on the 2 liteweight skypper beams. Have also requested he supply the elements and fittings for the 5 el Hair pin matched Yagi on his web site. 8m boom so it should have the gain and the bandwidth. Alex was using a 5el also with a 7.5m boom and making an excellent job with 100W.  Sounded like a lot more power. One never knows. Sounds like a nice guy on the air. Hope he can find the right ferrite beads for the bazooka balun so I don’t have to roll coax into a balun at the feed point. Waste of coax. Need to go get some RG59 as well to make the phasing harness for the skyppers and design a 6m pole that will hold the top one above the log with no guys. Will probably have to telescope it so it doesn’t bend too much at the top..3m of 2"OD  outside 3m of 1-3/4"OD finishing off with 1-1/2"OD should get both antennas far enough above the log and I could construct a hefty 9m + portable mast with the rest of it.
Cost a few bob but what the heck…can’t put a price on a good time and hopefully will improve the ears.
I have heard many on air tests with operators using stacked antennas and in almost all cases it seems the difference between the top antenna and the stack is negligible. Lower antenna almost always the worst case. Is the low height of the bottom antenna pulling the stack down or is the extra 3db just too small an increase to worry about? What about beam width and take off angle that are supposed to decrease as well. Heaps of amateurs use stacked arrays on HF not to mention the VHF operators so must be something in it somewhere. I will stack the skyppers…I like the no tune, direct feed and broadbandwidth which means they are hook up and go. No tuning and no gamma match to get in the way. I won’t be able to separate the antennas so I can just assume they will work better as a stack than individually! Spose I will need another run of coax as well. Think I will get 9914 with the foam because it is more flexible. The stiffer 9913 is getting to be a pain to use.
Spoke to Jan today about putting another 5m section in the tower to bring it up to 20m. If we can raise the tower then we can clean up the log when we pull the top sections down.
Spent about an hour in the company of 43TR299 in Darwin while I tried a few more settings on the S-9 echo controls to see if we could rub some of the sharp edges but the only thing that seemed to work was the mic gain! Left the echo and delay a little bit on and we will see what eventuates. He hates echo so a good guy to check with! Thanks mate.
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