Sunday, June 1, 2014

Hustler 6BTV Installation completed

Well at last the Hustler is up and running but it took a little while. 
I completed my tilt over plate, not the exact quality of DX Engineering but near enough and it does the job which made life easier when I was doing my tuning. 



The tilt plate works with the one bolt at the bottom left, all others are removed and it's hinged so that the antenna just swings over. Finished off with a little bit of a rockery to keep the XYL happy!



As soon as I started testing the antenna with the MFJ 259 I realised whoever had the Hustler previously either had it raised on a mast or used it as a ground base but with limited radials. The readings were all at the low end of the bands if not below, especially the 30 meter trap which was reading 700 kHz down which was way out. Because I have an extensive ground radial system in place I guessed this was why the readings were so low.

So I went through the instruction sheet and followed the process of tuning by adjusting all the tubes but with little effect, obviously this was for minor tuning and not large adjustments which was clearly required. 

Further reading on QRZ and other websites pointed me towards the DX engineering website where there were full instructions on what to do if band readings were all low. The answer is to adjust each trap so that they are placed in to the correct frequency and then finer adjustments are completed by moving the tubes. Evidently this is not unusual and can be due to either due to good soil conditions, near water or a very good radial system. 

So I followed the instructions and adjusted all the traps. Moving each trap is a fairly easy process provided you don’t get too ham fisted and do small adjustments. Initially I thought this might be a little tricky especially if these traps are reasonably new (this is meant to be a 3 month old antenna)!

So imagine my surprise (not!) that all the traps were fairly loose and it was obvious that these had been moved a number of times before. There is absolutely no way this antenna is 3 months old, not even 6, I would guess certainly around a couple of years minimum! 
Anyway after a couple of tries I got the hang of it and suffice to say the bands are back up to their correct frequencies including the 30 meter trap. 


In the shot above there are some guy attachments in place but they are not tightened so everything looks a bit loose, the old 30 meter fibre glass mast is to one side ready to be stored away.

So far I've done some initial testing having had a couple of QSO’s with some local European stations and received good signal reports. Testing against the Cobweb the Hustler is slightly down by a few S points but that’s to be expected as the cobweb is high up and situated in a good position so there’s no real surprise there. It’s early days yet but I shall give the antenna a good work out this week and see how it goes.