With the winter season now well upon us I’ve been somewhat quiet on the radio front. There's plenty of jobs around the house and other priorities which sadly meant radio time has been sparse and the hobby has taken a back seat. I am only recently getting back in to the swing of things, firing up the radio first thing in the mornings, seeing what is about and I'm amazed that 10 and 12 are still open most mornings, I would have thought they would be fairly quiet at this time of the year. Now I'm begrudging the fact hat I've missed out on all those possible DX's!
The trouble is the time seems to fly by and before you know it the months have shot past, you suddenly realise that you haven’t been on the radio for quite a while and you start to feel rusty. So I'm making a determined effort to get back on the rig and start transmitting.
However, I have my usual problem of what I call “CW block” where I'm happy to listen but get a ridiculous sensation of foreboding when it comes to transmit and I sit there like a helpless halfwit listening but transmitting nothing.
I actually think it's quite common and you have to force yourself to get back in to the routine. I always remember when I first started in radio I had the same problem as most beginners you are naturally worried that you don't want to make a complete idiot of yourself, so you sort of sit there egging yourself on but never quite having the courage to press the transmit button or hit the CW key!
My local club has organised an event for February which should help with my problem, it is for members to attempt to contact as many European stations as they can within the month, I think there are around 70 different countries so this could prove interesting and more importantly get me back on the road to transmitting.
With the recent gales we have had here in the UK the Cobweb is at half mast. The Hustler becomes my main antenna and does well for dx covering the main bands as well as 30 meters , I also have the W3DZZ which covers 40 and 80 so I am well taken care of even when the Cobweb is placed in the low position.
The G3TXQ is a very light version of the Cobweb and if the wind blows anything above 50 mph I fear it may well take off and land in one of the nearby fields, so I don’t take any risks and just reduce the height of the mast as soon as the weather changes.
Anyone heard of the VK2ABQ antenna?
I was listening to someone on 80 the other day talking about this antenna and saying how pleased he was with it. Well I took a look on the net and found Casey Bahr's interesting site and realised that it’s not all that different in build to a Cobweb but it's directional.
A closer look at the antenna show's it is the fundamental design of Fred Canton VK2ABQ and is similar to a hexbeam . I did look at building a hex a while back but I’m concerned about the size, living in area of outstanding beauty you have to be very careful in what you can get away with (heaven knows how I managed it with the cobweb!)
I have a feeling the VK2ABQ may be similar in size to a hexbeam in which case I can’t do it. But I will do some further investigations and see what sort of sizes I can come up with perhaps just a 10, 12, 15 and 18, we’ll see.