Friday, April 28, 2017

A Hexbeam Antenna

At last I found a reasonable priced Hexbeam antenna. Although a homebrew copy of the G3TXQ version, I checked out the pictures and could see that Clint M0FHN knows how to build a good antenna and I'm happy to have bought it. I'm picking it up next week and hopefully will have it already to be set up on the new tilt over mast.

Besides covering the usual 6, 10,12,15 and 20m, Clint cleverly put in a 40m rotated dipole which means if successful at my QTH I could remove the cobweb and the W3DZZ inverted which would please the XYL!

With all the reports and reviews from places like Eham, I've been hankering after one of these antennas for sometime, but the MW0JZE commercial Hexbeam has been inundated with orders and he has halted the ordering on his website due to such high demand.
The waiting time was just too long for me and I was actually thinking of ordering something else, like a small Yagi, but quite by chance came across Clint's homebrew Hexbeam advert.

The way the antenna has been made shows me Clint has done a professional job especially the using the strong flex weave wire and the insulation for the centre pole. He was telling me he followed the G3TXQ instructions and since he built it he's been having good results and reports. The antenna is only a couple of years old, so I reckon with a bit of TLC its got a few years yet!
He's only selling because he got an offer to buy a new antenna which was just too good to miss out on.
 Writing about G3TXQ Steve Hunt, I've just heard he's in hospital with a tumour in his back. Poor old Steve , what rotten luck, here's hoping he recovers quickly! Although we have never met I have chatted via forums and of course built his version of the Cobweb antenna and am hoping to have some excellent times with this his version of the Hexbeam.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

First Part of the Tilt Over Mast Arrives

Typical, I seem to be going through a patch of bad luck! the TGM MQ-2 antenna deal has fallen through. The seller had a local buyer and obviously went with him as packing and preparing from Scotland down south would have cost him time and money, so I can sort of understand that.

So I'm on the lookout for either a mini beam or light weight Yagi. But I can wait, I've said to myself there's no rush, take your time, see what deals are about or come up, something is eventually bound to happen.

The base sleeve for my new tilt over mast has arrived and I can now go ahead and prepare by finishing off the 1 metre square hole. Talk about hard ground in my paddock, all rocks hardly any soil, so digging is a case of using a sharp metal pole about 5 foot long and a pick and shovel! After that it should become a little easier with just keeping the sleeve upright and true, then just cementing in, ready for when the main mast arrives.

This is what the finished product should look like

and this is where I am in the process of laying in the sleeve!

If I get the cement finished like the top picture it will be a miracle, but hopefully it will be near as damn it! The good thing is as the ground is like rock I don't have to be too accurate, its bedded in a good 450mm so far and I reckon with a top up it will be fine. I'll then cover it over with some top soil so the XYL won't complain too much and we should be OK. Hopefully it will make a big difference to raising and lowering antennas.
The finished product!

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Dual Beam Pro Antenna and New MQ-2 Antenna

I purchased the Dual Beam Pro antenna and set it up on my temporary 20 foot mast. It took me only an hour to build and I was quickly checking the SWR. However you really have to use an internal or external ATU for all bands (certainly for 40m).
Living out in the middle of nowhere I’m at an advantage that I don’t have any built up areas nearby to obscure the antenna and I get a good take off point for 360 degrees. That said, you tend to forget that my other antennas like the cobweb and the Hustler 6BTV are in an ideal location and behave accordingly, so when you put up something like a pro beam antenna it’s up against stiff competition
It’s quiet and certainly you get good reception on all bands, tuning up was OK except for 40 meters where you need to manually tune but then it did work. Signal reports in to Europe where good and I was regularly getting 5/7 to 5/9.
But when comparing with the cobweb or Hustler it was roughly similar or slightly down. £250 is a lot of money for this antenna but I can see why someone would be happy with it living in a built up area where conditions were not ideal, but if you are living in an area where you’re already getting a good signal, this does not boost like a Yagi or a proper beam antenna like the Moxon.
So after having it up on my temporary mast for most of one day I decided to take it down and sell it. Not because I don’t like it, but simply because it was not what I was expecting, maybe I was a little naive, but that’s the lesson learnt. I’m definitely going for a mini beam antenna, which I should have done before, but sometimes you have to go through hoops and jumps before you get to your end target!
So a few days later I find what I'm looking for a TGM MQ-2 antenna, similar to the MQ-1 but with the WARC bands. These are pretty much the main bands I use so I'm fairly happy with the result. The only issue is the antenna is presently up in Scotland so I'm having to wait while the seller packs it all up and I can go ahead and arrange collection. But my mast has still not arrived yet so I'm happy to wait for the moment.


The TGM MQ-2 Antenna
On another matter, looking at my stats for this Blog I see I've reached the 100,000 lookups! I like to say a big thanks to all my readers from literally all over the World, I hope that you've enjoyed the read and in some cases it has either been useful or helpful towards this great hobby of ours!