The summer has past in the blink of an eye and we are starting to see the leaves drop as well as the temperature!
Tuning the 9000 around 20 and 17 meters yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised to hear some US and Canadian stations booming in which I hadn't heard for a while especially as the majority seemed to be from the east coast!
The signals lately have been all European with the odd DX which can get pretty monotonous after while. Lets hope with the onset of winter signals start booming in again form all over the world.
Since the bands have been so quiet I have been playing around with my 2 meter antenna set up which consists of a 9 element Yagi and my home made 3 element. Obviously there is a big difference, with the 9 element pointing up north I have got as far as Yorkshire, whereas with the 3 element I'm closer to Birmingham which is about 50 miles from the QTH, but its good fun experimenting, made a lot easier by having the tilt over mast and winch!
Having to swap antennas is part of the fun and seeing and comparing the difference can be very interesting. The only downside is that 2 meters seems to be so quiet these days. The 9 element Yagi worked very well but I found was quite narrow transmitting and receiving, if you moved the rotator slightly right or left you occasionally lost the signal. So being a bit of a learner it was a lot of trial and error but great fun when you managed to get a good DX signal. The homebrew 3 element Yagi was much easier and wider so I think I will use that as my main 2 meter antenna rather than my collinear I have in my attic for the next week or so to see what improvements if any are available.
My Brother in law has once again grabbed another bargain, this time a very nice Kenwood 950 SDX. I'd forgotten had good these transceivers were and I might add still are. Of course now I've seen one in action again, I've had the usual hankering of wanting to get one for myself, but I think the XYL may have something to say about that!