Posts Tagged ‘KX3 QRP CW Morse-code Morse Elecraft’
Another portable test of the BLT+ tuner
|KX3 operating on internal battery. What a fantastic portable rig.|
I took the BLT+ balanced line tuner out to the Excalibur antenna site to try it out on the doublet antenna that we put up last Saturday. This was the first test of that antenna (40m and 80m using a common feedpoint).
|BLT+ connected to open wire line (under the gloves) going to ta 40m Doublet at 65ft|
I used the BLT+ to tune the 40m/80m doublet. Balanced line antennas perform better with a tuner designed for balanced line and this was a good test for both the tuner and the new antenna.
|Portable shack, courtesy of three plastic chairs|
I quickly matched the doublet using the BLT+ using the lowest impedance setting which is also the most efficient. I was glad to see that the BLT SWR LED indicator is bright enough to be seen in direct sunlight. I was wondering about that but you can definitely tell when it dims even in direct sunlight.
AA4OO sitting back and listening to the QSO
The Doublet's feed line has not been brought to the shack yet so I was just sitting under the antenna. The open feed line is running along the ground for a bit which certainly didn't help the signal but we haven't installed the posts to carry the feed line over to the shack and I was too lazy to move the chairs far enough away to keep the feed line in the air.
In the foreground is some saw-grass common on the NC coast. I'm not sure why it's growing this far inland.
|Portable shack at the Excalibur antenna site... The Doublet is 65 feet above my head|
|Waiting my turn in the QSO... holding the Palm Single Paddle. BLT+ tuner in the chair to the right|
Elecraft CP1 - A tasty RF treat
|Elecraft CP1 Kit|
Couple what?Ah, so if your new to this like me you might be asking what does a coupler do? Well it sorta listens in on the signal going out (forward) and reflected (back) and is able to send an attenuated sample of the signal to other devices. It attenuates the sample by either 20db or 30db depending on how you build the kit.
The 20db version is good for signals 25 watts and less so that's the way I built it. It was easy to build but my glue under the second toroid wasn't strong enough and you can see it popped up a bit. Also the Elecraft instructions had one confusing instruction concerning mounting the toroids. The instructions say "... When wound and mounted correctly, the enamel wire will emerge from the top of each core and connect to the top hole at each inductor location". Well when you wind a toroid only one of the wires can "emerge from the top of the core" while the other comes from underneath. This confused me for a minute until I finally just went on with the install. Anyway, if you're a stickler for following instructions that one may cause a moment of pause...
The switches for the two outputs forward, reflected (J3, J4) are in the up position when they are not in use. When the switch(es) are in the up position the 50 ohm 3 watt resistor(s) take the place of the switched off output. Don't disconnect an output and leave the switch in the bottom position. I'm not sure what will happen... maybe nothing, probably a bit of a mismatch on the SWR, or maybe it could be like "Crossing the streams" in Ghostbusters. Your mileage may vary.
My uses for a couplerMy old Ten-Tec Century 21 has an analog VFO dial that gives me a good guess at where I'm at but I use an external frequency counter to give me more information. I had it sorta rigged my frequency counter to sample the signal from RF leaked on the shield but I didn't really know how much power I was sending to the counter so this coupler allows it, as well as other devices, to be safely connected to the transmitted signal.
I also plan to use the coupler for IMD tests using a oscilloscope and other projects. It's handy device to have in your collection.
But in the end - It works
DX for new CW operators
How to copy those high speed ops?
|EA8TL's Hexbeam in the Canary Islands|
Anyway I was happy to get the response. I know (or surmise) that my 80m Windom has some fairly pronounced gain nodes in different directions on the higher bands but I didn't know which directions they pointed. I guess one of the nodes points toward Africa (yaaay!)
|Path from N4PBQ to EA8TL in the Canary Islands|
Do DX operators just not want to bother with newbies such as myself? I wonder. I'd appreciate suggestions in the comments section.That's all for now
So lower your power and raise your expectations