Now that the weather is improving, I decided to dust off the /P kit and ensure that all was working will in anticipation of getting some outdoor operation. I had bought a lightweight dual-band beam for this purpose so decided to put it on a pole and see how it performed. I have a number of fibreglass poles of various lengths, but decided to try the longest one, a 10m pole I picked up at the IRTS stand at a rally some time back. I started by clamping a short length of 25mm PVC pipe to the antenna to act as a support. I don’t want to clamp directly to the fibreglass pole to prevent cracking.
Once this was done, I extended the pole, mounted the antenna and cable-tied the co-ax to the pole. I have a drive-on plate with a 5’ aluminium pole clamped to it to act as a base. I walked the fibreglass pole with mounted yagi up to it’s full height and strapped it to the aluminum pole once vertical.
I then hooked up the FT817 and tunes around the lower end of 2m. EI3IX had been on a hilltop earlier, but unfortunately had wrapped up by this stage.;The antenna was pointed roughly due north, and while tuning around 144.485, I heard what sounded like a beacon. I listened for a few moments, and heard what sounded like a JT65 transmission followed by a CW ID. The ID was;GB3WGI, so I did a quick Google to see what it was. GB3WGI is a transatlantic propogation ‘early warning’ beacon to;provide an early warning of 144MHz transatlantic propagation on the Europe to USA path as a complement to the existing beacon network in the USA.;It can also serve as a useful frequency reference due to the accuracy of the 10 MHZ GPS Disciplined Oscillator;The beacon is located 339 metres above sea level atop Lough Navar Mountain in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland - Maidenhead Grid Locator IO64BL.
I then did some testing of the directionality of the beam, which I videoed… the beam shows strong rejection off the sides and reasonable front-to-back.;
So it looks as though I am ready for some portable ops. The first outing this year (2016) will be the;IRTS 2m Counties Contest.