HERC on-air and chat meeting July 2017

Richard G0ILN kindly wrote an article for September’s Vital Spark covering his perspective of the on-air and chat night at the Taplin Centre meeting on July 26th. I have added my own comment to his original article along with images taken during the evening.

Richard’s article as below:

Steve 2E0GHX and Phil G3MGQ for several weeks have been struggling to put up a Dipole for our “On Air” club nights. I think it was more a matter of Health and safety that the venture was eventually abandoned ,someone was going to fall out of a tree! It was decided that a portable antenna may be a simpler option. After some discussion and putting aside ideas such as putting a vertical antenna on the chimney of the Taplin Centre (sounds more like Flash Over House to me!).

It was decided a 65ft Endfed Sloper with a 33ft counterpoise which incorporated a 9:1 balun would fit the bill. All we needed to find was a mast, luckily Tony came to the rescue with his 10 meter fishing pole and Ron G4VBK supplied some heavy duty Coax.

On the night Steve and Richard G0ILN lashed the fishing pole to a wooden bench in the garden of the Taplin Centre and a stake was driven into the ground to mount the Balun on.

The wire antenna was then run from the balun to the top of the mast.

The Yaesu FT840 was fired up but we had problems tuning the Z Match ATU which Rob M0LYD had bought along ,Probably because it is not ideally suited to coax operation. Richard had bought along a small TenTec ATU and an external SWR meter so now we were in business.

Mike Hedges G0JHK was on key duty with Richard and Steve Jones G4FYF helping out as required. We tried 80m and 40m but the quietest band was 20m and that is where we stayed and although we only managed three QSO’s the time flew by. We logged RA3BY, HA3FTV and the best DX as we found out later! Was H51KD South Africa. H51KD was not on QRZ.com web page but was found on CQZCQ. So now we are eager to try again. Steve has several antenna ideas for future On Air Operating nights. So next time please come and join us SSB or CW it does not matter.

Steve said “The installation of the sloper antenna went quite well all things considered, and the donation of Tony G0EYE’s vertical to the club was most welcome as we used the telescopic mast to hoist the end of the sloper up to a good 30 foot or so (with a little drop at the top of the flexible mast tip). I was watching Richard as he made the first CW contact with Russia at about 7.40pm which came as something of a surprise given how ’embedded’ the sloper was amidst the Taplin Centre and adjacent residential buildings. Thanks go to Ron, Gordon, Tony and of course the evenings on air operators who made the meeting a success. I should also give a word of thanks to Martin who kindly offered to help us dismantle the antenna at the end of the evening and would have gladly taken him up on it if it was a long winded job, though it only took a few minutes to dismantle and pack away.

I had a good chat with Tony G0EYE on the evening who told me about his forthcoming ‘Railways on the Air’ event which is taking place in September. Apparently Tony has been attending the event for 5 years now, so best of luck to Tony at the RotA.

Richard also mentioned about his activity in the FISTS CW Snake’s and Ladders event where he is currently up in 6th place overall with G6HH which is great going. Well done Richard.”

Article by Richard G0ILN and appended by Steve 2E0GHX.

A special thank you goes to Tony G0EYE for the kind donation of his 30ft telescopic vertical antenna and transformer, both of which will be put to good use at future club events and on-air nights. It was an enjoyable evening and everyone pitched in. Thanks to everyone who came to help make the evening a success on air from the Taplin Centre.

Tony’s (G0EYE) 30ft telescopic mast used at the ‘end’ of the end-fed’s radiator.

Steve’s G-Whip 9:1 UnUn staked into the ground.

Richard G0ILN and Mike G0JHK just before their first contact with Russia at 7.40pm

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