July 22nd, 2015

Peter G3OJV

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Fine Tuning of Trapped Yagis   July 19th, 2015

For years, the trapped Yagi has been the most popular HF beam for ham radio. Three band gain from three elements! It sounds great and it works. But there is a note of caution. There are things such as production spreads and it is not unusual to find that the resonance is not quite where it was expected to be or perhaps supposed to be. This is normally easily rectified by adjusting the driven element length. It is not difficult to get the resonance just where you want it. But there could be a problem.

Whilst the resonant length of the driven element is critical, so are the resonant lengths of the director and reflector. And these are not so easy to measure. At best the normal procedure is to following the manufacturer’s instructions about lengths for different parts of the bands. But length alone does not take into account production spread. In the case of a trapped antenna, it is all too easy to see a variation in inductive trap values that cannot be measured with a tape measure! The only real way to know the resonant frequency is to measure it.

This is easier said than done. But by chance I was recently checking an antenna with an analyser, well removed from HF but noticed a very small, but distinctive, flicker that showed that I was seeing a minute dip caused by stray coupling back to the HF Yagi. So I suspect that if an antenna analyser is terminated in a two or three turn coil, it should be possible to go close to the director or reflector and check for actual resonant frequencies of the parasitic elements. Correct adjustment plays an important role in antenna gain and F/B ratio.

Peter G3OJV

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New Video about the FT-2DE   July 17th, 2015

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Here at Waters and Stanton we have a brand new demonstration facility with some amazing antennas to match. It is by far the largest UK demonstration facility for ham radio. We are now uploading a number of videos on the latest products and we have just published one about the FY-2DE on YouTube.

The link is below.

LINK

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Open Day   July 13th, 2015

Thanks to all our Open Day customers for raising £314.10 which was donated to the British Wireless for the Blind charity

BWFTB mail

 

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We are please to advise the arrival of the new digital handheld from Yaesu. Here is the brief description

This exciting leading edge Transceiver is designed with ease of use in mind now packing an oversized back-lit touch panel display. At 1.7-inches the high resolution touch screen display provides loads of information through an easily navigable interface, providing stress-free operability and a high level of on-screen visibility for the FT2DE operator.

The advanced FT2DE is loaded with various new features including: 700 mW of clear loud audio, Built-in High Sensitivity 66 ch GPS with antenna, 1200 bps / 9600 bps APRS® function, Dual watch (V/V, U/U/, V/U), Dual Monitor (C4FM Digital/C4FM Digital), GPS Logging/Recording capabilities, Water resistant (IPX5 Rating), microSD Card Slot, 2200mAh high capacity Li-Ion battery and Battery charger included as a standard supplied accessory.

We can offer a competitive price. Phone for more information.

Peter Waters G3OJV

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BBC Essex Interview   July 8th, 2015

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BBC Essex presenter Peter Holmes interviewed Jeff Stanton, Tim Yeadall and Brian O’Shea for their opinions on the proposed closure of Barclays Bank branch in Hockley. Which should air on his Saturday morning show on 95.3MHz. Shortly afterwards Barclays announced the sacking of their CEO! Any connection?

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The ORKNEYS – GB2OWM   July 7th, 2015

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I am a regular visitor to Scotland and have long wanted to visit the islands in the north. One of the nearest ranges are the Orkneys and this was also chosen because my grandfather was based in Scapa Flow during the First World War.

The group of islands are extensive and I chose to spend three nights based in Kirkwall. My journey from Fort William was a drive of four and a half hours to Scrabster, near Thurso. From here I caught a ferry which was a ninety minute trip to Stromness. Then another thirty minutes to our B&B.

Orkney has a major advantage for ham radio in that in most places there is zero noise. However, if you want to operate portable, don’t rely on finding a tree as an antenna support; there aren’t any! I operated HF mobile and this worked very well.

Kirkwall is a busy town with a good selection of shops and a cathedral. Go out of town and you are on some single track roads with passing places. However, they are extremely straight with few obstructions and so oncoming vehicles can be seen easily. Silver sands and blue skys make a picture that is unforgettable. As I arrived in Kirkwall I spotted the Orkney Wireless Museum and an Indian restaurant. Both were at the top of my list of places to visit.

The museum is located in what looks like a quaint cottage in the middle of town and it is packed with historic radios, both domestic and military. And when I say packed I mean packed. Turning on a valve broadcast radio, there was a minute or so wait before it sprang into life with amazing fidelity. Who says valves are old hat? There was also a B2 Spy Set in its suit case and Rll55 and T1154. There were military radios I had never seen. I was told that all the radios came from Orkney sources and that what was on display was only 10% of what was available, the other 90% was in store. And I liked the way that every piece was clearly described.

The museum is small but well worth a visit. And during my visit I was able to see the operation of GB2OWM. A doublet fed with open wire feeder provides all band operation. The station was operating on 40m. So in order to get a genuine QSL card I went back to my camper van and switched on my KX3 for a QSO. Then I walked back and collected my QSL.

The Orkneys played a major part in both World Wars. On one side is the Atlantic and on the other is the North Sea. The Naval presence was enormous, which no doubt explains why there is so much old radio equipment.

Thanks lads for a very enjoyable visit.

Peter G3OJV.

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About once a year I make a pilgrimage to Duxford airfield in Cambridgeshire, the site occupied by the Imperial War Museum. It turned out to be an interesting day because as well as my passion for radio, I have a great interest in aviation, starting from the time when I was the in the ATC. Subsequently I was turned down by the RAF owing to colour blindness and later ,when I took up private flying, I only managed 8 hours solo before a serious eye condition grounded me for good.

During my Duxford visit I did however manage to get close to a Spitfire which was being wheeled out. The mechanics let me get closer than normal to this fabulous aircraft. An hour later it was in the air providing a spirited display and no sooner had it finished, and a second pilot repeated the display.

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My ultimate goal was the Radio Section at Duxford, hut 177, overseen by the local hams in and around the Cambridge area. On duty that day were David G8IDL and David G3UPJ (yes two Davids). The station there has some modern ham gear, but is surrounded by much WW2 gear, including a fully working T1154 and R1155 transmitter and receiver. The antenna is a Cushcraft log periodic on a tower and a G5RV for 80 and 40m.

The hut is well worth a visit as it is a radio museum in its own right. If you do managed to get along there when the hut is open, then I suggest that you ask to see inside hut 178 where there is a lot more gear to be seen, some of it in pristine condition. Anybody who was active in the 1950s or 1960s will think they are back at Tottenham Court Road, London.

It was a brief visit and I could not resist sitting in the Lancaster radio operator’s position on the T1154 and R1155 setup. I did have the pleasure of sitting in that position,Duxford
both in RAF Lancaster and the Lancaster at East Kirkby, but that is another story!

Peter G3OJV

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The HF Yagi Gets A Trim!   June 7th, 2015

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The HF 6-Ban Yagi is built and is now undergoing final adjustments. Most of the roof work has now been completed and we now need to test the whole system out. As the antenna farm goes from 160m to 23cm, this is no small task!!

Peter G3OJV

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Elecraft KX3 Headset   June 6th, 2015

I am receiving regular calls from owners of the KX3 regarding a suitable headset. As this radio use a single pin 4-way mic connector it is often perceived to be a difficult problem. However, there is a simple work around that allows the use of the very well respected Heil headsets. So I have prepared a video to show this can be achieved.

Peter Waters G3OJV

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