After some further reading at work and some continued thought, I worked on the SteppIR when I got home. I checked the numbers on 40M and 80M, since those will be the two bands I will be using the vertical for during SS. The hex beam will be the main antenna for 10/15/20M during the weekend run.
Using information from the SteppIR Yahoo Group I was able to lower the SWR on 30M (10.125) to about 1.6. 40M seems to be no better than an SWR of 1.8. Why? I don’t know, I can assume it is due to surrounding objects in its field. 80M on the other hand seems rock solid at 1.2 SWR at 3.500 and 1.1 at 3.800. So we will see if that holds true tonight during the practice round, which will mainly be on 40 and 80M.
The amp seems to have come back online nicely. Maybe it was more operator problems than technical problems, I don’t know. I still need a 2kW dummy load so I can actually tune the amp to the hex beam and get some better settings. The settings I am currently using were the ones shipped to me from N4UQ when he cleaned up my Alpha.
I’ll keep my fingers crossed as we race towards the start of the practice round tonight. I will be running N3FJP’s logger for Sweepstakes (v4.5). I was planning on using it during SS CW, but could not give up Win-Test. Since I don’t have a voice recorder, I could be hoarse by the end of the weekend.