It has been since January [HF Broken!] that I was last on HF calling “CQ CQ CQ” on PSK31. This due to a 72″ long, 1 1/4″ diameter aluminum tube that snapped in some very heavy windows. Then again, I did have a 18′ piece of PVC flying the flag that no doubt added in the tube snapping in half.
After speaking to DX Engineering last week and using their advice about ground radials, contrary to manufacturer’s recommendations I have decided to place new ground radials. Originally I cut then to length depending on the band. This time I am using random lengths based on how much space I have in each direction.
Using this scenario, I have cut eight radials for 7′, four radials for 22′ and four radials for 38′. Not sure what sort of results I will achieve based on current propagation conditions, but I suspect DX will be as good if not better based on the 16 radials I will have in place. If indeed this works, I might double the number radials and attach them to a stainless steel radial plate (DXE-RADP-1P) from DX Engineering.
Since band conditions are supposed to be improving I might even have a chance to make a few SSB contacts, something I have yet to do and be able to log. Since November, 2007 I have logged 18 contacts on 20m using PSK31. Of those 18 only 11 have sent a QSL.
In other ham related news, I am debating sending a petition to the HOA Board of Directors to allow me to erect my 24′ vertical antenna (Hustler 6-BTV). Now it might be a exercise in futility, but the way I see it, many homeowners in our neighborhood do not abide by the CC&Rs. I will present a strong case as to why I should be exempt from the rule. Many in our general area cannot take care of the basics, such as a presentable yard, cars parked on the grass, weeds growing out of their rain gutters. fences broken, just to name a few. These issues are a far larger eye sore then a 1 1/4″ diameter antenna standing 24′ tall.