Engineering DX

Yeah, I know there have been a lack of updates because I have been on vacation and was finding things to keep me busy. Thankfully, ham radio was one of those things. I had placed an order from DXE for a tilt-base and radial plate. I received them, early last week in preparation for my 6-BTV upgrade. I also picked up a MFJ dummy load and antenna analyzer in order to help me tune my vertical.

My parts arrived on Tuesday and I went to work, pulling down the 6-BTV, cleaning it and then installing the radial plate and tilt-base on the pole I have sticking out of the ground where the antenna is mounted. The install on both of these DXE parts was very simple. Once that was accomplished I cut and reattached the 16 radials I had.

I attempted to tune 10m, which successfully came in at about 1.6:1, but ran into some SWR issues with 15m. The contacts that hold the wires (for the traps) in place were very corroded, which leads me to believe the 15m trap is bad. I put the 15m back together as pe the instructions.

DX was no worse than it had been previously I made contacts through out North America and into western Canada. Some of my signal reports were a bit discouraging. I received a 459 and a 339, some of which might have been band conditions at the time, but more likely issues with the antenna or feed line. Or both!

I am considering adding a DXE-VFCC-H05-A, a choke for the 6-BTV. But before spending more money on the vertical I am going to continue troubleshooting and making inquiries to and and a wealth of information there.

I was able to add another 4 radials, bringing the total to 20 now, 4 in each direction and one on each corner. With any luck I will add another 4-8 ground radials by this coming weekend to give me a better ground plane.