Just when you think you've got your set up about right a blooming great spanner gets well and truly thrown into the works. Last weekend I braved the weather and put up a 7 metre fibreglass pole to complement the other 6 metre aluminium one that I have in the garden. So, I moved the balun of my end fed dipole to the top of the 6 metre pole and erected the other pole further down the garden to accept the end of the radiating leg at a height of 6 metres also. The extra height and proper horizontal polarisation made a huge improvement and to confirm that I had a contact into St.Petersburg on 20m at 59+20db on the Sunday evening. Brilliant, I thought until I got the message from the neighbour with the touch lamps saying that their TV was "jumping" and it was "making the dogs uneasy".
I replied saying that I wouldn't transmit any more and took the antenna height back down to 6 feet and wound back the power to a paltry 5W. No more hassle from the neighbours but reduced performance on HF. I have ordered a low pass filter to augment the one fitted in the TS570 and a high pass filter that I will put in the aerial feed for their telly. The problem is with the poorly set up TV antenna : crudely attached to the wall of the house, with a booster and cheapo coaxial cable. The problem is, how do I convince them that it's their set up that's causing the problem? As usual it's down to the Amateur to bear the cost and aggravation of sorting it all out. I have to live next to these people so I have no choice but to either buy them a decent TV set up or just go QRT on HF. Hopefully the filters will eliminate the problem.
Recently, Ofcom declared that all NoV's would be only available to Full Licence holders and that any NoV's issued to Intermediates would not be renewed. There is an exception and that is for Simplex Gateways. Intermediate Licence holders will still be permitted to apply for an NoV and be allowed to run such gateways. With this in mind I have an NoV request in for a 70cm Simplex Gateway to run an EchoLink node. This will comprise of a Baofeng handheld, connected to a ZLP Minipro interface and in turn connected to a laptop running the EchoLink software. I will use another DTMF equipped radio to access the node. When available I will be buying a DV4 MINI dongle for DMR and will run the same system but for connection to the DMR PLUS network (subject to NoV clearance). The dongles are available on the Continent but not here yet but it works in the same way Dstar dongles work and may also be compatible with Dstar and System Fusion.
Details of the EchoLink set up will be posted in a later blog.
73 (for now) de 2E0ENN