Sunday, 18 August 2013

ILLW - Great Weekend !!

Don hard at work
What great weather, and what even better propagation we had for this years International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend.  This year the group I belong to activated two lighthouses as mentioned in the previous posting below. 

Today, Sunday, Don VE3MNE and I activated the Point Petre Lighthouse, CA-026, and we had a fantastic time.  It was blue skies, a light wind, and 25C all day, we couldn't have asked for better weather.....and the Granville Island beer we had with our lunch went down really well.

We arrived on site about 0830 and began to set up our usual array of antennas.  Don set up his 31' vertical and got to work looking for other lighthouses on 20m and 40m.  I took a different route this year.....................
15m Vertical

Some of you will know that I have been working on getting my home QTH fixed up for 15m, as none of my current antennas seem to want to work on that band.  So before I did anything else today I built a 15m quarter-wave vertical and three ground radials.

The radiating element was taped to a 20' crappy pole, the three radials were simply laid out on the grass, and I used an LDG 1:1 balun.  The antenna was then simply leaned against the chain-link fence around the Coast Guard compound.

I should also mention that the wire used was a 25' roll of 14 gauge speaker wire that cost me $2.00 at Princess Auto here in Kingston.

It took several attempts to get the SWR down to an acceptable level, but in the end I did not really need the tuner as it matched right across the SSB portion of the band. 

Well, they always say the proof it works speaks volumes, so I'm really pleased to tell you all that it worked great on 15m.  Over the course of the day I used it to work:

EA3/DL1EHV, Albert in Barcelona, Spain.
UT7UV, Sasha in Kiev, Ukraine.
Z320T, Al in Shtip, Macedonia.
YT5CT, Zex in Novi Sad, Serbia.
RU3UR, Mike in Ivanovo, Russia.
ES5QD, Vello in Tallinn, Estonia.
S59N, Dan in Naklo, Slovenia.

Needless to say I'm pretty pleased with its performance, and it will be set up at the home QTH sometime this week.  I like working DX on 15m, and I've really missed this band over the past 10 months we have been at this new QTH, and I'm really looking forward to getting on there on a regular basis now.

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