CQ DE VK7BEN

Just another Amateur Radio Operator

Tag: Radio

A V/U Handheld Moxon Antenna for Satellites

The Completed MoxonAs per my last post, I have been getting pretty excited about working satellites. However relying on the little ‘rubber duck’ antenna that came with the IC-T90A hand held does limit the range in a way that I could only really work the satellites at high elevation angles. With costs of commercial V/U antennas for satellite work usually over $200 AUD, it was time to build my own.

I did have some constraints around the antenna design:

  • It had to cost under $50 to make.
  • No speciality materials required – I could either readily purchase from a shop, or I already had materials on hand.
  • It had to be made using tools I had on hand.

The last point ruled out making a crossed yagi antenna to my standards as it would require a drill press to successfully fabricate (I am bad at drilling square!)

In the end a quick google found me looking at making a Moxon designed by LY3LP and modified by M1GEO, but I really wanted to get some close ups of some of the more important parts of the build. What follows is an abbreviated build guide with photos. In all, it took less than 2 hours to construct.

Update 22/12/2018 2.15pm – Yep, this antenna is a winner – here is the audio from the AO-91 pass @ 2018-12-22 1342 AEDT. Big improvement – action starts at around 2mins in.

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Day 1

Today is the first day of getting back on air. It’s been a pretty full on day actually as I never anticipated the amount of things I needed to do to get everything working. I guess before I continue, I should mention one of these arrived in the mail for me yesterday:

My new Rig

No complaints about this arrival

The Yaesu FT-DX1200 is quite an upgrade from the trusty Icom 706-MkIIG, which has now been relegated to VHF/UHF Duties.

The joy of a playing with a new rig on Friday night was short lived – the new Yaesu draws 23.8A @ 13.8V peak. My power supply was a fair way short of this at 15A. operating would have to wait until Saturday. In the meantime, I could start getting a PC ready for rig control.

Let me just say, you will reach an inevitable point in time when hardware, although suitable for the purpose will not be supported by modern operating systems. I found out that upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 was not supported at 64bit, but was if I would find Windows 10 32bit. The problem here however is that the 32bit download tool will not work under 64bit Windows 7. joy.

I also managed to go out to Jaycar in the morning and buy a 40A switch-mode power supply. Some people will cringe, because these type of power supplies are notorious for causing RF interference (QRM). Fortunately I see very little QRM affecting the rigs.

Ham Radio Battle Station

The Battle Station. Win10 Installing

After installing Win10, I found that the drivers associated with the rig control interface cause the computer to crash. Dammit. back to Windows 7 I have gone. I think I have done about 5 OS install attempts in the last 24 hours.

Finally, I am getting around to configuring Ham Radio Deluxe to control the Rig. I am finding the lack of documentation in configuring the DX1200 quite frustrating and as I am writing this I am looking for information on how to sent PTT to the rig, which will probably take me into the evening.

After this, import my previous QSLs, set up VKCL for the RD Contest in a couple of weeks and start doing a more thorough configuration of HRD.

 

 

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