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Saturday, 21 November 2015

A bit more time dedicated to radio

Firstly with my Leixen VV-898 on the bench rather than in the car (I had replaced the fuse holder for a mini-blade type after the regular one fell apart) and connected to the power supply I thought maybe it is a good idea to play with antennas so I dug out my 2-meter slim-Jim that I had built at the club some time ago, only to find it was not working as it should (the SWR was a bit high so I figured it was kaput as it had been on the floor in the hallway for some time), a T2LT cut to the right length was my next attempt, again this did not work, then finally I relented and assembled a dipole, this too, despite being cut to about the right length, was not working with a high VSWR, though it was lower on 70cm, what gave? Turns out the choke I had wound was too far from the feedpoint, so I cut the excess coax between the choke and antenna out (I did this so I did not have to redo the choke), after resoldering the antenna elements (two pieces of the neutral conductor from high-current twin and earth cable) to the coax at their new position and rehanging the antenna from my winter washing line in the living room and reconnecting it to the rig, the SWR had dropped though still read between 1.5 and 1.7 on the meter, better than it was but could still be better however it handles the 10 watts the radio gives it fine, all I now have to do is finish it off and hang it up outside the window.

I have also had a look into APRS, as there appears to be transmissions on the APRS frequency in the locality, which I believe is coming from MB7USD as aprs,fi isn't really showing a lot otherwise, I have been working to get the VV-898 to be able to TX on APRS but thus far have only got it to receive into my shack computer, and I don't yet have a passcode to do Internet-only operations as yet, as I have decided to decommission both my FRN gateways indefinitely some time ago as I want to focus a bit more on the Amateur side of things I plan to modify the auto-key circuit I built for the CB gateway to use it with the VV-898 for APRS as it sounds like something that might be worth playing with and the Yaesu FTM-100DE has this onboard as well and as I plan to get one of these for the car (as the box can live under the seat or in the boot out of the way) I may as well use the APRS feature on it, I'll hopefully be looking at one of these up close and personal at the next club meeting intermediate training pending.

I also have the APRS software installed on my laptop computer, of course not having a passcode as yet means I cannot transmit onto the APRS system but that should change soon, with a crude but working antenna up I should have no problems transmitting all being well, so let's see what APRS is all about

73 de M6RSQ

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