Sunday, October 30, 2016

XT2AW Burkina Faso

Hurricane Matthew hit us with some 100 mph gusts.  Fortunately the storm was just offshore when it passed this way.  

I live in a bit of radio heaven.  My QTH is the blue dot on the mid-left of the pic and I'm 2 miles from the Indian River and a 270 degree horizon of water (at least from a first hop perspective.)

I live out in the sticks.  The little hand points to the dark spot where I live

BUT when a hurricane comes there is nowhere to hide.  My QTH is on a virtual FL mountain.  Even though I'm only 2 miles in my QTH is 34ft ASL and one of the highest spots around so I'm not worried about storm surge.  My issue is wind.  When Charlie came in 2004 I had 100 ton of oak and pine to deal with.  This time it was my flame thrower verticals.  I had 1/4 wave 160 inv-L, full size 80M 1/4 wave, a custom end fed 1/2 wave on 40 fed with a home brew parallel network, 5/8 on 30M and 5/8 on 20M.  Each antenna was fed separately with an automatic band switching relay driven by BCD from the Flex 6xxx radio.  My amp was also driven by the same BCD line so I could basically point and shoot a low angle DX signal pretty much anywhere.  My logging software DXLab, speaks directly to the Flex so when a spot comes up I click it and have at it.  

Matt put me out of business so I spent the past week rebuilding.  I presently have 1/4 160 inv-L, a wire 80M 1/4 wave which parallels the vertical portion of the L, a 1/4 wave 40M vert, and a 1/4 30M vert, all still point and shoot.  My ground plane is 4000 ft of #14 with lengths of 50ft, 60ft, 100ft and a few really long ones pointed toward EU and Asia.  XT2AW Burkina Faso was my inaugural 40M  contact.   I also worked Mali on 80M and Suriname on 160.  The pileups were easily broken.  30 was deader n a door nail but I worked TL0A and ZL7G on that band a couple nights ago so I think the antenna on that band will fly also.  I don't think this antenna is quite as good as my last but it has the advantage that I can drop everything to the ground in about 10 minutes including my RX loops by myself.  This is called peace of mind.  SOOO, W9OY is back on the air!!

73  W9OY