Some of us brought out our construction projects

The October meeting featured the annual Blackwood Cup.   Three entries were received – one each from Bernard ZL2BD, Ted ZL2TB and Mike ZL1AXG.   The trophy went to Mike ZL1AXG for his adaptations of the BITX40 transceiver.  But voting was very close.   Mike will be writing up his BITX40 mods on the Arduino section of this website as time allows.

Blackwood Cup 2017

The other projects included:

  • a 4 way antenna switch (from Bernard ZL2TB) which was beautifully presented (the case was made with 2 aluminium channels and a ).  Channel isolation was found to be around 70dB (i.e. excellent) with insertion loss in the fractions of 1dB;
  • a collection of home brew single lever paddle (from Ted ZL2TB) that use magnetic latching to provide a nice key “feel”.  Ted has a few for sale as well if anybody is looking for a nice non-iambic paddle.

Linear amplifiers

The 15 February regular monthly meeting was held at the Lutheran Church Hall, King St, Mt Cook.

Frank ZL2TTS spoke on selecting a linear amplifier.  This gave rise to a fair bit of discussion on the relative merits and problems with different types of high power amplifiers that amateurs in New Zealand are using, and the merits of homebrew and commercial equipment.

July Meeting – Favourite wire antennas

End-fed 1/2 wave
End-fed 1/2 wave

At the July meeting (Wednesday 20 July 2016) members Frank ZL2TTS and Doug ZL2AOV gave brief 15 minute talks about their favourite wire antennas.  Frank told us about his 40m and up dipole (20m long) fed by open wire feeders.   He showed how the feeders were routed between the antenna and the shack, and material used for separating the wires and anchor points.   Doug talked about his all band (80m and above) end-fed antenna (40m in length) fed by a balun and coax (with a good earth connection at the feed point).

The talks provided for some useful thinking about alternative antennas at city sites where installation of a collection of antennas – one for each band is simply not feasible.

These ideas (open wire feeders and end-fed antennas) provide a means of avoiding the problems of lossy small diameter traps or large diameter traps that tend to come to grief in Wellington winds.   We can all bemoan the lack of sunspots … but nothing beats a better antenna in getting a contact!