Topband season is ending

Days are getting shorter on this side of the globe, dx-window for 80&160 getting really short now. So time to dismantle the verticals and beverages. The farmer needs the ground in a short while.

This season was pretty good ending with a total of 124 countries worked on 160M (last year 97) and 177 on 80M. That is the total since I started on 80&160, not only this TB-season, to be clear.

On 160M starting Jan 1st, 2013 worked KL, KH6, 9M4SLL (1S), T4, FS, HK, VP2M, 6Y and FO/C on 160M. Some of them with outstanding signals near SR or SS.
Still struggling with the beverages though, I don’t feel they add much to my reception quality. Most times the noise is down but signals more down. The reverse beverage from DX_engineering is not performing well, no difference up or downstream.
I heard KL7KY stronger on the vertical than on the beverage! In order to work more I have to hear more, tx is OK with 750 Watt into inverted-L with 50% efficiency.

Still having problems with my SteppIR. After some band-changes the SWR is rising sharply. I now use high voltage (33V) on the system but no improvement. The repair of the elements didn’t make any improvement. I checked all copper wires but they are OK. So now I’m out of ideas what’s wrong with. The system is 8 years old (bought 2nd hand, but then it was OK).
Thinking about selling the SteppIR and the retrofit kit for 30/40 (still lying around) and buying the UB50: smaller 3 elements, lighter, 30/40M integrated in a clever way. But a lot of money.
Something to think about in the summer.

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Lots of work

I repaired and painted the 8 elements of the SteppIR.
Peter PA2DXY had done the same and advides me on the right paint: (in Holland)
http://www.georgekniest.nl/Catalogus/Verf+en+onderhoud/Jachtlakken+en+antifouling/International+lakken/Perfection+2K+jachtlak/product.aspx.
De kunsthars heb ik hier besteld: https://www.marinestore.nl/p2090000646/West_System/Junior_Pack_-_Epoxyhars_105_%2B_Harder_205/product_info.html

Right after my holiday I installed the elements and SWR was better but still not stable.
Then I remembered I had bought a 33V power supply from SteppIR. With that PS the SWR is much better although after some tuning up&down the SWR is still rising above 1:2 and I have to do a recalibrate. Otherwise my PA will trip.

In my holiday the 80M inverted-L had died: broken on 2 places. Heavy storm and temperatures far below zero the same time. DX-wire gave me a small discount and has sent me a new 15,2M pole. Now it is up and with X at zero the Z=31 at 3500-3550 KHz. Nice! SWR about 1.5.
measuring 80M inverted-L

Measuring 160M inverted-L

Using the UNUN on 80M
I tried to use a UNUN 1:2 to improve the SWR but no success: the resonance frequency drifted away, at 3500 KHz the X went up! The explanation of the provider balundesigns.com: Ununs are far from linear and are still a tranformer using a ferrite core.

 

The same on my 160M inverted-L, Z is down to 26! around 1800 KHz.

So now it looks as we have to design a L-network.

My East-beverage was broken (again) by deer, so I repaired and rearranged it South. With that in place it was fairly easy to work XT2TT on 160M. Yes, there is time to work DX but the time repairing is far more…..