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A “bloody” day at the office

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Last weekend Ton PA1CC and i Florian PB8DX spent 2 days at the station.

I bought another yet more powerful amplifier which I wanted to test with some real antennas.

Therefore I took it with me to the club. Friday I worked 2 ATNO’s with my personal call-sign. C21WW and Ken 6O7O so that is number 304 and 305 for me. Surprisingly C21WW was much easier to work than 6O due to EU pileups. It’s interesting that the 6O pileups were actually that big even though 6O6O was on last year and before that the Italians did a very nice job from Somalia also. I worked C21 on 20 and 17 SSB. I worked 6O on 12cw 20cw and also on 80cw on Saturday morning. On Saturday Ton and I did the finishing touch on the 40mtr moxon. All overlapping parts were put in grease. We used copper grease for the stainless steel to stainless steel parts like the stainless steel clamps with stainless steel washers and nuts. For the aluminium to aluminium parts like the element rods we used Penetrox, it’s grease specialised to prevent aluminium corrosion. For the aluminium parts touching stainless steel we used normal grease but sustainable to high temperatures so it won’t drip off when the antenna gets hot by the sun or RF hi hi.

This was quite a job because we basically had to de-assemble every piece by piece and required some concentration to not put the grease all over the place but I hope this will add to the life expectancy of the antenna. While Ton was “greasing” I assembled the 1:1 balun made by ON7FU, see the picture, well done job by ON7FU.

We also put the last set of the element support wires on. All 5mm mastrant and the ends are professionally terminated by thimbles and duplex clamps. In the afternoon a friend of Ton passed by, also a radio amateur with the call PF0X. He was surely impressed by the antenna farm and the 40mtr yagi that we’re working on. He also played a little bit of radio under our supervision and made a good pile to NA on 20SSB. Hopefully we made him enthousiast to join our club one day. Thanks for the visit Jean-Paul, it was nice meeting you.

Ton and I weren’t satisfied enough so we planned on extending our stay to Sunday morning. Ton is lately into 80mtr DX hunting. Although he has reasonable good antenna’s at home for this band he wanted to operate some at the club since noise levels are usually much lower there and the antenna we have on 80 is better than his at home. Ton spent at least 1h30 to roll out all radials, feed box and the coax cable. It turned out that the band was real noisy, lots of statics so Ton did operate more on 30mtrs FT8 where this antenna works as a 5/8th of a Lambda. It still wasn’t all for nothing because we managed to work Ken 6O7O on 80cw, that’s a nice one. But a pitty that the band was too noisy for some CW or SSB.

I spent all the time in shack number 1, playing around with my amplifier and trying to catch some DX on 40. Sure I did, I worked plenty of YB-HL-JA-BA-DU’s even James 9V1YC called me on FT8. Later that night I also worked a couple W6 and W7’s. With some beer on the side I quite enjoyed myself. It’s a big advantage with FT8, Beer and operating is no problem.

Sunday morning not only we woke up but also our friend Mr murphy came a life. When taking the 40mtr Yagi apart one of the aluminium standing posts tipped over straight on Ton’s head. These poles and the contraption attached to it weights at least 50kg or so so this wasn’t a silly bang. Resulting in a deep cut 2inch wide on top of ton’s head and blood all over his face, quite a scene! The bleeding slowed down and fortunately no major veins were hit so we could clear up the station real quick and head off to the doctors, sure this required some attention. At the hospital in Rotterdam the doctor cleaned the wound and put some special glue on the wound this is supposed to make it heal quicker. No showering for Ton for a week. His wife and kids will be happy with that ;).

I hope you will recover soon Ton!

I came home 4PM taking a quick shower and a power nap to leave in 1h30 for Denis’ K7gk goodbye dinner at the SS Rotterdam.

Quite a weekend it was… 73’s de Florian PB8DX