Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New Look for the Mountain Topping Radio (MTR) and dipole stuff

Today was exhausting and I hardly did anything. I took Lynn to the hospital (Evans Army Hospital) for a scheduled consult with her new doctor. We saw the doctor, got X-rays, did lab work and picked up meds and were on our way in just a few hours. It was a very efficient visit.

We stopped at the PX and had lunch and did a little shopping and while doing that I checked SOTAGoat app and noticed that Steve, wG0AT was on Mt Herman, Dan NA6MG (North American 6 Mountain Goat) was activating today and Dennis and John (WA2USA / W9FHA) were out on a SOTA Expedition in AR.

I was able to work all of them later when we got home.

I also received a surprise in the mail from Steve, wG0AT, see below, my new MTR label.

MTR Label
It is a sticker for my MTR. If you have been following my blog you know that I painted my MTR all white but had not decided what to do for a label and after using it a few times without a label I decided to keep it that way but Steve was making a few and made this one for me. A week later it is now on my MTR and I think it looks GREAT!!!!!! Thanks Steve.

MTR with Air Force Symbol

You may think; "Hey, how do you know where to plug everything in at?" Well, the antenna is the only BNC connector, the power connection is the only one of that size so the only two left are the earplugs and paddles. They are easy to remember if you only need to know where one goes because the other goes in the other socket.

But wait a minute, you may also think; "how do you know what all the buttons do without labels?" Good question, it is like any other radio, after you use it enough you just know. To be truthful I do not have all the functions of this little radio memorized but the common ones I do know and on a SOTA summit that is all I need.

I am really pleased with the outcome.

Next up was the Iditarod Antenna outlined on WA3WSJ's web site HERE. I did a few things to it t make it more robust and usable. After using the antenna a bit I noticed I was breaking the 26 gage teflon wire at the BNC connector. I never did this while out in the field but seemed to do it a lot while at home winding it or just storing it.

I used some hobby wax that comes in sticks and melted it over the connections and while this will probably NOT prevent me from breaking it in the future it may slow me down a bit.

After 1
After 2
While I had this antenna out I wanted to tune if for 15 meters. A dipole cut for 40 meters should tune on 15 meters so it was just a matter of adding about a foot of wire to each end in order to have it tuned for 21.060 Mhz.

An extra foot on each end
I used Orange wire so it shows better
This makes the antenna resonate on 40, 30, 20 and 15 meters and a perfect mate to the ATS4b which has all those bands plus 80 meters so I just lack the ability to get on 80. Thats four bands, no tuner required and very light weight, even with the 25 feet of RG-174 to feed it.

I am glad I took the day off from work to hang out with Lynn and take her to the hospital. I absolutely hate the hospital but I must say the Army Hospital at Fort Carson is a very good facility and I am glad we have it near by.


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