Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Squares, squares, squares 2018

Well the new year has been and gone and as we head into 2019 I thought it would be interesting to see my stations performance on 2m and 70cm since I was first licenced.  

The station setup has evolved greatly on the past 12 months and so I thought I'd share the evolution and how it performed.

In 2017 I started the year with a Yaesu FT991 with a single 9 element 2m LFA  and 13 element 70cm LFA from G0KSC, my maximum output power was 50W.

2m Squares 2017

You can see from the above I managed to work 55 squares using mainly SSB, JT65, FSK and JTMS.

70cm Squares 2017

Again from the above we see I managed a rather pathetic 9 squares all on sideband.  

In 2018 the station evolved from the FT991 to using homebrew transverters the rather fine 2m Anglian 3L and 70cm Iceni units from G4DDK.  I swapped to an Icom IC7300 for the exciter. 

The 2m system started the year with a Microset SR100 100W linear and ended the year with the mighty fine Gemini 2-500 500W linear from the dxshop.    

I actually had the amplifier and running before I got around to updating the 2m antenna system not because this is the right way but down to the fact taking an amplifier out of the packaging is a lot easier than updating the antennas. 

I then changed the 2m antenna system from the single 9 element KSC to a stack of 2 x 9 element G4CQM's from Powabeam.   

It took me awhile to get the new CQM's built as I bought them as kits from Powabeam which meant I need to cut the elements and construct the driven element.   I got the new system up and running at the beginning of September and it worked like a dream right up until it rained hard when the VSWR suddenly went to infinity so that put paid to any 2m work for September. 

2m Squares worked from JO01 2018

You can see from above a slight improvement in performance this year and I think I managed to miss just about every opening typical!  Anyway I still managed to work 86 squares and good improvement over the 56 from the year before.

The 70cm system didn't change much beyond the move the to the Iceni I stayed with the same antenna setup as the previous year still driven with 50W.

70cm Squares worked from JO01 2018

You can see I didn't work on 70cm too much mainly down to no easy way of switching between the transverters but I still managed to work 25 squares, mostly during the 70cm UKAC, but still a big improvement on the 9 squares the previous year.  

Fingers crossed 2019 will be even better and I'm actually near the shack during any opening but we'll have to wait and see.

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