Antenna Wear and Tear

Stormstown is nestled in Halfmoon Valley. The valley is often windy, with the flow mainly from the southwest. The winds have been taking a toll on my outdoor equipment, mainly the flags and flagpole, and my G5RV HF amateur radio antenna.

Most of the damage has been minor. In the past six months, I have had to replace the dipole wires, resolder the ladder line connectors at the feed point, replace a section of coax due to a broken connection at the feed point, and replace two clamps and three sections for the collapsible mast.

During my latest repair, to replace the coax, I secured the ladder line with cable ties. That may reduce some of the wear and tear on the cables and connections.

I am a frequent check-in on the 3rd Region Net at 2100 UTC (3.918 MHz, LSB), and The Western PA Phone Traffic Net at 2200 UTC (3.983 MHz, LSB). My callsign is WX2DX.

nts_clInformation on the National Traffic System

If you’d like to send a radiogram, send me a comment.

Amateur Radio Traffic Net

Last Week, I became a regular check-in to The Western Pennsylvania Phone Traffic Net. I started to look for a net after the landfall of Hurricane Harvey. The net meets every evening at 6 PM on 80-meters, and is part of The National Traffic System (NTS).

So far, I’ve initiated 4 radiograms. I hope to continue handling NTS messages on a regular basis.

New HF Antenna

The vertical wire antenna I set up a few weeks ago was not working out. I decided to replace it with a G5RV antenna, installed as an inverted V. Since there are no suitable trees on our property, I needed a mast to support it.

I ordered and received a fiberglass mast, which was easy to assemble. However, it was necessary to attach two rope guys to keep it from bending. The two antenna wires also serve as guy lines.

Soon after completing the installation, I made a contact with a station in Indiana. Today, stations that were barely readable before were coming in with good signals. They were barely readable with the other antenna. Even though propagation has not been good this summer, the G5RV has been a great improvement.

Amateur HF Radio Station

This week, I completed setting up my HF amateur radio station. The final component was a 30 foot vertical antenna. The antenna mast, made of fiberglass, is collapsible and can be quickly disconnected. This is necessary in the event of a thunderstorm.

P1030125
The day after I completed the installation, I made my first HF contact, from Stormstown on 40 meters, with a station in Maine. The operator gave me an excellent signal report to confirm my radio system is working. I sent a QSL card to the operator.

QSL