QTH: Schaippach (JO40tb)
Schaippach is a tiny village 4 km north-northwest of Gemuenden am Main, and is located about 50 km due east of Frankfurt. The village is 1200 years old. We live on a hill overlooking the village.
THE RIG HERE:
CURRENTLY IN USE:
- The main transceiver is a TEN-TEC Eagle (left of laptop).
- The backup transceiver is a Yaesu FT-900 AT (right of laptop).
- Just above the Eagle is a home-brew 6-Band pre-selector using a modified "Braun" circuit.
- Above the Eagle is an MFJ-495 Memory Keyer with adjustable time sequence keying of the transceiver and amplifier. Adds additional 10mS pre-dit delay to the Eagle.
- On the right of the keyer is a Lowe HF-225 general coverage receiver.
- The Ten-Tec Model 318 Amp Keyer sits on top of the receiver. Used for post-dit delay (hang).
- Two power supplies are to the right of that.
- The Dell Laditude 620 runs WinXP Pro and the ham radio software is Win-Test, N4PY Radio Control, AAlog, and FLdigi. No other aps run on this computer.
- The Control Box for the ACS-4 remote antenna switch is left of the Eagle.
- A cheap watt meter is on top of the control box.
- The Shure 444 mic is 45 years old.
- The Sennheiser 414-SL Headphones are 40 years old.
- The SB-1000 on the side table is 25 years old.
- The Ten-Tec Model 238B ATU is above that.
- The Swan Watt meter on top is 45 years old.
- The two tables are new, from IKEA.
UNDER THE TABLE (NOT IN USE):
- MFJ-986 Differential-T Matchbox
- MFJ-974-B Symmetrical Matchbox
- DECCA KW-EZee Match Symmetrical Matchbox
- ANC-4 Noise Cancelor
- Schurr Portabel Paddle
- Home-brew time sequency keyer (for amp and transceiver)
ANTENNA: I currently have just one antenna in use near the house. It is an Off-Center-Fed Dipole for 80m, fed with a special 4:1 balun. It is mounted on a Spiderbeam 18m telescoping fiberglass pole, with the top 4 segments removed. Feedpoint height: 12m.
This antenna works 80, 40, 30, 20, 15, 12, & 10m. I only need a matchbox on 30m and the high end of 80m.
I have a well hidden 160m Inverted-L antenna located in the woods, about 100 yards away from the house. It has only one elevated radial and works about as well as you could expect a hidden antenna to work. Maybe a little better. (hi)
I have a small patch of ground above the house, near the summer house, where I can test antennas. When operating with antennas near the summer house, I get out a little better than I do when operating with antennas near the main house. Unfortunately the mountain still blocks signals to and from North America.
MY QTH SUCKS!
As you can see from the sketch, I live on a very steep hill. Low angle radiation for working DX would only warm the rain worms. Although I have access to as many Spiderbeam Yagi antennas as I might want, I don't have a square foot of flat ground to install one on, and as I said, it would only warm the rain worms.
As a result, I have a low dipole with high angle radiation. I never thought I would use an antenna like this as my main antenna, but I never lived on a mountain before.
So why did I move here? Excellent question.
I did something very stupid. While still in the states, preparing for my move back to Germany, I was house hunting on the Internet. I found this place and checked it out with GoogleMaps. It looked great. My XYL was already here in Germany, house hunting. She looked at it and said it was lovely. Yes, her flower beds are lovely, but my antennas are crap!
TIP: Never choose a house over the Internet!