15 October 2016

More Equipment Troubles - But It's All Part of Amateur Radio

Continuing my streak of radio troubles, I've been working on trying to set up a decent attic dipole that will allow me to use multiple bands without needing to climb up there every time I want to change bands.  I settled on a SteppIR, mainly because in the past I had a 3-element SteppIR beam that I really truly loved.  They are excellent performers and while a dipole isn't going to match a beam, I still like the idea of easy band changes.  It will also be able to perform as a remote operations antenna once I've got things configured properly.

But I am having problems with it.  After what I thought was a clean install, I was unable to obtain anything but infinite SWR anywhere - using an antenna analyzer, I cannot find any frequency between 80m and 2m that would be even close to an acceptable SWR.  So I concluded there must be a short somewhere?  I'm still working on the solution, and as frustrating as stuff like this is, I also realize it's all part of ham radio.  Problem-solving is often when you learn the most.

Here's a photo of the inside of the "EHU" unit.  The actual antenna elements are simply rolled up copper tape that extends via steppir motors out into the fiberglass poles.  Pretty basic actually!

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