25 Aug 2010

GP1 Antenna

Whilst on Antennas, yesterday I removed my 6m beam as activity (appears) to have tailed off ?... and frankly have become somewhat disillusioned with 6m so I resurrected my 16year old Comet GP1, which I'd used at my previous qth where we were reasonably high and had good take-off at VHF to the north east, this proved to be excellent whilst I was using "Packet" all those years ago, (Is the UK Packet network still alive)...  I remember the rush to buy a TNC in those days and later set up NOS and also used tcpip directly from Linux.
Back to the GP1  -  Since moving I had only used it for a short period until the 2m radio died, then stored it - it is now about 15 years old and I find they're still being produced and sell at around £60.
I cleaned it up, and the mounting brackets which are only slightly tarnished (Look like - laquered aluminium) polished up nicely and gave the outer fibreglass a wipe and polish and it looked as good as new - I remember thinking when I bought this antenna, this will last a while - It has !

Connecting up to the FT817 on 2m there was instant activity, also on 70cm's,  but I found monitoring the "Airband" even more interesting - boy does it pull in the sigs here - coupled with using  Radar Virtuel can track flights into and out of either Gatwick  or London Heathrow,  the best bit is I can even hear  aircraft direct on the other side of the channel as they leave Brest airspace 30-50 miles away - I am going to try my handy as well, see if we can monitor the shipping.
Not sure how it might perform receiving the satellite sigs on U/V - I seem to remember many moons ago someone introduced me to satellite activity and I did hear the space station so it will be an interesting experiment to try again. Having never really been a big 2m fan it has opened up new avenues - might check out  the satellites tonight providing I get a decent pass -

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