Since I've had a bit more time this last week or so It's been really good to be able to at least spend SOME time listening around on the bands - unfortunately earlier last week we had the solar flares which caused extensive Blackouts on most bands and I recall 20m having just two very weak/watery signals on one morning, but true to form a couple of days later things improved quickly and the bands have livened up very well to the extent of both 12 AND 10m opening up - hearing VK's JA and USA at very good strengths plus others, long may it continue !
I was planning to remove the I-Pro antenna but there has been a big delay with my new mast which STILL has not arrived so the new antenna projects are still on hold however, the I-Pro has been giving a very good account of itself with excellent contacts into CO, W, VE, nearly all have been 58/59 both ways CW capped last night with a 59, both ways into VU - again on CW running 50w from the TS590S - this radio is very, very nice to use and with silky smooth operation AND audio - compare that to my FT450D which although very good, has a much harsher audio on receive - and apparently on transmit also, which no doubt could be improved by using a decent desk or boom mic, and maybe the addition of external EQ.
Last weekend I decided to hang my quick and dirty dipole for 60m on one of my "shorter" fiberglass poles, so dodging the showers I managed to get it up ok and fix the two sloping legs to a fence, looking at it, it's no where near high enough with the centre at about 23 feet, but I have now established it works ! When the new mast is up we'll see how that same dipole performs at 60'
A while back I mentioned here that I would be undergoing a shack renovation, which included replacing the radio's and making some additions - the main reason for change was the somewhat "Cluttered" look on the desk - I wanted to give it a "Cleaner" look, which meant removing the small pine unit I made earlier this year to house equipment - I chose to keep it handy though as I may be able to use it later on sometime, so for now it's in the workshop.
Here's the old look:
A bit cramped and untidy
Here's the streamlined desk top:
Much better now I can see what I'm doing and everything is accessible - I wiil eventually move the Yaesu Power supply powering the TS590S underneath with the other one which feeds the FT450D/FT817 and/or accessories ... there is also a two tier paper rack underneath to the right to keep clutter off the desk - as you can see I dont have a lot of space and I have a feeling I'm going to outgrow this during next year - what you cannot see are two colour printers/Scanner/TS830/FT817/Computer Plus numerous extra's I keep boxed - Might struggle to find room for an Amp ! Outside we have an I-Pro Home multibander, with which I have made some good Dx contacts this is due to be mothballed, however I'm ALWAYS changing antennas and feeders these days so they DO NOT get a chance to weather and corrode, too many times in the past I have been caught by poor performance issues and suddenly finding the Swr has gone through the roof, only to find one half of the feeder has detatched itself, or is so badly corroded - No More, I check and replace my feeders every year (or Less) especially the RG58 types - There is NO point using old - poor - blackened - corroded feeder, shame it does not have a longer life - 9-12 months and it's useless. !! On a more positive note - Dinner is served.