The weather was nice enough today to spend a little time outside 65 F and Clear – light wind. I picked up some stainless screws to replace the ones that were slightly bent, probably during disassembly. Also replaced two driven element standoffs insulators and two trap covers that were cracked (age). Since the color codes had worn off, I checked the dimensions given in the manual only to discover I had installed the driven elements backwards. Swap those and checked all the fitting for tightness and plumb. With all the elements in the right place and tightened, all that was left was to connect the feed line and fire that puppy up!
I reduced the power on the FT897D to 10 watts, installed the SWR bridge, and fed her a little RF. The SWR looked good in the middle of the 20 meter band – right on spec 1.7 : 1. Bumped the power up to 90 watts – no change. I ran the same test on all bands – low and higher power – both ends and the middle of the band. The antenna performed exactly per the spec on all five bands.
Ok, now the real test! Checked into the MMSN on 14.300 – S6 – 15 db above the noise in FT Worth. Then the Ten Tec Net S9 in Atlanta, Georgia, then the AMSAT net – S9 in Houston – all with the Antenna pointing due East – 3 ft off the ground on saw horses.
Can’t wait to get this puppy up at 50 ft and she what she can really do! Check out the photos below.
Soon, real soon!
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