Endfed halfwaves (EFHW)

Some years ago I began to experiment with endfed halfwave antennas. My friend Eric WL7CMT suggested many years ago that I experiment with those. As this is an antenna which is a bit off the beaten track, I did not trust it. Then I built one for 20m and was surprised!

The one shown in the video is matched with a low pass, now I built one using a broadband ferrite transformer using two stacked Würth Ferrite cores (2 primary windings, 15 secondary windings, primary compensated with 110pF). The core material is a bit like Material 43

The results are not in yet but I am under the faint impression that the low pass is more efficient than the transformer. Certainly, using a single core drives the same into saturation.  FT140-43 would be the traditional building material.

Another insight was that two primary windings are more suitable for high frequencies than one. It is difficult anyway to get the cap to compensate for the primary inductance. I might add some screenshots of the VNA plots.

Airshow

Every year, during the last week of school vacation, there is a fabulous model aircraft show in Kirberg. If you stay in the area, It’s well worth dropping by.

Which reminds me, I got to get out to fly the drone 😉

 

Rhine valley

Recently we went on a short visit to the upper middle Rhine valley which is just a short hop from our home and which is a scenic place to visit.

Pictured is Castle Pfalzgrafenstein. Practically speaking, this is a toll station from the middle ages. The location bears some historical significance as it is the location where the Prussian army crossed the river to fight Napoleons forces, ending in the Battle of Waterloo.

Present day Kaub is a bit run down but allows interesting insights in to its former glory during the last century. Many of the small towns along the river had a touristic past but nowadays are deserted. One might be able to score real estate there for next to nothing.

If you are visiting, keep in mind that the fall season offers great opportunities to visit some “Straussenwirtschaft”, which are small, inofficial venues in the back gardens of some wineries and farms where fresh produce of the season can be sampled. If the weather is good, this can be a lot of fun.

Hamfest Score

I recently was so lucky to run into a gentleman selling two vintage Fluke differential voltmeters, a Fluke 891 (DC only) and 893 (AC and DC) for 10 Euro each. What could go wrong?

Both instruments were in a fairly questionable state so I took them through a thorough cleaning cycle and re-calibrated them. All knobs were rinsed ultrasonically and one of the meters had to be disassembled and oiled to bring it back to life. I could not find a manual for the 891 but since the 893 is practically the same instrument, all the information is there.

Luckily I had seen W2AEWs excellent Video review, so I knew what to expect.

What a fabulous instrument! How amazing is it to have an instrument which is almost as old as myself that can measure a voltage to the nth decimal digit?

What had to be done was:

  • Thorough cleaning
  • Fixing the meter on the 891
  • Recalibrating both instruments
  • Adding a power cord plug to the 893

SE6861 Manpack

I met this Gentleman, Benno DK7GB, recently during Hamradio in Friedrichshafen and we found that we both own one of these fabulous SE6861 radios.

Mine, I was able to score at a very decent price at a tiny hamfest. Interestingly my best hamfest bargains were found at the smaller venues, not the big ones. Anyway, all that was needed is to replace the long gone battery packs with new ones.

The new ones are 3500 mAh cells that I found on eBay (and which surprisingly really hold that capacity). They were soldered together, arranged on a piece of FR4 fiberglass board, wrapped in heatshrink tubing and attached to the bottom of the battery compartment. Power is supplied to the radio through standard 4mm sockets. The charging circuit was slightly modified by increasing the charging current to the battery to 350 mA (for a C10 charge). Charging power is supplied by an old Dell laptop power supply with an attached Mil power plug (that alone has cost almost as much as the radio)

The entire modification is fully reversible.

The radio itself is nice to work with as it is fully self contained, runs USB, LSB and CW with 20 Watt, has a lovely antenna tuner and can tune any wet string.