Sunday, October 4, 2015

Antenna Replacement & Modern Radio Bolton

You know when everything seems to be going well and then all of a sudden everything goes wrong? Well it's been one of those weeks this week!

First of all I decided to SWR test my Diamond X-50 colinear as it is getting very old now along with the feeder that supports it. The SWR reading was off the scale on 2m and was 1:3 on 70cm which of course had me worried as I hadn't checked it in a long while and wondered how long I'd been transmitting with it like that. Ok 10w isn't too much power but with an SWR off the scale it still isn't good.

So I decided a replacement for my aging X-50 was in order so I priced up some options to make a list of everything I needed. My current antenna is on a homebrew bracket screwed into the fascia board on the back of the house which my Dad made 11 years ago when I first got licensed. The antenna I had in mind originally was a Diamond V-2000 which is a 6m, 2m and 70cm trilnear which at 2.5m long is way too big and heavy for the existing mount so T&K brackets were needed.

I can't spend too much on a new setup so I went for RG213 coax which is low loss enough for my needs. I also went for an 8ft pole, I was limited to this size purely as it was all I could fit in the car and didn't want to pay extra to have something bigger delivered.

With my list made I took a drive over to Modern Radio in Bolton, Manchester to pick up everything I needed. I asked about the Diamond V-2000 and saw that the shop sells the Sharman variants which I've been told by numerous amateurs that there is no difference in quality. So I have a look at the antenna and quickly realised that A, I don't need a trilinear due to not having 6m in the shack and B, The radial on the antenna for the 50mhz side of things was way too long and would nearly touch the roof tiles. I asked about the closest alternative and Dee showed me the Diamond X-200 which was the exact same size at 2.5m but only a colinear for 2m and 70cm. Perfect.

I reeled off the list of what I needed and we pulled the pieces of the jigsaw together, 24" T&K brackets, 15m of RG213 coax fitted with the relevant plugs and as for the pole, the only one thick enough was 10ft long which was too big so we cut one down to 8ft instead.

I can't wait to get everything up and running next weekend and I'm looking forward to seeing a big difference in both transmit and receive performance. Thanks to Modern Radio in Bolton for all your help!

Oh and turns out that the patch lead I was using was faulty. SWR on the X-50 is perfect! #!@$&!*!!!

Thanks for reading!
73's, Lewis M3HHY.

Manchester, UK.

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