September 17, 2009


Finally the SteppIR is up in the air at the contest site! Here are Barrie's thoughts on the subject, particularly on the Tennamast it is on...

Actually, the mast is stronger than it looks and the SteppIR does not have a large profile, provided that I keep it homed in a South Westerly direction, I think it will be okay as that is the way the strongest winds blow here. When I extend it I will put Guy Wires down, but that’s another job that will have to wait for a while now, it will have to stay in its lowered position until I have the time to sort it out.

I also have to remove a small section of hedge and dig a trench in the field so that I can lower it in the Horizontal plane, it’s all due to the slope of the land, but it will then be very easy to get at all the parts for any maintenance, which I am sure there will be in the future.

In all fairness, I am not convinced that it is the best antenna for UK and especially Oysterber weather, I feel it is too complicated, too many electrical connections and a very badly designed antenna connection, like a lot of antennas these days, I don’t know why, instead of a rigid fixed connecter they don’t encapsulate a length of High quality coax maybe a few metres long and then you can fix a connector yourself and extend the coax to where you want it, the connection being very easy to waterproof, either by putting inside a container or wrapping it with self amalgamating tape and sealing it with good quality insulating tape, Rain in the UK is in my opinion the biggest problem with antennas and to spend so much time designing such a clever antenna as the SteppIR which costs two arms, two legs and an ear and then sticking a cheap and nasty coax connecter on it says a lot.

I speak to a guy in Ayr Scotland regularly on 2 metres ssb and he like me lives on a Farm, he also put up a 3 element SteppIR but it didn’t last, it didn’t blow down, it just could not cope with the UK weather, he has now changed to single band aluminium 3 element beams for his favourites, he says that nothing can really go wrong with them and if an element breaks its dead simple to replace, he has a point I think.

Barrie G1JYB

1 comment:

MCDent said...

Good to see it finally up Barry, shame about the cheaper connector used on it too.
Nice write up to.