November 27, 2013

M0BZI HF10 Doublet

M0BZI HF10 Doublet

I have rather a limited area to put up any aerial, its around 45 feet deep and 18 feet wide. Im surrounded by buildings three storeys high with BT lines all around. In fact next door extended back the whole length of plot!! Only positive point is that the guttering is around 28 feet high and I have managed to get a pulley onto the wall so can use this height! The local daylight noise level is high S7 on 40m to S2 on 10m & once night comes, the local street lights add to this. OFCOM have put it down to the local community “radio fog” that comes from the houses as it disappears at the end of the garden!!

Limited space

I came across Fred Westerns aerial and a Google brought up the reviews on e-net
( and a review by Steve G0KYA

A read through these and a quick check of Freds page gave me more info. Its very basically a doublet with a top length of 67 feet and a length of 450 ohm ribbon to a current balun. In basic form, it’s a half wave G5RV with loading coils to give full coverage from 160-6m! the balun appears to be a 4:1 current type.

I measured up the space and reckoned rather than putting it up as a Inv Vee sloping dipole, if I used a couple of telescopic fibreglass poles I could get the main legs up almost horizontal and Avenge height of 18 feet! So I bit the bullet and ordered one via email and Paypal! Within 2 days it had arrived.

First Thoughts:

It arrived via sign for mail. It was well packed within a jiffy bag. The fixings are all stainless steel and the wire is lovely Flexweave so very weather proof. The 15’ 3’’ slotted ribbon wire is very hardy. The balun is well made and the loading coils are also well made and covered by heat shrink so should be ok in the weather up here!!

Up it goes

I took down my OCFD and laid out the doublet.  When using the ribbon cable, you must try to keep it clear from anything so I worked out I could keep the main run about eighteen inches away from the wall and earth to keep the aerial currents balanced.

I raised up the doublet, with the legs not as sloping as before as I used a couple of telescopic fibreglass “camping” flagpoles. I removed the top 3 sections to make it sturdier and thus put the legs around 17 feet up. One leg is dog legged down and across the garden then down towards ground the other drops to the pole then again to earth. So my lie out is less inverted than sloping. The feed drops parallel to the drain pipe and trying to keep it out. I have to use extra thin coax (RG174) to go through the window so I connected up a short run (OK it’s a bit lossy but over the 3m run its hardly anything!). I wound a choke just after the 4:1 balun and also used another ugly choke just before the ATU.


Firstly the background noise didn’t drop (Damn!!) and signals were heard on most bands even if conditions at the mo’ is not good
I charged up the batteries for my MFJ259 and checked the calibration before using to check out this aerial.

The following figures were taken at the ATU feed point at the aerial side:

How did it work?

Well the noise level didn’t drop much and I was able to tune it on all bands using my MFJ-969 ATU. Band conditions are not too good but hearing some good distance signals. I am getting out on the bands I have tried it out on. I know my working situation is not that good & it should work in a better clear location!

Looking around at wire aerials, the cost and build are good value. OK you could buy a ½ G5RV loading coils & a balun for maybe less. But you could buy more expensive wire aerials. Its going to stay up over winter and maybe the bands will re-open??
For those of us wanting to work all HF bands in limited locations and wanting a low visual impact aerial and not wanting a vertical (with no room for a decent radial system) this could be the answer!

This article was kindly submitted by Chris G4LDS

November 18, 2013

Wray Scarecrow Festival 2013 Part 2 of 2

Monday 6th May

Fair Day and Fell Race

Each year a fell race is run starting at the village hall.  Although we did not see the fell race start there were plenty of competitors jogging past our amateur radio station using the field to warm up prior to the race starting and quite a few returned at the end of the race covered in mud.  Its a race open to all and always very popular.

The Station consisted of :

The Elecraft K3, Heil Pro headset with the HC-5 Insert, A Shuttle pc, N1MM Logging program, Ranger 811H Linear Amplifier, 40m dipole.

The N1MM logging program

The N1MM logging program is free to download and normally used by Sands for our major contests throughout the year. It has many features for you to use and is very stable. If you would like to see what the program has to offer please click on the link below.

A few of the operators running GB4WSF

  Paul 2e0ckc
 Stephany G1LAT
Brian G0RDH
Other operators were:
Ian G0VGS, Linda G0YLM, Nick 2E0TBT, Paul 2E0CKC, Brian G0RDH, Mike M0PRL. 

Station promoting both the Wray Scarecrow Festival and B4RN (Broadband 4 Rural North)

The Bambuster videos below were shot on Sunday 6th May 2013 by Christine Conner and feature the Sands Contest Group Special Event Station

Wray Village first got a faster connection around 2003 Connection speeds currently vary but are anticipated to be the equivalent of a good quality 512kb connection or better. 

Broadband for Rural North (B4RN)
This video was produced by the BBC Technology department

The link below has many excellent video's showing how the cable is laid and repaired

It was all change from Sunday, no more military transport, classic car and tractors, they gave way to country crafts and exhibitions.  There was a fantastic array of food from different parts of the world along with homemade chutney and other local produce


Here are a few examples of one of the exhibitions / Demonstrations 
of chainsaw cutting that was demonstrated at the fair

Traditional Crafts

Wicker Basket Weaving display and demonstration
Wicker Fencing

We have all heard about the lack of bee colonies in the UK which leads to a loss of bees able to pollenate our flowers and fruit trees etc.  It was so nice to see Bee's for Bentham on site to educate us about the importance of bees and encourage those who are able to look deeper into what they can do to help. 

Bees for Bentham
Bee Hive

For more information bee keeping look at 
the site below its excellent

Traditional fair stands

Bungee Jumping went down very well with the kids 
as families enjoyed picnics away from normal 
daily life and spent quality time together.
Vultures spreading their wings and cooling down

Eagle Owl
I think this is a Barn Owl


 The Samba Band
 The samba band entertained the public with 
various Samba rhythms.  

for more information on the origins of samba 
please click on the link below 

 A Pipe Band

For some interesting facts about the history of the bagpipes
Please click on the links below.

Sheep and Geese herding display

Rare Breeds

Food including local produce and international produce
 We had everything from the traditional burger van
Through too local and international cuisine

 Greek Food

Local chutney samples

A lovely selection of local chutney

A selection of fine cheeses

A free range selection of eggs including Duck eggs

The Hog Roast much loved by Sands Members.

 Its also a favourite of many of the public 

It does not seem to last long

 A hearty selection from Lancaster soup

Indian Food

                                     You don't have to wait until the next Wray Fesitival
                                   to sample the delights of this food, they are available on 
                                    Lancaster Market Days along with other traders who 
                                              produce hot food from their countries.

The Elecraft K3 is now available to buy in the UK.  You will find many clips on You Tube and reviews on eham if you do a search.  The K3 has recently been in use by Ian and other members who have just returned from a holiday on the Island of Samos.  It was small enough to be carried as hand luggage onto the plane by Ian.  The callsign the group used was SZ8S..... our thanks go out to the local radio amateurs who have allowed us to use their station which is located at a redundant radio station on the island. When the commercial radio station closed down they left some really nice antenna's up which have been utilised by the group.  Look out for a Blog in the not too distant future detailing their adventures on radio and the Island.

Well that concludes our visit to the Wray Scarecrow Festival, a really enjoyable event.

Brian G0RDH