80 Meter Sloper

I built an 80 meter loaded sloper. And yes, my XYL climbed the tower and attached the end almost at the top! What an amazing woman she is! It was fun and easy to set up/adjust (after the initial tower climb that is) due to the fact it is all raised/lowered with pulleys. I got the coil information from the K7MEM site.

Results? After some tweaking (ie. shortening) I was able to get a 1:1 SWR on 3.666 Mhz with about 120 Khz 2:1 bandwidth. Pretty darned impressive. When I switch between the tuned up G5RV and the new sloper there is about 4 S-units of signal difference… wow! They should be able to hear me now on the Tuesday night SPARC 80 meter net 😉

I did try a brief test on the 3.755 Mhz net with excellent results.  Echo Bay, ON (Sault Ste. Marie)(450km) – 7 to 9 S-units, Brockville, ON (580km) – 10 to 15 S-units. I could barely hear either station on the G5RV Jr. (to be fair, it’s designed to only go to 40 meters).

Now to try a loaded 160 meter sloper….. 🙂

dArkradio Caps

So. You want a dArkradio.net ballcap. I took it upon myself to inquire at a hat store in Sarnia (LIDS) and here is the verdict: $23. Luckily for dArk, our logo uses readily available fonts so the ‘artwork’ was uber cheap! Basically, you can spend more on one (eg. glow in the dark thread, different colours, etc) but that is the basic amount. Not as bad as I’d thought it would be. We may charge $25 with proceeds going to the dArk coffers. I mean, who wouldn’t WANT a dArkradio.net ballcap! Our club will be in the black dArk in no time LOL.

ps. I didn’t get one yet myself 🙁


CKARC Digital Net

Last night (Sep-18-2013) the CKARC held a digital (actually EasyPal) net following the weekly 2 meter net with a grand total of THREE participants (VE3UGG, VA3OT, VA3TWT and a voice check-in by VE3MUN). I was certainly hoping for a better turnout but there it is. If nothing else, VA3TWT got his setup complete and everyone that DID participate got their signal levels optimized. And it were fun.

It also turns out that VA3FIA has started a new CKARC website due to the fact that it has been problematic for him to get any info on user/passwords for the current website. Hard to update a website when you can’t get into it! In future, these two site will point to the same place. Thanks Fred.




Went on the SPARC Net last night (my possibly second time) with mixed results. Although I went in through the VE3WIN VHF repeater, at first I was told there were issues with my signal. Seriously? I regularly hit that repeater full quieting on 10 watts (I can sometimes key it up with my walkie standing outside). So I pumped it up to 50w. No better. Well, it seems the net controller was having issues – not me! Net control was choppy into all three repeaters. Would have been nice if one of the regular net participants would have told him this SOONER but, there it is. Ah well. If the same problem is encountered next week, I’LL tell him LOL. One suggestion here: possibly a 10 or 15 minute “warmup” (with trusted participants) before the net to ensure equipment/links are working properly. For instance, our local IRLP repeater was linked in (dunno by whom) and was about 2 seconds behind the action. I doubt this could be avoided due to the nature of IRLP.

Another annoying problem: a Michigan repeater on the same frequency pair as VE3TOM has a net also on Tuesday nights at 9:30pm. Man, I am right in the middle of these two (the MI repeater being stronger). At first I thought the TOM repeater had been somehow un-linked but when I heard the U.S. call signs it all became clear. Before the WIN/WIN/TOM link setup I could never participate in this net due to this issue. Doh!

After the regular net there is an 80 meter net. Although I could hear most of the participants, I was not well heard (at least by net control). Signals that I was hearing quite strong could barely hear me but I expected this. A) its a little too close for me and B) my antenna really only goes down to 40 meters so I’m basically QRP on 80m (I can tune up at 160m as well but no doubt emit MICRO watts there).

Having said all this, the net was well attended (24 I believe) and a good bunch.


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