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HF, VHF, UHF and Microwave Radio

 VHF/UHF Antenna

      One VHF/UHF (2m/70cm) antenna at G4AYT is a dual band Diamond X50, this is mainly used for local working and ATV talkback on FM. The antenna was mounted on a two inch mast but has been relocated to a chimney and is approximately 10m above ground level. It is fed with 8m of 50R RG213 cable which runs through the loft to the radio room. Low power of 5W is adequate for most purposes, but 100W is available on 2m or 75W on 70cm when necessary.

Rotatable VHF/UHF beams 4/8/44 el yagis on 6m(H)/2m(V)/23cm(H) for DX and beacons.

 Microwave Antennas

      At the top of the main microwave antenna mast is a 28 element JVL quad loop antenna used as ATV TX antenna for the KTG repeater at Lenham on 1.3GHz. The white tube at the bottom houses a 1.3GHz parabeam for RX and lookthrough of the ATV repeater. Both antennas are fixed beamed and cabled with H100.

      Between the 1.3GHz antennas is a WiMo SHF 1340 13cm 40 element yagi which is used as the TX antenna for the ATV link to Herne Bay on 2.3GHz. The antenna, which is rear mounted in a fixed direction, is cabled with Westflex 103 and connected to a 1W TX in the loft.

 Radios

      For HF, and LF RX, the main transceiver is an FT-950. Also available is an IC-718, fitted with DSP and narrow filtering. An IC-703 gets occasional use and is particularly handy for portable operation.

      For VHF, UHF and microwave (23cm) operation a multimode IC-910HX is the main transceiver. The Yeasu FT-950 100W transceiver is used on 6m. Also a Yeasu VX-5R 5W handheld is used for FM on 6m, 2m and 70cm. An IC-2E equivalent is used for FM portable on 2m only. Two KT-8900 transceivers and an IC-2400E for 2m/70cm FM and linking are in use.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                                            The VHF and UHF Antenna at G4AYT (now on the chimney)

 HF Radio

      G4AYT is active on the 20m band using a homebrew half wave dipole. Best DX on 20m SSB is VK2ERF, Bungonia NSW, Australia and with Opera VK3WHO near Melbourne, Australia, YW5M in Caracas, VE7CNF in BC Canada, WB2TQE Florida and KP4CG Puerto Rico.

 VHF up Beacons and Repeaters

      Regulars used at G4AYT are, on 23cm (1296.830MHz) GB3MHZ, on 70cm/2m (432.416MHz and 144.416MHz) PI7CIS, Scheveningen, which offers a comparison on two bands for conditions across the North Sea along with (432.450MHz and 144.418MHz) ON0VHF, Louvain La Neuve Uni, Belgium. On 6m (50.425MHz) PI7SIX, Rotterdam is good copy. These beacons are always audible in Whitstable. The 2m beacon (144.482MHz) GB3NGI, Northern Ireland, is also heard daily.

      Repeaters, such as the UHF FM GB3YL at Lowestoft, can also be useful indicators, being just on the fringe of 'normal' range under flat conditions here. This repeater is regularly useable with a vertical beam antenna. At the time of writing, there does not appear to be a 23cm 'phone repeater within easy range.                                                                                                                                                                  Main Microwave antenna mast at G4AYT

 Main Radios etc.

   Some of the main radios and other equipment in regular use at G4AYT:-

   Left, top to bottom:  IC703 TX/RX with 'pepperpot' DC isolator next to it.

                                   (FRG100 RX - No longer available)

                                   IC910HX multimode TX/RX for 2m, 70cm and 23cm.

   Right, top to bottom: Amateur Band ATU.

                                   SWR/Power meter.

                                   IC718 TX/RX with DSP and narrow CW filter fitted.

 

 The 10m Band

   During September 2011 the 10m band was regularly open world wide. Some amateurs reporting the band being better than it's been for over twenty years. G4AYT  re-instated his half wave dipole in the loft and using only 10W with the IC703, worked VE3AXW in Ontario (just SW of Toronto, Canada), a distance of 5882km (3655 miles), on 7th. October 2011. During the early morning of 11th. November 2011 VK7XX, Tasmania, was a remarkably steady signal at RS 58 on 28.5377MHz, heard but not worked. Late 2013 the dipole was temporarily relocated outside, best contact to date on the outside antenna was with KC4TVZ in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, during October 2013, a distance of 6786km (4216 miles). This antenna has since been replaced by a 20m half wave dipole.

 HF Beacon Project

   One of the most useful things in recent years is the International Beacon Project (IBP). Beacons are situated around the world and transmit during a three minute cycle on spot frequencies in the 14/18/21/24/28MHz bands. A schedule and more details can be found HERE.

Some IBP 28MHz Beacons Received in Whitstable (loft dipole) November 2011

                  4X6TU Israel                          CS3B Madeira                          OH2B Finland                         RR9O Russia                      ZS6DN South Africa

 The 6m Band

   Currently G4AYT is inactive on the 6m band..