Once your contest station grows bigger and you add more antennas to turn, it becomes quite annoying to move around the physical rotator controllers between the operating positions inside the shack. Desperate for a better solution, I developed a server software which provides access to the Rotators through the network. Now all rotators can be controlled either directly through Win-Test, TCP socket, or through a Web-Interface.
A few years ago I migrated almost entirely to OSX & Ubuntu. However I still had to maintain a Windows copy on one of my harddrive partitions, since a few applications were just available for Windows. In particular, DG8SAQ’s superb Vector Network Analyzer (VNWA) software. I can already use most of the applications in a Virtual machine, with the benefit of not having to reboot and change the OS, but DG8SAQ’s software with it’s USB I/O always gave me hard time. Finally I figured out what need’s to be changed. Now the VNWA runs also smoothly in a Virtual Machine.
At our contest station ED1R we have no space for permanent Lowband Verticals. Each Contest, the verticals have to be installed temporarily in a field nearly. Especially the deployment and removal of the antenna radials is very time consuming. Over time we optimized our system which reduced the required time from 2 hours down to 30 minutes.
This question bugged me after trying to exchange the connectors of a 25m long Aircell7 coax cable. During preparation I discovered a black inner conductor. I seems water entered the cable. Do I have to throw it away? Read more to discover a probably unexpected answer!
One of last years projects was the improvement of our Contest Station ED1R. For the various Yagis we needed smart ways to combine antennas. Instead of buying commercial stackmatches (antenna combiners) I decided to build them up buy myself and adjust them to our needs.