Allen’s Antenna Farm
The year started with major work on my antennas. Sourced a TET-Emtron TE-46 and it arrived November 2021. Had to wait until January to hire a cherry picker to remove the existing 20M mono band and replace with this 4 Element 6 band Yagi. Also had to fix the faulty 160M loop as well as paint and reseal roof lines.
The title is a bit misleading, its really a 3 band yagi with a 3 band dipole integrated. I ummed and ahhed for a while as to the WARC element over a HF tribander given the cost compared to running up a WARC dipole however do not regret as the device is well made and so far the measured and experienced performance excellent. Today I have gained 10M and 15M contacts (as well as the usual 20M ZL SOTA early morning contacts) that were on the noise with the vertical but jumped 3S points on said Yagi. Have not got the WARC on line as yet as have the loop on the B side of the switch until finalised another switch. Will also note that the new antenna is compact compared the the unit it replaced and is operating clear of the tree branches. I did trim out some branches for the loop but didn’t have to gut the trees around the Yagi.
Towers like antenna are again a compromise. Whilst a 20M and / or a Nally tower would be wonderful this unit which consists on 5 sections bolted together and guyed has proved to be reliable and resilient. The base bolted to a concrete and the guys at at the fourth section. In the five years it has been up we have experienced several storms that had taken out several trees and high branches but the tower remains solid. You can see pole coming out that hold the feed point for the 160M loop. This device also received some attention with the Balun being drained (and adding new and enlarging existing drain holes and reconnecting the loop end that had corroded and disconnected. I had a 160M end fed which did not preform at all! Again had to wait until cherry picker on site to compete the tasks safely.
Not to be forgotten, the 4band vertical received additional radials during the year which are now well under the mowing line. This antenna has proved to be a solid performer demanding little maintenance. When ever I come across discarded cable, you solder a terminal on the end and push into the grass.
The latest new antenna to be installed is ‘Dishy’ a satellite disk for Starlink internet. Despite what Tony Abbot stated, 25Mbit/s (NBN wireless service) was inadequate for domestic use as in reality barely maintained 6Mbit/s making WFH nearly impossible during the lockdowns. Whilst email and browsing can be maintained at such speeds, video meetings can not. Frustrated I put my name down for SpaceX satellite service as soon as it was announced in Australia and have not looked back (currently receiving Download: 137.25 Mbit/s Upload: 8.24 Mbit/s).
Have a nice low noise floor being out in a ‘remote’ area. There was some concern that the proximity to the now commissioned Lal Lal wind farm. We are now surrounded by turbines and I have noted no perceivable noise coming from the turbines and despite worries that locals had early on, I haven’t heard any subsequent complaints about noise or ill effects of any kind being experienced by anyone. Will also note that the predicted decline in property values was not to be with property values doubling in the area over the COVID era due to the demand for ‘Tree Change’ property.