Month: April 2012

Solving a creaking mast problem

About three years ago a working party descended on my QTH and we did some major upgrades to my VHF aerial system.  We put up a longer pole, replaced the rotator with a bigger one, swapped all the cables out and fitted a masthead preamp. Everything worked well and I was happy with the installation […]

Cushcraft MA-5B is repaired with a new MT1 trap

Cushcraft were always known for good quality products but some years ago they were taken over by MFJ.  It’s no secret that MFJ have a bit of a reputation for poor quality control and they may or may not deserve the many nicknames that they’ve been given. Personally, I’ve had no problems with any of […]

New Acom 1500 HF+6M Linear Amplifier

I just saw the following information on and it’s worth reposting here: ACOM1500 is developed on the base of the well known ACOM1000. The tube GU74B has been replaced by 4CX1000A and the power supply is beefed accordingly. The RF power is  up to 1500 W. PEP output on 160 trough 6m Bands. Another improvement is the […]

A sked with the Falkland Islands

VP8 isn’t particularly rare in amateur radio terms, currently appearing at number 194 in the ClubLog list of most wanted DXCC entities but it was a country that I’d not worked up until a few days ago. I contacted Mike, VP8NO who is a fellow member of the Chiltern DX Club by email to see if […]

Testing my dummy load

Back in August last year I built a dummy load out of a bunch of resistors, a paint tin and some oil.  I said at the time that it seems to work fine on HF but not so well on VHF.  After I used the load last weekend to test my aerial, I thought perhaps […]

One of the traps on my Cushcraft MA-5B has melted

Today I took down my Cushcraft MA-5B again to investigate the problem of high SWR on 20m and 15m and after a struggle to get the traps on the driven element disassembled, this is what I found. The bottom section was taken from the ‘hot’ side of the feed, ie the centre core of the […]

Not a very good night at the Martello Tower

Last night was the April 144MHz RSGB UKAC contest and as usual we were at the Martello Tower to take part. Things started off slowly with only 15 stations or so worked in the first half an hour with just two of those being given a genuine five-nine report.  Signals were generally much lower than […]

More problems with my Cushcraft MA-5B

There I was, at quarter past eight this morning calling CQ in the April Fools Day contest on 20m 😉 when I noticed that my SWR had gone from 1.1:1 to 3.5:1.  Something was clearly wrong so I stopped calling straight away and started to investigate. The first thing I did was to tune around […]

Statistics – March 2012

I’ve operated lots of data again during March and have had plenty of fun doing it.  My DXCC count continues to grow slowly and steadily and I’m not far away from having DXCC confirmed on 15m.  It’s been a while since I applied for 10m DXCC so hopefully that will come through soon. My operating […]