Thursday, August 21, 2008

Emergency Configuration

I decided it would be prudent to test my emergency antenna setup in the event that I lose the dual-band off the chimney due to high winds. The more I use it the more I'm in love with the EE-3 antenna from Evans Engineering. This thing is so simple and it works like an absolute dream.

Here's an image of my dual-purpose radio. It's configured as a go-box but is also used as my home installation. If the need arises I simply unplug the coax, put the lid on, and run out the door. I'm using a Yaesu FT-8800 with a 10AH 12V battery and MFJ ClearTone speaker. I rigged it with a switch so I can disable the speaker if I'm in a busy environment and just want to use phones. The phone jack is always enabled so I can use phones if I need to hear and cut the background noise but those around me also want to hear what's being passed.

You can see I've got the antenna sitting atop about a 2 1/2' piece of schedule 40 PVC. I cut a notch in the bottom to allow the cable to come out and the pipe can sit flush. I'm using my trusty ol' wood clamp to hold it in place. SWR is down at 1.2 and I can't ask for better than that. I did a radio check with the EOC and was full-quieting through the repeater but didn't make it even on 50W simplex. I guess I'll have to run the long cable outside if the antenna comes down.

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