The Mosley RV4C

When we moved to our current home in 2015, I stuck the unassembled Mosley under my ham shack.  I pulled it out today and laid everything out:
The antenna is 33 feet tall normally but if you look at the bottom of the antenna (far right in the picture), the base of the antenna is broken off.  Dad had it installed on the roof of their previous home and the old plastic on the base gave way, causing the antenna to fall over.  Right now, I can’t see any way to attach radials properly and the antenna is designed to be mounted on a metal pile at least six feet in the ground so the antenna can be grounded properly.

The last time I called Mosley (which would be probably close to ten years ago now), the base was $50.  I’m going to email them and see what the price is on this part.  If so, I will find the money to get the part and get this antenna set up.  I think that this, for the price, is the way to go for an antenna for now.  Not only that but I can mount this in an out-of-the-way place and put the four 25′ radials I will use in places that aren’t normally disturbed.

More on this as I find out more information on the base.  Would be nice to get it going again.  I paid $125 for this quite some time ago.  You can buy one new from Mosley without the 80 meter coil at the bottom of my antenna for $395.  The coil is at least $100 more.

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Site survey

So I decided to do a site survey tonight which really means I stood around outside, chin in my hand, for 30 minutes and thought about six different types of antennas I could set up.  I’m still planning on putting the Mosley back up but it seems that I’m still wanting the myantennas.com EFHW for now.  Someday, when I get a house in the woods, I might put up a big doublet with 600-ohm antenna line for a feed into a 4:1 balun to run coax into the shack but that’s pretty far down the road.  I’m wanting to do something quick so I can get on the air for Field Day and the upcoming 13 Colonies special event.

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Another antenna

I forgot that I have my Mosley RV-4C vertical (10-40 meters and I have the 80 meter coil on it).  The base of the antenna broke off quite some time ago.  I can get a new base for $50 from Mosley but my dad KD7SXQ has offered to build me a base out of wood to get the Mosley back up and going.  So I am working on this project now so I can try to have the Mosley up and going by Field Day.  I’ll take down the hamstick dipole but I want to use it for portable use with something like the MFJ-1919EX 10′ telescoping fiberglass pole with a tripod.  I still want to get the MyAntennas.com 6-80 EFHW antenna one of these days.

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So far so good

The 40-meter hamstick dipole is doing surprisingly well being it’s close to power lines.  I’m hoping to get a set of 80-meter hamsticks and relocate the antenna further in our property, away from noisy powerlines.  If the finances allow, I’d love to get a remote-control TV antenna controller to rotate the antenna to allow for better reception with the narrow bandwidth available on a hamstick dipole setup.

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The shack

I finally took a picture of the “operating position” in my tiny shack.  It’s an 8′ x 10′ room so there’s not much room in it.

The 706MKII is sitting on a shelf to the left in this picture.  Seen are my Kenwood TS-430S, Yaesu FT-450D, Yaesu FTM-3100 2m radio, and my MFJ-969 Deluxe Versa Tuner II antenna matcher.  The computer is running Slackware 64 Linux with Xfce.  The certificates above the shelf are my Feld Hell Club and American Legion Amateur Radio Club membership certificates.

It’s a small modest setup but it works for me.  I like to use the TS-430S for SSB and the FT-450D for digital.

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Configuring the serial port under Linux

I discovered that this new computer has its physical serial port at address Ox3F8 but on IRQ 10.  I wasn’t sure how to correct this problem so I dug deeper.  This is specifically for Slackware Linux but this should apply to other Linux distros because I am using common tools.

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Using the tw suite under Slackware Linux

Tonight I decided to install most of Ted Williams’ WA0EIR suite of Linux-based amateur radio programs on my new shack computer running Slackware 64 Linux 14.2.  It was a very simple install with a minor variation you need to be aware of.

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Been a while

I haven’t been active in ham radio much lately.  On February 27, I was hit head-on at 70 MPH and walked away from the accident with a badly broken right pinky finger and a banged-up left knee.  I’m healed enough now to where I have been cleared to return to work.  Due to storms, my antenna is no longer any good so I am working on getting another one once I am working again.  I’ve moved the shack computer back to Slackware 64 Linux and have been moving things around to get settled again.  I can’t wait to get back on the air again!

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New antenna

I’m going to be ordering the EFHW-8010 end-fed half-wave antenna from myantennas.com next week and the mounting hardware as well as a tripod to mount the back half of the antenna on the shed.  I’ve got to get my own antenna going as it’s driving me nuts not being on the air.

Today, my dad was given a container full of “ham radio stuff” and there was a working SignaLink SL-1+ in it!  So now I have the SignaLink USB and the SL-1+.  I like the SL-1+ since you don’t have to deal with drivers; just plug it into the computer’s soundcard and go.  I’m thinking about using that one with the Kenwood TS-430S as a “dedicated” digital station once I have the room to set up the other radio…or not.  We’ll see.

So far, all I seem to hear is FT8 and after looking into that mode, I have no interest in using it.  I much prefer Feld Hell or even PSK31 over that!

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Packet BBS

I’ve been toying around with the idea of setting up a packet BBS for quite some time now.  I run my regular BBS on a pretty stout server running Slackware Linux so I had been researching on how to set up a packet BBS. Continue reading

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