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On the morning of April 9th I was greeted with the image of my QFH antenna
in pieces on the concrete. I had made contacts on FO-29 the night before.
After spending a day taking care of a computer crash, I started a new
design. This one uses 3/4 " copper water pipe for a mast and # 12 house wire
for the elements. The rest of the design is similar except that there is
only one spacer in the center hold the element shape. The new mast and fewer
insulators gave a resonance frequency of 462 MHz. New elements were then
made longer and the current antenna has a -25 dB return loss centered @ 435
MHz. I can now hear FO-29 down to 1 degree of elevation on the West passes.
I have successfully talked to myself on two orbits in the 05 and change GMT
time frame. I finally made one contact at just 4 degrees before LOS, boy is
this a lonely bird!
For those that are interested the new element lengths are 28.5 and 29.5 with
axial lengths of 20.45 and 21.45  all in inches. I am using a home brew
preamp and 1.25 dB insertion loss filter to keep the local gendarmes out of
my receiver and everything else they mix with.
My reward to puting up the new antenna is AO-51 is of the U/V FM mode for
the rest of this week

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