ATS-4B lives, additional element ordered for C3

I built my ATS-4B several months ago and finally got on the air with it yesterday. Most of the delay was caused by an intermittent problem; the rest, by the tower project.

The problem was the result of a flaky solder joint on a tiny MOSFET that, at times, would function normally on one or two bands and at others, not at all. As a result, I might have a good output on 30m one day and on 17m the next. And the next day, no output at all.

It’s very confounding and difficult to troubleshoot changing symptoms. To finally get it resolved took two trips back to Steve KD1JV.

The first two QSO’s were made using a 9-volt battery as the power supply and those contacts were in Florida and Mexico on 20 and 17 meters. Two watts out with this supply.

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In antenna news:

Force 12 offers several options for their (my) C3 antenna including an additional element for the 10m band and a 40m dipole that mounts to the boom.

At my antenna’s height, I doubt whether the 40m dipole add-on would be worth its price – but at $99 and conditions being what they have been, I’m sure the additional gain on 10m would be beneficial. Force 12 promises to have that element on its way to me next week.

The Hazer should make the installation easy – lower, drill a few holes, tighten two U-bolts, raise.

On other bands, the Yagi does what I bought it to do. With the dipole, I could never even hear Zone 22 – last night, I was able to easily work 4S7AB and VU2MVX on 20 meters. Switching back to the dipole, I couldn’t even tell they were there.

Now to combine the ATS-4B and the Yagi during a DX opening…

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  2 comments for “ATS-4B lives, additional element ordered for C3

  1. October 28, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Good morning John, good to hear you have the issue worked out with the radio project, As for the rig and antenna combo the results should be great.
    Mike

  2. October 31, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    I don’t have an ATS-4 but a Mountain Topper Rig and they have many in common. They are great rig, really pleasant to build and to use (given it is true compact and efficient field radio). Steve KD1JV is a great designer.

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