Sunday, September 21, 2014

Titan DX followup and the AV640

It has been quite a while since I have updated this blog.  I wanted to update the state of affairs for the Titan for those that have been following.  I would also like to talk a bit about the Hygain AV640.  This winter was extremely hard on all of my equipment.

The Titan met its unfortunate demise one day this past winter.  We had some cold temperatures and high winds (57 to 60MPH gusts) that just were to much for this great antenna.  I went outside one morning to find this fine antenna bent into a shape that can best be describe as "banana".   I pulled the antenna down and laid it on my roof until temperatures were more positive... literally. 

I really liked the Titan.  It is an awesome concept being a vertical dipole.  I never could get the models to even come close to predicting anything that resembled the real antenna performance.   You really can go wrong with this antenna as long as you can keep it out of high winds.

So what did I replace my Titan with... a Hygain AV640 Patriot of course!!  While not a vertical dipole, this antenna is another great design.  I have several friends in the area that have these verticals.  A couple of these guys have extremely high DXCC country counts with the little gems so I was enticed.

This antenna is several parallel 3/8 wave full length/loaded (depending on the band) verticals with 7 80" counterpoise radials.  It has a matching transformer at the base that improves the match to a 50 ohm coax.  The wind survival spec is better than that listed for the Gap but we will see how well it survives this coming winter

Assembly of the antenna takes time and patience.  Typical of all things Starksville, there will likely be missing and/or wrong parts that will need to be replaced/remade/invented.  Go through the parts list and inspect carefully before you get started with assembly.  Never assume that factory tightened/assembled parts were done correctly... double check everything.  Once you get this gem put together, you will be pleased with the performance.

W9DXCC was this weekend here in the Schaumburg.  Two days of mingling with budding and expert DXers was fun and educational.  All the talk of dxpeditions and massive pileups put me in the mood to go and find some remote island to visit for a week or so.

Well off to go warm the amplifier up...

until next time,