Review of photographs from testing of mobile meteor equipment at Bill Watson’s house 8/4/17 with advice on using Yaesu FT-817 for meteor scatter & update on 5/8 homebrew vertical meteor aerial 11/4/17 @ 20:00 (Bill Watson)

It’s a good camera Andy (Samsung S7 phone camera), to have got all of the height of my HF9V aerial (Butternut aerial) vertical in……..very good indeed. Yes…..I can confirm the sensitivity of your Yaesu FT-817 is without doubt better than my…TS-2000 transceiver……which is a lot more expensive but the technology of the Yaesu FT-817 is more recent which is probably the reason………they usually improved as years pass by…..even only a few years. Now…..before i forget Andy….the Yaesu FT-817…..Do make sure of the following ……….ensure that…………..( “R”)   is…not…not….not….shown on the display. If ‘R’  is displayed, then the frequency will be…..incorrect. That is important for you when receiving your meteors. You’ll have to look at your manual to find out of course…..I do not remember ( needless to say )……it is a useful feature and it’s used when operating on…CW……what it allows the operator to do  is this…….( simple really )…..it allows you to tune to the opposite side of ‘zero beat’……and sometimes when you do this it removes ( or at least helps to remove ) any interference that is on the opposite side of…zero beat……..so at times useful….but you then have to remember to switch it back to the correct frequency…and………..remove the ‘r’……..from the display. You will never need use it, unless you get into operating CW (which as an avid CW operator……i would encourage).

Finally………i am delighted to say that the home brew 5/8 wave vertical that i made for 143.049 MHz (Graves) seems to work excellent. The advantage of that over the Moxon is that it is without doubt a better visual impact for neighbours………the disadvantage is that because it is resonated on 143.049 then attempting to resolve the

Wrotham beacon ( Kent beacon )……on….144.430 MHz….is considerably harder. This is mainly because the beacon on…144.430…is………horizontally polarized and of course the 5/8 wave is…vertical………this causes a massive loss in signal strength at vhf/uhf…….when using….line of sight. However, as Graves is further away than Kent, then the difference in the polar diagram of signals/aerials becomes less apparent, as signals change in polarity by reflection/refraction. In practice using the vertical seems to work well for meteors as the 5/8 wave does possess an excellent…low angle of radiation.

Bill, G4EHT

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