New toys...

I haven't posted anything lately but that doesn't mean that nothing has been happening.

First, a couple of weeks ago I found a Kenwood UT-10 1.2GHz module for my TS-790A. I've been looking for one of these for going on two years. Finally my eBay alert came through and I was able to pick it up within my budget. Of course that also means that I need a new antenna, low-loss coax, and some N connectors. Never fear, the Internet is here!

The Antenna
So I talked to a few people and was sent to Directive Systems in Maine. I called them up and talked to the guy that was busy building antennas but had enough time to answer some of my questions. After about a half-hour of microwave antenna theory I decided on the 2325LY which is a 1.2GHz (23cm) beam that uses loops for elements instead of dipoles. The antenna is 6-feet long and has approximately 17 dBi of gain. Not too shabby. With 10-watts in and around 1 dB of loss in the coax and connectors I should be seeing nearly 400 watts EIRP.
The Coax
Okay, so I have a transceiver and an antenna coming. I must missing something, right? Yeah, something to hook them together. I'm lucky. At the house I have a relatively short run to the radios (around thirty to forty feet) so it won't cost me an arm and a leg to connect everything together. Even so, The Wireman has just shipped me 17 pounds of wire. Yep, LMR-400, rotator wire, and a couple of N connectors. I bought enough LMR-400 to get my 432MHz beam on the air as well (23-elements). See what happens with the wife leaves me at home... alone?
The End Result
Well, I can't really talk about the end result because I'm still waiting for everything to get in. But I've been doing my prep work. I pulled the rotator out of storage and I'm going to get it prepared for installation. The 432MHz (70cm) antenna has been brought out from storage and is on the deck partially assembled (still need a couple of screws and four U-bolts). Today I swapped out a 2m/70cm J-pole for a 6m J-pole at the top of my "tower" (I worked quite a few VEs (using CW) on that J-pole just minutes after it was in the air. Amazing how it outperforms the dipole (not really amazing)). Unfortunately I have to figure out something else to do with the J-pole as the 23cm antenna has to go at the very top without anything running through the antenna. Looks like I'll be putting up another pole soon.

So that's what's been going on. As soon as I start getting stuff in the mail I'll try to remember to take pictures and post them here.