And this, kids, is why we rig our dipoles with black Dacron …

I guess the “UV Resistant!” nylon rope I used to rig my mini-G5RV wasn’t that resistant. Two summers of Scarborough sun did for it, turning the casing into friable dust. I knew that buying that big reel of black antenna rope last year was a good idea.

G5RV in the mist

There it is – I finally have the antenna installed. Works like a champ on 30 to 6m — when I remember to tune it, that is. I’d really like to thank Bob Morton of Maple Leaf Communications for helping me with the equipment choice. There’s also a J-Pole for VHF-UHF out of shot, but they’re not so interesting.

I’ve spoken on local 10m nets (and probably blasted people away, as I was on 100W and didn’t realize it). I’ve mostly been working PSK31 on 20 and 30m — so far, I’ve reached Poland, Russia, Wales, Germany, the US (from WA to FL), the Canary Islands, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico (and been gently berated from there for using too much power, oops). While it would be easy to e-mail folks in all of those countries, with PSK31, you don’t know who you’re going to get. All these folks can be calling in on the waterfall, and if you and they can exchange messages, they’re your neighbours, whether they’re in Podgorny or next door.

PSK31 sounds a bit like aliens whistling. Here’s what my CQ sounds like: va3pid-cq-psk31.mp3.