After being off the air for 3 or so years due to life getting in the way, I’ve decided to invest some time in getting Radio Totse back on the air. Since last broadcasting I’ve moved into a new place which meant leaving the old antenna mast behind due to a lack of space and the fact the last mast was bent beyond repair. Since then I have up sized somewhat and although I have a far smaller yard than previously, I think I have the space for a 1/4 wavelength vertical and radials. Basically I have spent the last few years coming up with a way to either buy cheaply or build from scratch a mast that would be at least 10 meters tall.
As I’d prefer not to invest large sums of money into running Radio Totse (The transmitter was by far the most expensive part of the operation), I found a cheap telescopic fishing pole from China for $40 USD which I will guy up with para cord or similar and tape some thin magnet wire up the side of it. Kinda similar to the “DakTenna” design I came up with last time but significantly more portable than 7.5 meters of 40 mm PVC drain pipe.
How well will it work? Who knows but either way the fishing pole is designed similar to the telescopic fibreglass masts that the likes of MFJ sell for amateur radio for twice the price. The quality of the MFJ masts however are likely twice that of a cheap carbon fibre fishing pole used for the same purpose. Plus I’m back living close to where I originally began broadcasting from which may help matters. My last rural QTH was terrible for getting signals out at a low takeoff angle due to terrain features, something my current place doesn’t suffer from. The lack of a portable vertical made for some difficulty too which didn’t really help my plans of driving to the top of a hill near the coast and broadcasting into the night. The only real issue I foresee is the fact that carbon fibre is conductive which I hope won’t have too much effect on the operation of the antenna. Personally I’d prefer an aluminium mast as I could sit it in an upturned 22 kV power line insulator I have laying around and feed it as a mast radiator.
As for the current state of the solar cycle? Things have certainly taken a bit of a dive since I was last on the air so who knows. Either way we will be on 6925 kHz like always. Keep an ear out for test broadcasts in the weeks to come. I expect to start around 0800 UTC onwards (9 pm local time) as we did before and run into the night. Generally I try to broadcast for a few hours either side of sunrise in the US in the hopes someone catches the broadcast on their SDR or hears it live.