Monday, January 31, 2011

The J-pole is soldered together!

Tonight I soldered together the J-pole I mentioned in my last post.

Conditions were less than ideal for this. Not having a garage, and it being awfully cold outside, I had to work in a basement. On the plus side, the basement was relatively warm. On the minus side, it was awfully dirty down there. I kept things as clean as I could, though.

Another less than ideal thing was the flux I used. I purchased a kit from the hardware store that came with a small roll of solder and a small tube of flux. The tube of flux had a thick plastic lid, and I didn't have anything to puncture it with, so I ended up heating up a piece of scrap copper wire and using that to puncture the tube. I only managed this once, however, so the flux came out in a thin ribbon.

But, all problems and less than ideal conditions aside, the j-pole is together! Now all I need to do is find the 75 Ohm match point and I'll be good to go. Now, experienced hams might have noticed that I said 75 Ohms in my last sentence and be a bit confused. After all, most ham equipment is designed for 50 Ohm loads, and you generally want the best impedance match you can get, so as to maximize your power output. But as it happens, I have a bunch of leftover 75 Ohm RG6 that various cable installers have left with me, and I don't want it to go to waste. So I'm going to try and use that as feedline, and try and set something up to match that impedance as best I can. It was suggested in this thread on QRZ that if I make sure my 75 Ohm line is a multiple of 1/2 a wavelength, I can then connect a bit of 50 Ohm line at the radio end. We'll see how that goes. :)

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