Saturday, January 18, 2014

The E-Probe Got a New Location

The regular reader of this blog may know, that I am using different aerials for my grabber. All on a longer term. First it was the DCTL, than it was the E-probe (aka. modified mini-whip).

For many months, the E-probe was just dangling from the edge of my upper roof, which screened South by a good part.

Since some weeks, I put it on my upper roof. As soon as it was up, of course we had a solar storm and condx went down. Even with condx up again, not a single DX was received. I figure this would be caused by the rather low position of the E-probe. Reason for that decision was to be safe in storm. It can actually blow a bit here in South Holland.

Here is how this setup looked:
E-probe, just above the edges of the roof

Today, I decided to raise the E-probe by 1m, by adding an additional piece of PVC pipe to the construction. Originally, I wanted to use a straight coupling piece to do that, but that would have meant to pay a visit to the hardware store. In garage, where I kept the piping, I found a matching T-coupler. This could be used to the advantage of the setup!
Why not feeding the coax-cable through the stand, a guide it out at the T-coupler?

Of course, first I had to take thing apart, in order to feed the coax through the stand's tubing.
Disconnected and in pieces
Now to the first impressions. Of course I did not shutdown the grabber during the process, so one can see a clear "before and after" (and also some in-between).
During (and after)
 What happend? (times in Zulu/UTC)
  • 13:26 - I disconnected the coax from the E-probe
  • 13:30 - reconnected the coax and arranged stuff
  • 13:33 to 13:34 - cleaning of the BNC-connector 
  • 13:34 - I left the roof
My first impression is, that I am able to receive 3 QRSS stations, just minutes before, I did not receive any. 

I just hope that the leverage of the higher E-probe will not cause the entire thing to be blown off the roof by the next breeze.

The relatively lightweight bricks are now replaced by heavy concrete garden tiles. This should do, even when storms should come up.
The bricks will now be used for another flower pot heater...