Editor: Christina Van Helder
Medium wave DXer Connor Marks of Maine is well known for his technical genius. His most recent project is phasing a common wood-frame loop antenna with a cow. Connor says that on his first evening using this set-up he received eight new Trans-Atlantic catches, plus got six liters of grade A homogenized.
The cow is attached to the phasing unit via a 50 ohm coaxial cable with an alligator clip. Connor recommends experimenting to see which teat gives the best results, and be sure to be gentle. He notes that there is no need for a ground connection if the cow is standing on a steel floor. However, placement of the loop antenna relative to the cow is highly critical. If the loop is placed immediately behind the cow, it may need to be cleaned off frequently.
Food and DXing
After playing with their knobs, most DXers' favorite thing to do with their hands while DXing is eating. With that in mind, the Bleene Corporation has come up with another one of their unique products for the DX market - the Bleene MCV-101, a hand-cranked portable microwave oven which is perfect for DXpeditions to locations with no electricity.
How fast the food heats in the MCV-101 depends on how fast the unit is cranked. Unless you have muscles like Governor Terminator, this won't heat as fast as a standard electric microwave oven. Still, I was able to fully heat a container of Uncle Harold's beanie-weenies with just eight minutes of semi-vigorous cranking. Likewise, the amount of RFI the oven generates is related to how fast you crank. While I was heating my beanie-weenies, the RFI topped out at just under 30 dB. Not bad!
It's no wonder that Bleene's slogann is When it's made by Bleene, you know there's nothing else like it. Anywhere. You can bet my MCV-101 will be coming with me on my next DXpedtion!
Sticking on the food theme for a moment, remember that if you are cooking while DXing that you should never place your receiver on a hot stove burner or in the oven. That's hot DX you don't want.
With the recent bad press over tube receivers and global warming, the environmentally friendly thing to do is have your boat anchor do double duty. Joe Davidson runs water pipes through his six tube receivers for a cheap source of instant hot water. How about sending us the plans, Joe, so we can post them on the website?
Just be careful if you use your tube receivers to heat your home, as they can over heat. Always keep a fire extinguisher nearby. And never place small children on top of a hot tube receiver.
This month's technical tip: Do not wear provocative or suggestive clothing while erecting antennas outdoors. Squirrels are easily excited.
Finally, I'd like to thank my special assitants in preparing this month's column:
Beverage Antenna Erection Consultant, Lawson DeForrest
Vertical Antenna Erection Consultant, Guy Hightower
Next month an article from Dr. Philip Simpson -
A History of Hydraulic Band-Switching in Norwegian Portable Receivers.