New for me amateur radio band activated: 15 meters (21 MHz) / 2016-10-12

2016-10-12 New for me amateur radio band activated: 15 meters (21 MHz)10 months ago
LW-10 HF antenna with earth wire
LW-10 HF antenna with earth wire
My full radio amateur privileges let me play on quite a number of radio bands and I haven't activated most of them. Partly due to missing equipment, but partly just not getting around to it.

A fellow amateur pointed out to me that the 15 meter band can be quite interesting for making contacts with some new stations. The 15 meter band is from 21.00 MHz to 21.45 MHz. I sort of do have the equipment for working on that band: the LW-10 longwire antenna for 6 to 40 meters which needs an antenna tuner. In earlier experiments in using the antenna tuner the tuner failed on the 15 meter band.

Today I made sure the balun of the LW-10 antenna was grounded with an earth wire to the nearest heating radiator. Not an ideal RF ground but better than nothing. On the second try the antenna tuner did its magic and the radio was happy with the result. And there were no crashing USB devices! There was one thing: I hear a ticking noise when transmitting trough the tuner. That is an indication of stray RF problems in the tuner itself so I added a ferrite core to the power cable of the tuner which did not fix this problem completely.

One thing I really have to do is try to tune above the frequency I want to use.

So the antenna did want to tune and work and I tried some PSK contacts on that band. And success: I made several contacts, including one with PB0ACU. I had a contact before with PB0ACU when I still had my previous callsign so this was a nice return contact. It was clearly not DX, but other contacts were further away. I already received eQSL confirmations for this and a few other 15 meter PSK contacts so this band is now truly activated for me.

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