After some research, and reading the blog of GM4FVM, I purchased the Diamond A502HBR. This 2 element Yagi of the HB9CV type promised moderate gain, light weight and a reasonably wide F/B ratio which made it a good candidate for a receive antenna intended for activity detection and monitoring.
|A502HBR on the workshop floor|
Construction was rapid with so few parts and the use of colour coding on the elements. An initial continuity check of the coax after fitting a PL259 plug showed a connection between centre and braid, which was accepted after acknowledging that the Gamma match will produce this phenomenon with a multimeter - thanks to G0MJI for confirmation.
To mount the antenna, I purchased another L.G. Harris 731 5m pole which, for around £16, offered adequate strength and height for a temporary installation.
|The A502HBR on the 5m mast|
Not having an antenna analyzer to hand which covered 6m, the initial plan was to start receiving in a variety of modes using the Red Pitayas and see what could be heard. The antenna was fixed on an azimuth of 134 degrees, with the main lobe towards pointing towards Italy.
After a number of hours of silence, I was extremely fortunate to experience a winter Sporadic-E opening that afternoon to test the antenna. First impressions are that it is working satisfactorily.
Signal processing flow
|Stations received on 18 Jan 2018, CW (including beacons) and FT8|