Sunday, December 10, 2006

Band pass filters

Some time ago Greg wrote me and asked if I had considered obtaining band-pass filters for the Montserrat trip since this was my first multi-op DXpedition. Actually, this is my second, Dave and I operated simultaneously in Maine at the K1P special event last Spring. Even then, with just two of us, it would have been very helpful. Of course Field Day is another multi-operator event (not a DXpedition, though) and it would have been very helpful last summer to have had these things!
In Greg’s message he said, “Maybe this is already on your radar...” Well, it should have been. I was thinking about researching this topic not long after the K1P trip, but I forgot. I just plain forgot. Which brings me to a recommendation I should make: even if you’re not considering a DXpedition right now, start a notebook to capture all of the questions and ideas you might have. I didn’t start this notebook until early in the Montserrat planning and I clearly lost interesting ideas and questions because of it, this being one of them.
So, I’m thinking about it now! Greg sent two links that are very interesting. The first is an article on band-pass filters. The other link points to the Array Solutions site where you can purchase these critters.
Greg wondered in his mail message if it wouldn’t be worth it to build them. I spent some quality time in the ARRL Handbook looking over the details and decided the actual assembly wouldn’t be that hard, if I only had all the parts. I don’t. Nor do I have a lot of time to put something together. As of this writing, I’ve got 49 days until I leave for Orlando, the first stop on the trip.
As a side note, all you clubs out there, here’s a chance for you: buying all the toroids in bulk, getting the right lengths of magnet wire, bulk buying the capacitors, boxes, and hardware, might just make a great club kit! But I digress...
At this point I’m looking into buying a complete set of these filters. They are about $100 each. For the 6 contesting bands, there is a deal where, as a bundle, you can get the 6 filters (10/15/20/40/80/160) for about $540. Then there are the WARC bands: 12/17/30. They, again, are $100 each. I’m looking at nearly $1000 worth of filters! That’s a lot of money (duh).
There is a Yankee Clipper Contest Club meeting this afternoon and some of the brightest hams in the hobby will be there. I’m planning on throwing out a cry for help to see if I can get some free advice. Of course, I’ll report back here what I find out.
Finally, there is a conference call tonight with the group. I put out a sanitized agenda earlier. I’ll let you know how that goes.


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