Muchos colegas han soñado con tener una antena Cushcraft vertical pero al enterarse del costo de estas se vienen abajo estos sueños, bueno pero como todo tiene arreglo menos la muerte, aquí tienen la papa srs: el secreto de las cajas negras de Cushcraft, Walmar, Hy-Gain, etc. estas antenas sin planos de tierra, como se pueden dar cuenta son muy fáciles de hacer nada del otro mundo.
nota importante: para conseguir los toroides estos se pueden adquirirse con el representante de walmar en el radio club de chile, en el kid del balun de hf Walmar, se obtienen los dos toroides necesarios para este proyecto.
The Cushcraft R5 and R7 verticals are favourites of mine, ever since Alex EI6AG, my friend and "Elmer" for many years, gave me a present of a set of faulty R7 traps.. It was fun to repair the traps, and then "homebrew" the rest of the antenna, including the matching box..
Many thanks to Joe Reisert W1JR, whose advice helped me get it up and running. Thanks also to Dave Moore EI4BZ, who allowed me to dissect his R5 "Black Box" in the name of Science...!
I like the idea of the 1/2 w/l radiator, as against the usual 1/4 w/l fed against ground.. My "homebrew" version works extremely well, and I use it as my "standby" and "reference" antenna.
(Circuit diagram of the matchbox)
There are a few problems which arise from time to time in older units.. especially in wet and windy areas.. or close to the Sea.
Varying, or high SWR on one or two bands.
This is usually caused by bad connections on the trap clamping arms. They should be carefully loosened, moved aside, and the contact area cleaned with steel wool. When clean, the area should be greased with Vaseline, or one of those dissimilar metal contact greases used by the electrical power utilities.
If this treatment doesn't work, and you still have high SWR one band, Then you have a ....
Traps usually go faulty because the heatshrink seal on the trap fails, and water gets inside the coaxial "trombone" capacitors on the traps. If the inside of the tube gets wet, this changes the dielectric constant of the capacitor, and the value of the capacitor changes, thus moving the resonant frequency of the trap. You will find that the SWR minimum point has moved, and normal adjustment will not bring it back on frequency.
If this situation is not corrected, eventually the capacitor will short out, especially if you're running high power..
Running high power into a bad SWR can eventually destroy the matching unit..!!!! More on that later...
To repair the trap, you must carefully note the length that the capacitor "rod" extends out of the "Tube". The rod can slide in and out of the tube, and is one plate of the capacitor, so you need to get it back the way it was before you dismantled it...!
Carefully dismantle this capacitor. Dry and clean all of the components, and reassemble. Re-seal the tube with "self-amalgamating" tape.
All should now be well again...
If the insulator tubing is badly damaged, you should go to Gerry VE6LB's page . He has a great method of repairing traps using Hot Melt Glue. When you see the original damaged trap, you'll be amazed that it could ever be fixed.. Well done Gerry!
If you have high SWR on ALL bands, then you probably have a
Faulty Matching Unit..
A - Matching capacitors. These are a pair of 86pF in series, to give an actual value of 40/50pF. These can, and do go open-circuit. Replace them with a single HIGH CURRENT type (doorknob) of 50pF if you can. ( I use three 15pF caps in parallel)
B - 4:1 BALUN transformer. These can actually disintegrate with bad SWR and high power...Ouch !! Replace with an Amidon Iron Dust core T200-2 wound as in pic above. Or with a Q1 material Ferrite core ( FT240-61) wound with 6 bifiliar turns (as against 11 in the pic above).
C - This antenna, being asymetrically fed, needs an effective Choke Balun to keep RF from the exterior of your feedline. This should not give any trouble...But if it does, an Iron Dust Core will NOT work here.. I use a ferrite core, Q1 material.
D - Make sure that all hardware connections are clean and secure
E - Moisture release vent.
F - Feed point (SO239)
G - PC board .
H - RF choke effectively DC grounds the radiator to help prevent static electricity from entering your shack. If everything else looks OK in the unit, and the SWR is high on ALL bands.. Disconnect this choke. After heavy static, turns on the choke can become shorted. This damage may be impossible to see with the naked eye.
( Pic of my homebrew R7 matchbox.. Not as pretty as the commercial one, but works just as well! )
Measure your trap frequencies..
It's a good idea to take a note of your trap's frequencies, in case you need to repair one in the future..
I measured my traps under the following conditions..