Today we got the first storm warning of this season and so I went out to secure the DX-88 with 4 guy-wires. At the same time I did a new tuning round because I have noticed that some of the bands have moved since the last adjustment. This time I have managed to get 30 meters working.
It has now been eight years since I have retired my Hy-Gain DX-88 antenna declaring it dead for good. I was standing with a broken base element for the second time and I decided not to spend any more time and money on it but try a new antenna, a Butternut HF2V covering 160, 80, 40 and 30 meters.
The DX-88 is a very good vertical antenna by Hy-Gain, which covers the 80, 40, 30, 20, 17, 15, 12 and 10 meter bands. With an optional kit the DX-88 can also work on 160 meters. The antenna is self supporting and comes with stainless steel hardware making it quite robust in windy conditions. Like any other vertical antenna, the DX-88 performs best with a ground radial system.
When I was testing my newly acquired IC-765 last Christmas, I had some troubles with the built-in antenna tuner. From time to time, it would start re-tuning the antenna in the beginnig or even the middle of my transmissions.
By studying the graphs in the User Manual I have come to the following parameters, which are supposed to be good enough for CW work. Note that 80 and 40 meters can not be tuned independently, which is why the centre frequency on 80 meters is set to 3.6 MHz.
I have had some nice QSO’s on 20 meters. I had to turn the power down to 2.5 watts because the power supply I was using got quite hot. The FT-817 does indeed use a lot of Amps when running at 5 watts and 14 Volts.
I felt I should give the FT-817 a fair chance, so I have put the DX-88 up again. Of course, I have new tuning parameters and it seemed, that some of the parameters were not like they should have been.
I put up the DX-88 together to have a good test run with my new IC-765. I did not bother too much in adjusting the parameters; they were quite good last time. Consequently, the SWR is far from impressive on most bands. It even seems to oscillate on some bands, eg. 30 meters. Hmm…
After a trip to a local do-it-yourself centre to get some new U-bolts, the antenna is finally up again.
I tried to be careful in adjusting the lengths of the tuneable elements to be as accurate as possible but, apperantly, I did not succeed very well.
I just arrived in Høm and the new base element for the DX-88 looks good.