After considerable time buying, shipping, and collecting equipment, I’ve finally installed a 23 cm 10-turn helix antenna and preamp. This should help with this weekend’s ARRL 222 MHz and Up Contest.
Wimo Helix 23
The antenna is the Wimo Helix 23 that covers 1250 to 1300 MHz. It’s right hand circular polarization. I figure it should work reasonably well for both terrestrial and satellite contacts. Gain is expected to be 11 dBd and it is lightweight. The construction is solid.
They did sent the wrong antenna to mast mount adapter but promptly shipped the correct one. I also appreciate that their mast mounts provide the option of mounting the antenna at a slight elevation. This will help with satellite contacts.
Price wasn’t too bad. But, of course, shipping nearly matched the price.
MiniKits 23 cm Preamp
Not content to just order stuff from Germany, I ordered the preamp from Australia. It’s the Mini-Kits 23 cm UHF RX/TX Preamplifier. I ordered the built unit with the TNC connectors and the case to go with it.
I’ve mounted it just below the antenna. I ordered the TNC to N cables from Field Components. They make custom cables and the pricing is well below the competition.
It’s powered by the IC-9100 internal supply. The preamp VOX sensed relays can handle up to 25 watts CW and 50 watts PEP SSB. So that works perfectly for the 10 watts from the rig.
Of course, there are currently no satellites running L-Band, but one or two are expected to be in orbit late this year or next year. I’ve searched for local beacons but no luck so far. We’ll see how the contest goes this weekend.
My current crop of antennas, and particularly this helix, should convince the neighbors that I am well and truly communicating with aliens. Hope to communicate with you on 23 cm.