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Alan Schiffman
Class A Class
G4GQL Ham Since 1976
United Kingdom

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Other Callsigns
I was first A2672 in 1964 when I first joined the RSGB as a young associate.

Then BRS 37593 (SWL)before I was licenced as a Ham

My first call sign was G8NNI

Then passed the CW and now I am G4GQL

My Ham Radio Interests
My name is Alan Schiffman and I am a Semi-Retired Podiatrist

I am married to my late wife Lesley for over 50 years and have two grown up daughters, Ruth and Stacey, and four grandchildren.

I have been interested in communication and radio since I was 10 years old, having cut my teeth in the 50/60's with Ex WD equipment bought from Tottenham Court Road, London and other emporiums.

I have constructed many projects, receivers, transmitters, QRP transceivers, tape recorders, PSU, antennas and so on

I also enjoy Reading Practical Wireless, QST, Radcom, Historical technical magazines and books, local history-and meccano !!! we never grow up us geezers!

WW2 communication equipment: 19 sets, 18 sets, 38 sets, R109, HRO, 1155, I had 'em all

I also collect CW keys

I am OP on HMS Belfast, most Monday's on PSK 31/FT8
Also op for RAOTA Mon/Tue at 19.00 to 21.00hrs HF FT8/4

My main interest now is PSK 31/FT8 modes mainly on 80M at around 9.00 pm most evenings. Also occasionally QRP CW around 40/20m

I am active on 20m digital modes and during the day, and most evenings aroung 9.00pm on 40m PSK31/FT8 full power.

Would really like to hear from SWL's I use EQSL, I also frequent the other bands , Pse QSL via Bureau. All printed cards will be acknowledged.
Also now re-kindling my interest in QRP CW, and brushing up the speed, also meteor trails on VHF

I enjoy getting kids to use morse code on HMS Belfast. They send their name in CW and I then give them a certificate

My Equipment is:

Yaesu FT-991, FT-450, Icom IC-7100, WOUXUN KG-UV950P, various QRP CW TX/RX, pixie, 49er, QRPlabs CW tx/rx

ATU: MFJ-993B autotuner

INTERFACES: Signalink by Tigertronics, Isoterm Multicon by G3LIV,

ANTENNAS: HB vetical 17 feet radiator, 9:1 UNUN

PC: Toshiba Satellite

SOFTWARE USED: HRD+DM780 for PSK31, Windows 7
WSJT-x for FT8

Also running SSTV

Latest development is a helical antenna, again seems excellent and very quiet


3 inch diameter grey tube wound with 106 feet of wire, self spaced and using a 9:1 unun

Have since modified original antennas, see

Other Interests
I am interested in writing articles for magazines, ie. Radio Bygones, a 15 part article on printing for the Small Printer magazine-my previous occupation was in print for 30 years, and nostalgic articles-the good ol' days-for local community magazines.

Radio and electronic construction, antenna construction, reading rig reviews

I am now working part time, 73 years old and very active.

I also like classical music, and I share a hobby with my late wife, Lesley-we keep tropical fish

I also print mugs as a hobby for radio clubs, events, rallies etc.

European Phase Shift Keying Club EPC # 11119
DMC # 3065
070 club # 1159, RAOTA #2827

I am a member of LEFARS-Loughton and Epping Forest Amateur radio Society, RNARS (associate member)
Member and digimode op: RAOTA, G2OT, FT8

I am also a member of RNARS-Royal Navy Amateur Radio Society, London Branch and I am active on board HMS Belfast call GB2RN or when reguired other special callsigns from HMS Belfast

Also a former member of the Ilford Branch RSGB from 1964
Unfortunately it no longer is in existence.

Also past member of Barking RSGB Radio Club


EHam forums G4GQL for full antenna article

EQSL and HRDlog for QSL correspondence



From G4GQL

4/20/2010 1:42:27 PM (1 comments) Add a commentAdd Comment

TEXT OF THE FULL PDF FILE (Being modified at present)

Do you live in a flat? Poor location? Excessive electrical noise drowning your receiver?
Antenna restrictions?
I have been passionate about radio communication for a very long time, my interest
began when I was about 10 years old, and many will no doubt remember the enormous
amount of government surplus available in the 1950/60’s. You could get great equipment
for pocket money.
Remember going down Tottenham court Road or Lisle Street?
You would have arrived at 9.00 am at Tottenham Court Road underground station and by
5.00pm you were about half way down the road, having looked in nearly all of the shops
like Proops, Relda radio etc.
As long as We lived in a house, I had no problems with aerials, verticals, G5RV, 4/4 slot fed
Yagis, home brew dipoles. Long wires, I used them all
So...the kids arrived, grew up and flew the nest, and time marched on until we no longer
needed a house, and decided to move into a brand new ground floor flat with our french
doors backing onto open sports fields
I put up an invisible stainless steel long wire along the back wall, but reception was
terrible, weak, noisy and unuseable
Then I tried a vertical whip in a magnetic mount and this was not a lot better
I then tried many different antennas, Miracle whip, Bug catcher, and many more, but
noise levels were unacceptable
Time went by and I tried ATU’s, ferrite rings, indoor antennas, loop name it
and I tried it.
I found that my
Yaesu FT-450 was
the best rig to use,
with it’s filters
I tune up with the
Yaesu FT-840 using
the meter. Less filters
in this rig.
Get the best result
then switch to the
My equpment is:
Yaesu FT-817, 840,
MFJ 1025 noise
And signal
Alan Schiffman,
After YEARS of frustrating experiments, and being PURE RADIO, I do not want any wires between
my station and contacts station, after all, I am a Radio Ham and all the fun is experimenting,
and making contacts under most difficult conditions. I really am not interested in glorified phone
calls. Don’t get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for internet related modes, but it is not for
me personally. I HAD TO GET ON THE AIR!
So...back to the antenna problem.
One evening I was settled down with a nice mug of tea and I suddenly thought of something...I
was to go back in time, to the ‘60’s and look up the old Joystick antenna.
I remember that this centre loaded antenna could be propped up anywhere and with its ATU
and a counterpoise, you could work some pretty impressive DX. An old friend worked into North
africa from his garage with it propped against the wall!
Of course this antenna is no longer available, but with some research on the internet, I found an
article where a home brew version was produced with some pretty impressive results
I always remember, that TO BE TOO CLEVER IS NOT CLEVER, so it was back to basics
You can check the details out on
I then built the antenna and it just appeared to be an end fed long wire, so I connected it to my
MFJ 949E as a long wire and it seemed to be quite lively, but noisy
I tried transmitting and to my surprise, I was getting contacts with my Yaesu FT-817 at only 5 watts
with PSK31on 80m
I used this set up for a while, but of course being an experimenter not a rag chewer, I had to
improve and move on.
I was reading about signal enhancement and noise cancellation and I became interested, So I
looked at the MFJ 1025 noise canceller and signal enhancer
The MFJ 1025 above the
Yaesu FT-450
I then looked up as much detail as I could on the MFJ 1025, and became quite taken with the
I then purchased one, read the instructions carefully, and realised that it required two antennas
which would be phased. I then built another identical antenna and hung them both onto the
steel balcony above our patio.
One of the
HB vertical
One antenna (main) for receive was connected to the ATU via a 9:1UNUN (unbalanced to
unbalanced transformer) the other antenna was connected to the MFJ 1025 Aux socket.
The transmitter socket was connected to a 3 way coax switch patched to 3 rigs-Ft 840, 450 and
Then came the tricky bit...was it going to work? Will I get good signals and be back in business at
I checked all the set up carefully and connected a PSU to the MFJ 1025 and followed the
instructions. I set the rig to 80m and tuned the ATU 1:1
I really could not believe the difference when I turned everything on. At first it sounded no
different and I felt dissapointed, but then I turned the antenna controls both off and the signals
completely dissapeared, I turned up the Aux noise antenna to maximum noise, noted the
position and turned it back down, thenI turned up the main ant control to match the reading of
the aux antenna and then left it there. I then turned up the Aux antenna control to match and
some signals were heard. I was on 80m PSK 31. Then I set the phasing button to normal and
turned the phasing control to achieve a dip and then...JOY! I had clean signals and I could
completely null out the noise drowning the signals. I logged onto a signal and words appeared
on my screen from HUNGARY, so I called him back and he returned to give me RST(Q) 599, and
we finished the QSO
This happened time after time, and I am Delighted and was eager to share this with the many
others that may be finding difficulties and contemplating QRT...DON’T DO THAT!
So that is why I wanted to write this article
Here is the
other antenna
I also drove a steel spike into the earth and earthed everything, and added a radial wire running
along the patio close to the wall. The radial connects to the ATU wing nut terminal.
All leads are strapped to the main thick earth lead and this goes into the shack, and the feed to
each antenna is buried under the stones.
Ferrite rings
on every lead
Cables enter
the window
The 9:1 UNUN
Antenna hidden
feed point
Good earth stake
and thick insulated
copper earth wire
I found an article on line re:
Look this up and this was the basis of my many, many experiments.
Here's what I do
I cut two pieces of steel tube about 1/2 inch dia, 5.5' length with a piece of wooden dowel to fit
as a coil former at the top of the tube. Onto this I wound 3 coils, 2 close wound 2 inch spaced between coils, and one wide spaced coil onto the wooden dowel.
Use solder tags and nuts and bolts and join each end to the steel pipes.
Feed at the bottom and use about 1 metre of RG8U coax.
Join the centre to the braid and solder to a tag fitted to the bottom of the copper section.
Now connect the centre of a RG8U lead to the end of the coax joined braid/centre stub and
cut away the outer braid, leaving just the centre conductor connected. The other end goes to
a PL259 and the MFJ 949E ATU (this is the best ATU I have found).A random radial is then run
from the earth wing nut on the ATU, out of the window, and along the ground outside our
ground floor flat. Mine is about 20 feet long.
I then fitted an insulated hook arrangement to the top of the antenna so I could
hang it from the top of the balcony, the bottom of the antenna is only 2 inches above the earth.
The stub/coax lead is then run along the ground, through the window to the ATU
YOU MUST HAVE A GOOD EARTH. I drove 2 feet of earthing stake into the ground,
connected thick earthing wire and run this to the ATU and rig.
Cable clip all leads into the shack to this earth lead.
Put a ferrite ring on all your rig, PSU and PC leads
I use mainly PSK31 so I had to calm the laptop down HI!
Now cover the entire antenna with black PVC tape to weatherproof and ''hide'' it.
If all is OK, you should be able to tune up 1:1 on the HF bands. Tune very carefully and note
all ATU settings.
I have had many great contacts in PSK31, but would be interested in any comments you may have

Feed at bottom, use radial, and A GOOD EARTH
I have a lot of metal balcony all around, but it still works great.


MFJ 1025
9:1 UNUN
Noise ant
9:1 UNUN
Main ant
3 way
My equipment set up


Read the 1 comment after the break below.


by YC1BJX 6/4/2010 7:28:43 PM

Hi,Alan vy nice collection "cw-key"

de Yc1bjx-Yustiadi

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