Itinerant Ham

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Antennas

I like making stuff work.  From the outset, I was determined that I would be making my own antennas (aerials). The question was – what to make. The more I delved into the subject, the more confusing it became!

It seemed that the ideal solution was to have a beam for every occasion as well as some long wires for listening at least. However, I also had to get this lot in a suitcase – in fact, a lot less than a suitcase – a backpack would be the only practical size since I rarely stay in one place very long.

So I settled for a 9m fishing pole for 17 Euros as the basis for my antennas.  I quickly made up a dipole for 40m but decided to feed it with 450 Ohm ladder line in the hope that I would prevent the majority of transmission losses as I attempted to use it on other bands. As it happens, it works quite well.  Certainly not as well as a single band anything but it got me by for the first few weeks I was in Gozo.  ImageI nicknamed it ‘Clinton’ for obvious reasons (look at the photo) and it became the mainstay for all the /P that I did in the summer of 2013. It works well on 40m and from the UK, I have worked as far as ZD7 and a few other reasonable DX stations on it. Using the AT 200 Pro, it tunes and works well on 40 – 10m with the exception of 12m. Its a reasonable all rounder for my purposes.

My next antenna came courtesy of the RSGB ‘Beginners’ newsletter.  In June, they sent round the plan for a simple 10m antenna made out of coax! So I made one up out of bits of 75 Ohm that the TV guy had left me. I tuned it up on the swr meter on the radio and it worked great. and so 10m was properly opened up to me.  Side by Side tests against the inverted V showed that it was 1-2 S units better on both transmit and receive. Result!

ImageI really like this antenna. It coils up and goes in my pocket for a start! Its pretty robust, simple and cheap – Ideal for single band /P. I really discovered the rich seam of DX that there is on 10m – so much so, that generally I turn on the radio and if there’s any activity, I will work it, switching to the other bands only if there’s nothing else to do. 

I have also scaled this design to other bands with reasonable success although I have not been able to do any side-by-side testing yet.

 

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