Friday, November 8, 2013

Antenna Test on Signal Butte

I recently built a matching network based on a design forwarded to me from a friend so I could use two bands, 20 and 30 meters. The reason I want an End Fed for these two bands is because these are the two bands I built my Mountain Topping Radio (or MTR designed by Steve Weber) for and an EF is just a easily deployed antenna.

I am a big fan of linked dipoles however they have one serious flaw, they require coax to feed them, more than I want to carry. I also like doublets but often do not have the space for a full size doublet so I use a half size one which performs about the same as a Buddipole vertical. The Buddipole vertical is a great antenna if no space is available on the summit but it is heavy.

SOTA Cat does not think it will work!!!
SOTA cat helped me put the antenna together one afternoon after borrowing a toroid from wG0AT. It is a QRP network for sure and I do not think it would handle anything more than 20 watts. Fortunately the MTR output is 6 and 4 watts on 20 and 30 meters respectively.

I have a few people at to work that save altoid tins for me along with baby food contains and other such items. I have been waiting to put something into this mint container with "POW" on the front.

POW is right!
The complete arial ready to be deployed
The radio end support by my walking stick
You can barley see the yellow #26 teflon coated wire
The wind was really bad and my end of the antenna support fell a few times. No mater, it worked like gangbusters on 20 meters and it is less than 30 foot long!

Here is my log from this activation:
20 Meter CW


N7UN
W6UB
W7RV
W6IYS
NS7P
N1EU
W7CNL
WA6RIC
N4EX
N4MJ
K4PIC
KG3W
WA4AN
W4DOW
WG8Y
VE2JCW
KF4MH
N5XL
K9EZ
K6EL  S2S
W4MPS
N7RR
KK7EL
N7WM
NE4TN
K5WI
K9ZMD
NA6MG
NK9E
VE1WT
WA0ITP

The Reverse Beacon Network picked me up at 28db on 14MHz which is very good. Signal reports reflected this as well.

The neat part about this antenna is I have the 30 meter portion linked so I can link it in for 30 meters or take it out for 20 meters. NO TUNER, NO COAX and it actually PERFORMS….


Well, not so fast. On 30 meters the Reverse Beacon Network had me at 9db which is ok but not what I wanted to see. I was only able to get 3 QSOs on 30 meters. Here is my 30 meter log:

30 Meter CW:
W9FHA
W5WIL
N7AMA


Now, it could just be that most everyone already worked me on 20 meters and did not want to work me again on 30 meters. After all, chasers do not get any more points. There are several variables such as band conditions antenna surroundings etc. I checked RBN spots for other activators and they range to the 20s to single digits. Hard to say, I will try it again tomorrow.

It sure is nice to have an antenna that does not weight much, does not take up space and is the perfect mate tot he MTR.
The operating location along with the setup
My wG0AT built paddle, they work great!
Of course they are SOTA approved

See you on 30 meters tomorrow!

View of Pikes Peak from my shack today

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