10-60 Meter Portable Antenna Coming Out QSO Party
Its a done deal, the first contact with my 10-40 meter portable vertical antenna is in the log.
I set up my new antenna out at Chestemere Lake located just east of Calgary, on the shoreline to check it out assembled for the first time.
I couldn't have been more pleased, as everything worked to my satisfaction, including the fact that I can work all the bands 10 through 60 without a tuner.
The air-wound coil plays a part in that by moving the wander-lead to the section of the coil as required, and on the higher bands, by shortening the whip as required.
For example in this photo, with the wander-lead as connected on the coil, it was giving me a 1.2:1 SWR reading on 7.263MHz on my Rig-Expert AA-600 antenna analyzer with the 12 foot whip fully extended, and with six 16 foot tuned radials lying in the snow.
Why did I choose 7.263MHz you may be asking yourself, and the reason why is the fact that once I had everything set, and as I spun the VFO on the Yaesu FT-897D for the first time with this new antenna, I found a group of guys on 7.263MHz, and after throwing out my call, Larry WB7UZO in Neah Bay located on the extreme west side of Washigton state on the Straits of Juan de Fuca immediately picked me up.
Larry gave me a 59 report, and with good audio out on my end. He got a kick out of the setup on my end consisting of my Yaesu FT-897D connected to my portable antenna standing in the snow, and running on the internal batteries of the 897 giving me 20 watts out.
I was quite pleased with my report with the new antenna, as a solar flare had occurred in the last couple of days creating poor conditions on the bands to say the least.
Larry is a totally interesting guy, and its worth going over and checking out his QRZ page if for no other reason than checking out the very cool vintage ham gear that he has amassed over the years.
My initial setting up the antenna on frozen ground presented a problem, that being exactly that..... "frozen ground!"
I jury-rigged the coaxial junction-box housing with its included spike, by pounding in a 12" spike (kept with a hammer in my mobile) into the ground, and then using a binding-strap to bind them together this time.
However that is not an option when I take everything out on the ice of Kananaskis lake ice fishing in the next while.
You will be glad to know that I came up with a solution, that being my Milwaukee cordless drill with a 1/2" sheet-metal drill bit that cuts ice extremely well.
Drill a hole for the mast-spike, and 4 more holes strategically drilled at an angle in the ice for the 4 Dacron guy-lines with their included aluminum anchors.
I found that this 20' antenna overall stands up fine with the 4 Dacron guy-lines in place, once the coaxial junction-box housing with its included spike has a place to stand.
Here is a look at how I anchor the radial's in the snow....
So its a done deal, the antenna is operational. and with further testing while operating on the air, I'm sure it will prove to have the winning combination I know it has.
Click on the photo for a closer look.....