A “recap” of recent antenna attempts

As some of you might remember I took my S9 43 foot vertical down earlier this summer in an attempt to force myself to spend a bit more time NOT in the shack over the summer months….  Recently I have been playing (testing) various antennas that I had here in stock to see if any of them would perform better or more importantly quieter now that I don’t have the FT 450 in the shack.PAR_outofthebox-475x475

The first antenna I tested out was my Par End Fed QRP Multiband antenna.  This is my favourite Daytime Use Portable antenna.  It is a 10-20-40m QRP antenna (20w max) and is an end fed antenna that is 40 feet long.


Using my LDG QRP Autotuner along with my FT 817 I have made contacts on 10-12-15-17-20 and 40m and it has loaded up on 80m but I have not made any contacts there.  This antenna has worked quite well for me in the park but at home it does perform but I have a S9 + noise level using this antenna that I do not have in the park…


The second antenna I tested out was a 20m commercial built OCF Dipole. I believe they also call this antenna a “20m Windom Antenna” and it works for me anywhere between 6m and 20m.  I have it set up in my backyard in an “L” configuration (no… not an Inverted L) and I managed to work from across Canada (VO1 to VE7) in the recent RAC Canada Day Contest but that was when lots were out there listening for us little QRP Stations.  Once again the performance was great concidering I was sending out a 5w signal but again the S9+ noise level meant you had to have a heck of a good signal  for me to hear you over the electrical interference…


The_Simpsons_Amateur_RadioAs a side note:   This is the same interference that convinced me to sell my FT 847 and buy the FT 450…  Yup that’s the same FT 450 that I got my DXCC using and just recently sold…  Every now and again I do make a mistake when deciding to upgrade the shack and this is one of those Homer  “D’OH” moments.

However in my own defense when I sold the FT 450 I did plan to replace it with a new radio (KX3, Flex 1500 or Ten Tec Argonaut 6) and all of those radios have the much improved DSP on the IF Stage which make a world of difference when dealing with High Noise Situation.  I have been sitting on the fence for a while now on what radio to buy for home use…. and wishing I had kept my 450…


In my quest for a quieter antenna I tried  a 20m full wave  vertical polarity Delta Loop.  This consisted of 66 feet  of insulated wire in a triangle pattern using the highest point in my Maple Tree to hold the apex of the triangle and my fence on both sides of my yard to form the loop.  This setup worked (kind of) as my noise level dropped from a S9 to a S7 but having a wire running across my yard was not the best thing to happen.  Signal reports using this antenna were not the best but it was also a day where the band conditions were not the best…  I will be re trying this one later in the season as it has shown the best results so far….

The last antenna (so far) has been my Cushcraft MH5V.


This is a 10-12-15-17-20m vertical antenna which does not need an extensive radial system to function as long as you mount the antenna high enough that the radials are above 7 foot high.  Figuring that the NBA will not be in my back yard…  7 feet high means no one visiting loses an eye when visiting…

The antenna was easy to put up and signal reports were good… however the noise returned to its S9 + level so I was not hearing much.  Even the big gun stations controlling the Maritime Mobile Service Net were down in my static level and very hard to copy…

So far it has been fun experimenting with the various antennas but frustrating as the results have not been what I have hoped…  I’m guessing that I will have to run these tests again and include the 43 foot S9 this time once I finally decide what radio I am going to replace the FT 450 with…  Most likely nothing will happen till after Sepember but then again we are now in August so its getting closer.  Till then I am still having lots of fun playing radio in the parks with the FT 817 in the ZERO NOISE environment in the great outdoors…


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2 Responses to “A “recap” of recent antenna attempts”

  1. ve3gnaglenn Killam Says:

    Bob: You have just gotta get out of Ottawa!!! Even out in Carp or thereabouts, the noise would drop to probably S3 or 4 on a bad day.

    • VA3QV Says:

      Hi Glenn….

      If we get out of Ottawa it would most likely be South West Ontario…. Its on our short list of places to move to… but….for now Ottawa is still where the rest of the family is…(Kids, Grandkids and Great Granddude) so… don’t see us moving anytime soon…

      thanks for the visit and the comment…


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