I started back on October 3 with the new stealth antenna. Its a twisted Zig Zagged almost vertical wire about 50 feet in length with 3 random length radial. Its fed by a 4:1 balun and I use a buddipole 40m coil at the bottom of the wire (after the balun) so its kind of base loaded. By pass the coil and I can operate on 10-12-15-17-20-30 and 40m. Using the coil I can get 60 and 80m.
The SWR on all band is low enough (under 3:1) that I can get the internal tuner in the FT 450 to bring everything down to a decent match (1:1)
All this is stealth mounted in a large pine tree just on the other side of my fence line. The balun and the radials are on my side of the fence and the wire runs up into the tree. Stealth being the key words as there are some antenna restrictions I would rather not debate with the Condo Board.
So how does it work???? Well its better than not being on the air… So far this month I have made 206 contacts. A few were voice and most were FT8 with a couple of CW thrown in for good measure.
Contacts were made in North America, South America and Europe.
Now before October the last time I played radio was in the spring of 2018 so I don’t really know if this is good or bad for band conditions. Either way…. It does not matter… I got to spend some quality time in the shack and realized how much i missed it. Right now I just try to spend a couple of hours in the shack each day and also try to upload my logs to LoTW and QRZ.com on a regular basis.
I need 5 more states for the WAS-FT8 and after those 206 contacts I still need those hard to find 5. As far as the DXCC Digital go one of those 206 brought me up from 48 to 49 so I still have 51 to go … It will take a while.
But as the camper is off the road for the season… (if you read my earlier post) I do have time on my hands now so why not.
In the mean time…. I am proving that you can make contacts in Amateur Radio with less than fantastic antennas if you want to take the time to work at it…
Hope to hear you on the air