Right on the heels of my Sunday Portable HF operations I decided to try something I had read about years ago …. It was a 40/80m NVIS (Near Vertical Incidence Skywave) antenna that used the body of my truck as the ground….
The basic idea that if you attach a 66 foot long wire to the stud mount that holds your mobile vertical HF antenna (just above roof height of the vehicle) you in effect would have an 80m NVIS antenna. By folding it back on itself and shorting the ends of the wire together you would now have a 33 foot long antenna giving you the 40m NVIS effect as well.
For a good description of NVIS go to:
or click on this link: NVIS
I had all the pieces necessary in my junk box and headed back to Lake Ontario Park to build and do the basic testing. For me the basic testing meant stringing it out and then testing using my MFJ Antenna Analyzer and it it worked return later with the FT 450 and see if it likes RF.
As I do not have a 3/8 stud mount on the new pickup (yet) I improvised with a single magnetic mag mount that had a stud mount attached.
I set up at the park and proceeded to check things out and to my shock it worked on the first try. SWR was excellent and all appeared well. I then packed everything up and headed to meet a couple of local hams for a coffee then head back to the park with the FT 450.
On my return to the park I re strung the antenna up and hooked up the FT 450 and found that the antenna would not load up… On 80 or on 40…. I seem to remember from many years ago when I mounted a Hustler 80m mobile antenna on the luggage rack of a mini van the same thing happening. That problem was cured by running a ground strap from the frame of the vehicle to the mount on the luggage rack but today I did not have any way to ground a magnetic mount so…..
Looks like I will have to wait till I install the mobile 3/8 mount on the truck.
Now on to “Other Stuff”….
I re installed the HF gear back in the shack as I realized that it is much better to be on the air with a poor antenna than not be on the air. Its also better to be listening to anything on HF while waiting for some one to to call on a Local Repeater or one of the Wires X or for that matter than just to sit waiting.
The VA3QV Wires X Node is working fine. Along with East-West coverage I have also found that I go as far south as Lake Ontario (about 4km from my site) and still hear and use the node and that takes me to the end of the boat ramp and I can’t go any further south without getting wet.
Due to the ongoing overheating issues I now keep the node at its 5w setting when its operating. I have a cooling fan I have to install and then the power level issue will be looked at again after the install.
Tuesday night (last night) I listened to the VE3ORF/3730 Digital Net which was held on Yaesu Wires X Room 40505. It operated for just under 1 hour and had 21 check ins from VE1, VE2, VE3, VE6 and the States of Mass, Virginia, Rhode Island along with a VK station.
The Net runs every Tuesday night at 8pm Eastern and is found on most of the digital platforms (C4FM, DMR) and for more information go to the VE3ORF Website.
The trailer still has to be winterized although the final camping trip of the year might be cancelled as there was a frost alert for the area we were planning to go to and also a family member (was not Liz) had to spend the night in the hospital (she was released the next day) so all is well but….
Liz and I are thinking if we tried to get away Murphy’s Law might see us having to break camp and rush back, so why not stay close to home as its better to be safe than sorry….?
So as usual its much more RF than RV in the blog post. I think that Erika has spent more time in the trailer than Liz and I have this year…. Don’t see that changing till next spring…
For now Safe Travels and…