Wednesday, August 5, 2020

13 Colonies wallpaper arrived today.

The wallpaper arrived today for my participation in the 13 Colonies Special Event from July1-7th. This was a great event and my first time taking part in it, I am looking forward to next years event.


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Tweaking the Endfed antenna SWR chart correction

 I was reading my most recent post and something clicked.....and it was not a good "click". I looked at the posted SWR chart from my 44-foot antenna experiment and the numbers looked very familiar! Somehow I copy and pasted the numbers from the 41 foot SWR results and reposted them for the 44-foot experiment. Below are the corrected results for the 44-foot Endfed wire. 

SWR with a counterpoise:

Band          Freq             SWR
80m            3.500            8.4
80m            4.000            9.0
40m            7.001            4.6
40m            7.060            4.6
30m           10.100           4.6
30m           10.150           4.6
20m           14.001           2.1
20m           14.060           2.1
17m           18.068           2.3
17m           18.168           2.3
15m           21.001           3.1
15m           21.060           3.1

SWR without a counterpoise:

Band          Freq             SWR
80m            3.500            6.8
80m            4.000            6.1
40m            7.001            3.5
40m            7.060            3.5
30m           10.100           4.6
30m           10.150           4.6
20m           14.001           1.4
20m           14.060           1.4
17m           18.068           2.0
17m           18.168           2.1
15m           21.001           3.1
15m           21.060           3.1

Tweaking the Endfed antenna.

I have been doing some reading regarding Endfed antennas and the length of 44 feet kept coming up as the length for a short Endfed antenna in small lots. My Endfed was just extended from 34 feet to 41 feet which I spoke about in my last post.   My plan now was to try the 44-foot length of wire and see what the results were both using a counterpoise and not using one. This was going to be a trial project so the extra 3 feet of wire I am to add is not at this point going to be permanent. 
I cut a 3-foot piece of wire and placed soldered terminal ring connectors at each end. My plan was to remove the antenna wire from the balun end which already had a terminal ring connector on it. Then bolt antenna ring connector to the 3-foot piece and the other end of the 3-foot extension that was to be connected to the balun connector. This would give me the extra 3 feet needed to extend things to 44 feet. Once the 44 feet was stretch out I found out very quickly that 44 feet is the maximum length I can use between my shed and tree.
Three feet of wire

With the counterpoise attached, I went into the shack and ran through the bands using my MFJ 259B antenna analyzer and recorded the results and then once again with the counterpose removed. As a side note, one of the best purchases I made was the antenna analyzer, it makes short work of most antenna testing tasks. I do have a second antenna analyzer which is the Funk FA-VA4  its a nice unit but because its menu-driven I find it to be a bit cumbersome.  With the MFJ unit, you select the band range with one knob and with the other knob spin to your desired frequency and then read the LED readout. 
Well back to the Endfed experiment and below are the results with the added 3 feet of wire.


Results without a counterpoise:           CLICK HERE FOR CORRECTED SWR CHARTS
     Band              Freq               SWR

  1. 80.              4.000.             7.5
  2. 80.              3.500.             6.7
  3. 40.              7.001.            3.2
    40.              7.070.            3.3
    30.              10.100.          5.0
    30.              10.150.          5.0
    20.              14.001.          1.8
    20.              14.070.         1.7
    17.              18.068.         1.6
    17.              18.168.         1.6
    21.              21.001.         2.6
    21.              21.070.         2.6


Results with a counterpoise:
         Band              Freq           SWR

  1. 80.              4.000.            9.1
  2. 80.              3.500.            9.6            
  3. 40.              7.001.            4.4
    40.              7.070.            4.4
    30.             10.100.           5.0
    30.             10.150.           5.0
    20.              14.001.          2.4
    20.              14.070.          2.3
    17.             18.068.           2.0
    17.             18.168.           2.0
    21.             21.001.           2.6
    21.             21.070.           2.7
As you can see from the above results (not sure where the 1,2,3 numbers came from but I just can't seem to remove them without screwing up the chart) the counterpoise only made things worse again. The results without the counterpoise were decent on some bands (80m and 20m) but overall when the Endfed was at 41 feet it was not that different from 44 feet. The one deciding factor for going back to 41 feet was when at 44 the wire was directly connected to the tree. I was not able to add my bungee cord to allow the antenna to have some flex in it when the winds picked up and the tree started to sway. I was not able to add a bungee cord either as this made the antenna wire hang really low. 
bungee allowing for flex when 41 feet long. 
As you can see in the picture the bungee cord allows the tree to sway in the wind but not affect the antenna with the stress of stretching. The red parachute cord you see is there as a backup if the bungee snaps. It was a nice experiment trying the 44 foot but the results were not drastic enough for me to keep with the 44-foot length. The antenna is not back to 41 feet and my curiosity has been solved. 


Saturday, July 25, 2020

Revamping the Endfed antenna

The new location for Endfed....Shingles are my next project
When we moved into our place last August I set up my Endfed as a temp setup and as with most things temp soon becomes long term. My excuse was I just had major house "things" on the go that required my attention. Over the winter the temporary support at one end of the Endfed was starting to show some major wear. I decided to stick with an Endfed antenna as with my lot size it was the best option for me.
The new spot for the antenna
 I was doing some reading on the internet regarding Endfed antennas and the ideal wire lengths. For the size of my lot, the length that was ideal for me was 41 feet. My plan was to remove the balun from the tree it was located in and mount it on my newly renovated shed....now in the pictures the shingles have not been done yet but that is my next project and the shed will be complete. The 41-foot Endfed antenna wire would extend back out to the tree. I guess you could say I just reversed the setup. This setup allowed me to lower the balun to about 6 feet off the ground and have the antenna slope in an upward direction. This setup would allow me to add a counterpoise to the Endfed. When the Balun was located in the tree it was about 25 feet off the ground and I was advised by Ultimax antenna the balun was too high off the ground for a counterpoise to work, I did try it without success. 
Splice making 34 to 41 feet
I first tried the antenna with the counterpoise and was not pleased with the results I removed the counterpoise and gained some better results on some bands. Below are the results with and without the counterpoise. 
Results without a counterpoise:
       Band Freq SWR
    80. 4.000. 7.5
    80. 3.500. 6.7
    40. 7.001. 3.2
    40. 7.070. 3.3
    30. 10.100. 5.0
    30. 10.150. 5.0
    20. 14.001. 1.8
    20. 14.070. 1.7
    17. 18.068. 1.6
    17. 18.168. 1.6
    21. 21.001. 2.6
    21. 21.070. 2.6

Results with a counterpoise:
         Band Freq SWR
    80. 4.000. 9.1
    80. 3.500. 9.6
    40. 7.001. 4.4
    40. 7.070. 4.4
    30. 10.100. 5.0
    30. 10.150. 5.0
    20. 14.001. 2.4
    20. 14.070. 2.3
    17. 18.068. 2.0
    17. 18.168. 2.0
    21. 21.001. 2.6
    21. 21.070. 2.7
Below is the SWR reading when the Endfed was 34 feet long and located with the Balun in the tree. 

Results without a counterpoise:
Band Freq SWR
    80. 4.000. 7.0
    80. 3.500. 8.1
    40. 7.001. 1.8
    40. 7.070. 1.8
    30. 10.100. 3.3
    30. 10.150. 3.3
    20. 14.001. 4.6
    20. 14.070. 4.6
    17. 18.068. 2.5
    17. 18.168. 2.5
    21. 21.001. 1.5
    21. 21.070. 1.5

Results with a counterpoise and the balun 25 feet in the tree:
Band Freq SWR
    80. 4.000. 6.5
    80. 3.500. 9.1
    40. 7.001. 5.2
    40. 7.070. 5.2
    30. 10.100. 2.2
    30. 10.150. 2.2
    20. 14.001. 4.9
    20. 14.070. 4.9
    17. 18.068. 2.7
    17. 18.168. 2.6
    21. 21.001. 1.6
    21. 21.070. 1.5