Friday, July 1, 2016

In the park with 5 watts, KX3 and new Endfed antenna

My outdoor shack 
I had this past Thursday off work and it was time to take my KX3 out on the trail again. In my last outing I used mono band whip antenna that was mounted on my bike along with a counterpoise. After giving this setup several tries I came to the conclusion that it was time to look at another setup option. I ordered the Endfed 40-6m antenna and it came in last week and it was now time to give it a go. To get the Endfed 40-6m antenna up on a tree branch I used an idea that was emailed to me by a fellow ham. I purchased some golfballs, closed ended "eye" hooks that are threaded on one end,  carabiners and rope. The "Eye hook is screwed into the golfball, one side of the carabiner is hooked onto the eye  and the rope is loop knotted and the other side of the carabiner is hooked onto the rope loop. I chose to use  a double sided carabiner at both ends of the antenna as it allows me to fast connect and disconnect without playing around with knots. I think using the golf ball is great as it has some
Golfball setup 
weight to it and is smooth on all sides allowing it pass through leaves and not getting hung up on branches. This method worked great for me and I was able to have good control with regards to placing the golfball in the tree right where I wanted it. Once the rope was in the tree I pulled the Endfed antenna up into the tree and got down to working the bands. When using this style of antenna I was informed that an antenna tuner is a must but I wanted to check out the SWR without using my tuner.
10m                    Frequency                    SWR
                           28.020                          3.8
                           28.060                          3.8
15m
                           21.020                          2.9
                           21.060                          2.9
20m
                           14.020                         3.8
                           14.060                         3.8
40m
                           7.020                           8.4
                           7.040                           8.4
The antenna was mounted in a sloper configuration the high end at about 20 feet off the ground and the other end ground mounted. The tuner in the KX3 was able to bring all bands but 40m to a flat match, I was able to get 40m down to 1.5. The bands were very quite but I did spend some time
Anchor point 
calling CQ with the goal of checking the Reverse Beacon Network when I got home to see how my signal faired. I was not heard by any European stations but I was spotted on all bands by stations south of the boarder. The Solar conditions have not been all that great lately so I was very pleased with these results. I plan on heading out again on Saturday morning and this time my plan is to try to get the antenna higher up so a portion of my antenna is not at ground level. Since the weekend is here and I hope the bands will be more busy maybe a contact or two would be nice as well.

10 comments:

  1. Nice looking setup....

    Just as a suggestion try hooking a small elastic band between the carbiner and the golf ball.... If one day something gets stuck.... just pull hard and the elastic will break and then the ball falls back down as does your twine...

    Hope you had a Happy Canada Day

    73bob

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  2. Who makes the end-fed antenna you are using? Or did you make it yourself?
    Thanks & 73
    Bob

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  3. Good morning VE3QV, that is a great idea as it did cross my mind with it getting hung up in the tree.
    73, MIKE

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  4. Good morning Bob, it is a purchased Endfed from https://kx3helper.com/ its called the Endfed 40-6m antenna.
    73,
    Mike

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  5. Hi Mike, nice set up. Condx are fair, but I can't get out my signal over the big pond either. Solar flux is 73. Good luck. Paul PC4T

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    1. Good evening Paul very nice to hear from you, with these conditions the way they are the U.S. Is the new DX for me.
      73,
      Mike

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  6. I've had good luck with 9:1 ununs for portable operating. I hope to work you with your new antenna one of these days. Craig WB3GCK

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    1. Hello Craig, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Nice to hear the setup is working well for you. It would be great to have a QSO with you.
      73,
      Mike

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  7. Hi Mike. I prefer potatoes for tree work: a good size and shape to throw and if (when!) they get stuck, the cord pulls out and the remains either fall to the ground or rot away in the tree. Mind you, a compressed air 'spud gun' gets them much higher than I can throw! 73
    Gary ZL2iFB

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    1. Good morning Gary, very nice to hear from you and thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment. I have never heard or thought of using a tater! Very good idea and for sure if the tater gets hung up no a big deal as there are 40 more in the bag.
      73, Mike

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