My final summer task was a complete home-brew antenna project. I had already bought a couple other antennas (G5RV, Mosely CL-33 tri-bander, and Arrow VHF/UHF vertical), but I wanted to put in the reasearch and build something from scratch.
Over the last two months I have casually gathered, built, and made steady progress on an 80m Horizontal Loop that I completed just a few days ago.
Unlike my previous posts there isn't much to show (ie photos or videos) since a long wire antenna strung up about 30+ feet in the air is not easy to see, let alone with my camera. Suffice to say here is a description and I've climbed up the ladder one more time to get a couple photos.
|Corner #1 - My 40' steel antenna tower attached to the house.|
The 270' of coated copper wire is strung around all four corners in a rectangular shape. At each corner the wire passes through an insulator to keep it away from contacting ropes, branches, etc.
So far this antenna has exceeded the performance of the G5RV. I did some switching back and forth and it appears to be better reception. Time will tell as I've only had a couple days to test it out.
I've also cleaned up the 12v power arrangements in the shack by wiring in a RigRunner 4010S switching power strip from West Mountain Radio and switching all the gear over to Anderson Powerpoles. I had to invest in a 2nd Weller soldering iron and a nice crimping tool, but now I have a large high wattage iron for cable creation etc, and a precise lower wattage iron to tackle circuit board work.
So as the title of this post states, my first summer as a licensed ham is nearing an end. And as I have joked with others, now I actually need to start using all this gear and antenna's and starting some serious DX'ing.
No matter what the upcoming fall and winter seasons have in store for the bands, I'm pretty sure I'll be ready :)