20 Meters was booming in at lunchtime today. I heard and worked (very briefly) G3RGD, Ray from Birmingham, England. He gave me a 559 and them moved onto W8FU. Ray was loud into NJ. I don't know what he was running; but he was 599+. It's not often that I hear an English station so loud.
I heard a lot of Europeans - this was all around 1700 UTC or so at the lower end of 20 Meters. EA4s, G3s, SM3s, etc. Maybe the sunspots are coming back?
Which has me thinking portable antenna set ups again. Today, I was using the Hamstick and I'm seriously considering using the NorCal Doublet more. I dragged the 20 foot Black Widow crappie pole out of the basement and stuck in the back of the car. Below is what I used to support my Buddipole back in the day when I had one.
As you can see, it's a piece of angle iron, which I sawed off to a point on the earth end. Attached to it with two hose clamps, is a piece of PVC pipe. The Buddipole mast just slipped into the pipe and was held upright. Unfortunately, this pipe isn't a big enough diameter to allow me to slip the Black Widow in. I'm going to have to make a trip to Lowe's or Home Depot for a slightly bigger diameter piece of pipe. I hope I won't have to buy a whole big length of it for just the relatively short piece I need.
Here's another shot of it; but not in the ground. Not that great a photo; but you get the idea.
The only disadvantage that I can foresee is that I'll have to carry a small sledge so I can pound this thing into the ground. But the upside is that a doublet at 20 feet or so (probably set up as an Inverted Vee) should outperform the Hamstick on the car.
73 de Larry W2LJ