Saturday, December 01, 2012

W3EDP success - part 2

At the urging of my friend Bob W3BBO during our weekly Saturday Echolink BS session, after we were done, I went down the basement shack and removed the Butternut from my K3. In "Antenna 1", I hooked up the 88' EDZ and in "Antenna 2" I hooked up the W3EDP.

I then proceeded to go to 160 Meters to go listen to the contest traffic there.

Switching between "Antenna 1" and "Antenna 2", I was able to make some comparisons between the two.  First off, there was virtually no noticeable difference in the receive quality of any of the signals I heard.  Both antennas gave me loud, strong signals to listen to.  Neither was noticeably weaker or quieter than the other, and switching back and forth was instantaneous. The comparison in reception was easy to make.

On transmit, it was a different story.  The best match I was able to get with the EDZ on 160 Meters was between 2:1 to about 1.6:1.  And to get that match, the K3's autotuner took it's good sweet time - I'd say about 5 seconds or longer to achieve that match (seems like much longer while those relays are chattering away!).  The W3EDP?  A quick little "brrp" lasting about a second or two at the most, and a match that was 1.0:1.

In the space of a matter of a few minutes, I made contest QSOs with K8NVL in Ohio, WA1BXY in Rhode Island and NX2X in New York. All of them with the W3EDP.

Is this the solution I am looking for for 160 Meters?  No, I'm not that stupid.  But it will allow me to have some 160 Meter fun this winter until I get something dedicated built. Of course, that project has been on my radio project horizon for two years now.  Next spring/summer I am really going to have to follow through.  But for now, this will do.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!


  1. Anonymous12:06 AM


    What bands have you tested it on? From the previous two articles related to it, it appears 160, 80, and 40.

    I am looking for a multiband solution myself and have been following your progress on this antenna closely.

    Also, do you run into any issues tuning the other bands? I have read references to changing the length of the shorter wire depending on what band you are using, any thoughts?



  2. Good evening Larry, great to hear how you were able to do the comparisons between the two antennas. Where I am and the restrictions I have 160m is out of the question.

  3. Robert,

    So far,the W3EDP has tuned well on all bands 160M through 10 Meters. It seems to balk at 6 Meters quite a bit. I have made QSOs on 160, 80, 40, 30 and 20 Meters so far. I have not had the opportunity to try the higher bands; but do not anticipate any troubles there. I am sure it is more efficient on some bands rather than others; but so far, it seems to be a decent all band antenna. With it working somewhat decently on 160 Meters, I am wishing that I had tried this out years ago.

    73 de Larry W2LJ

  4. Mike,

    The antenna is only 84 feet long. 17 feet worth of window line and then 67 feet of wire soldered to one of the window line "sides". Shorter than my 88' EDZ by four feet and way shorter than the 102' G5RV that I had up for years. The G5RV didn't like and the EDZ doesn't like loading up on 160 Meters. I was very surprised that the K3's auto tuner literally had NO problem with it on 160; and then when I actually was making contacts with it on 160 Meters I was even more surprised.

    I've seen instances in the past where a wire tuned easily enough; but in essence was a huge resistor that radiated nothing. I was actually making 160 Meter contacts with other states! Not the best solution by far; but until I can come up with something better - at least this gets me on the air on 160 Meters.

    73 de Larry W2LJ