Tuesday, February 17, 2015

160 Meters

I use my W3EDP antenna for 160 Meters. I'm 100% positive that it's not the best solution for that band. It's probably grossly inefficient to begin with, and it's nowhere near as high up in the tree as it needs to be. All that aside, it's the only thing I have that loads up on "Top Band" right now, and it's the only working wire antenna that I have, to boot.

Imagine my surprise then, when tuning across the band Sunday evening, I heard C6AUM in the Bahamas calling "CQ UP" with surprisingly few takers. Not thinking that I stood a snowball's chance, for kicks and grins, I upped my power from 5 to 75 Watts and threw out my call. He came back to me first shot!  I got the standard DX "599" report, but there's no way in Hades that I was actually 599. He wasn't 599 to me, and as it was, I didn't even expect to be heard.

With each snowfall the 88' EDZ comes closer and closer to the ground. If Ol' Man Winter keeps up his snowy attack on us, I won't need to worry about lowering the EDZ come Springtime. It will already be on the ground.  My only chore will be to get the W3EDP up higher - to about the 35 foot level maybe, or install something else all together.

A vintage 1950s issue of the ARRL Antenna Handbook has been keeping me company as of late.

Oh, and I bit the bullet and purchased a 365pF variable air capacitor from eBay in order to construct a homebrew magnetic loop antenna. This should be interesting.

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

1 comment:

  1. For 160m, I would recommend any kind of vertical antenna. Even if you can put up a horizontal doublet of nearly full size, a vertical antenna will perform better.

    An inverted-L or Shunt-fed tower works well. Don't neglect radials.

    I have 160m WAS and over 30 entities confirmed using a 15m tall tower with a shunt feed.