Today I got the chance to deploy it and check it out. I used my 31' Jackite pole as a support, which was definitely overkill. I ordered a 20' fiberglass crappie pole from Sportsman's Warehouse for $20 - but it won't get here until next week. As per the QRP Guys instruction manual, I checked eBay for "17' fiberglass fishing pole", but came up blank.
Anyway, getting back to the subject at hand, this is what it looked like.
I hooked up my little Autek antenna analyzer, tuned it to 14.060 MHz and checked the SWR and found it to be 1.5:1. Following the instructions, I cut a 3" section off, thinking I could get the SWR even lower, but it ended up increasing instead of decreasing! So I replaced it with another 17' piece of wire and am going to let it go at that. In any case, the KX3's autotuner brought the match to 1:1 in less than half a second. The same held true for 30 and 40 Meters.
This is a close up of the actual circuit board portion of the kit.
After all was said and done, I secured the toroids with the provided wire ties. To secure the matching portion to the fishing pole, I am going to end up using two pieces of gardener's Velcro tape that I keep in my backpack. When not securing the board to the pole, the Velcro tape will keep the antenna and radial wire bundles neatly wound. Here's a view of the antenna looking back towards my operating position.
Tomorrow's weather is "iffy" at best for my neck of the woods. There's a 50/50 chance of showers the entire day. I may end up working the Hunt from the backyard, losing the water bonus points. My reasoning is that I have that nice, big umbrella that you can see in the third picture. That will be a real boon should it start to rain. And it it should start raining really hard then I can always finish the Hunt from the basement shack, if I really have to.
I have my fingers crossed, hoping it ends up being a blown forecast and that I'll wake up to sunny skies tomorrow morning that end up lasting for the whole day.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!