An Australian Antenna Story

On 40m i use 40m quarter wave. Its a hellically wound wire on a sota beams light weight fiberglass poll. At each joint in the pole I have used electrical tape to stop the pole from collapsing in wind and rain. This is only temporary till I get arsed to drive into Brisbane and buy some aluminium tube. Or so i said 18 months ago LOL

Anyway, if you look closely the blue tape is evenly spaced out up the pole but is missing in places. When i taped the seams I taped all of them. I only noticed yesterday that some were missing, when I saw the thief in action.

A Satin Bower bird, who has his bower in my neighbors yard, flew in, landed sideways on the poll and started to undo the tape. He started by pulling with his beak to get a hold, then swung around the pole like it was a swing until the tape fully unraveled and he dropped to the ground. Then picked up his bounty and flew back to his bower hoping to impress his girlfriends.

My mistake? Using blue electrical tape. Satin Bower birds collect blue things. When it comes to blue things they are kleptomaniacs and this one has decided to steal my antenna. HAHAHAHA

Here he is in action, trying to steal the blue tape from my antenna. HAHAHA

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40m Vertical Almost Finished

The 40m vertical is up and running. I just need to make another 4 radials and a ton more lawn staples and peg the crap out of it and leave it be till the grass grows over the wires. Cant say I enjoy building antennas and i still need to make the radiator out of aluminum, but that is going to wait a while. Now i just need some 40m signals so i can see how its working.

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Radial Day

Not much fun scalping the lawn to lay radials when you have hay fever HAHAHA. Stupid fucking runny nose and watery eyes that feel like sand. Not sure I will get the radials all laid before the rain hits, but i am making progress. Next job is to pull down the existing antenna and lift its radials.

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40m Vertical

So I have finally pulled my finger out my arse and should have the antenna actually built and ready to use in a couple of days. Tomorrow I head to the hardware to get the bits I need to finish it off and monday I will lay the radials and erect the radiator. I have only been talking about it for the last 12 months LOL and will finally be able to take down my portable antenna and return it to the portable station.

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Radial Plate

Doing a permanent install of the 40m vertical that I use and figured it needed a radial plate to make it look all pretty like. So I made one out of some 2mm aluminium scrap i had laying about.

A little bit of marking out.

A little bit of cutting out with the grinder cause I was lazy.


And finally a little bit of drilled out and ready to rumble, I added the angled bracket for installing a balun, unun or a remote tuner on.

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Antenna Traps

Actual doing stuff and building stuff ham radio kind of stuff has been rather absent from the blog for some time. Mostly I have been doing things around the house and in the garden.  But I have fully reassembled the radio room now and have all my toys setup. Son inlaw the electrician was down a couple months back and connected all the power up that I ran. So The room is now A1, tip top and ridgy didge.

I have actually not been as absent from radio stuff as it might seem. There has been stuff going on in the background and others taking up a lot of my thinking time :), you know, old men need to think a lot or as the wife puts it, PROCRASTINATE.

So what has actually been taking up my thinking time is antennas. Namely, now i have the space and lack of noise, what am i going to do for the antenna situation. After lots of iterations and ideas, I think a beam is actually in my future, a dual band, maybe tri band yagi.

Sun spots are on the up, 10m has been open for days and 15m as well and they are only going to get better for the next 4 years, so i will start there. With that in mind, I needed to play with traps and trap design to get that solid in the mind so I can focus on the interesting part of mechanical design and engineering.

A trap is simple enough, its an inductor paralleled with a capacitor. So i knocked one up to test and play with for 29Mhz. 1.1uH and 27pF and well, it came out at 28Mhz but that’s ok, for now, its not like I can use a 50V cap on an antenna that’s seeing 100’s to 1000’s of volts, at one port. The actual cap used will be made from aluminum tube most likely.

Next is to make another and use them in a wire dipole and get that working dual band for 10 and 15m before i head to the big smoke and buy the tubing I need and other bits to make a yagi. I am not really an antenna guy, but sometimes one has just gotta do what they gotta do.

Antenna up.

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40m Vertical Antenna

Doing a bit of work on the antenna. Well, I took the 3 radials off that were way to short that I used portable and added 9 radials that are 10m long. That improved things a lot. Now that I am happy with how its working, the next step will be to add another 9 radials and talk down my portable antenna and replace it with a aluminum radiator and give it a little tune.

SWR is acceptable, its a bit long, by the usable part of the band is all under 2:1 SWR so eat the loss and enjoy doing radio 🙂

That will work 🙂

So will that.

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40m Vertical Tests

Antenna is a little bit long, but not much i can do to shorten it now, its a helically wound wire up a 10m pole. There are currently 3 radials under the antenna. 3 is obviously not enough, 8 would be minimum and 36 would be adequate, but after the following tests, I am pretty much settled now on building a 40m vertical out of aluminium tube and putting down 36 plus radials.

+7 in the Canary Islands, I doubt i have ever been that strong before and I know that the spots from the USA are all higher than I would typically expect with my low power operation.

The real clincher was the RBN spots. I have never had so many spots from a couple of calls.

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