I’ve not been on air for a while, so it was a pleasant surprise to receive these two cards. They’re both dated in 2009.
The contact with DL0KHZ in Germany was made in July 2009. This is a period from which I don’t have many photos. It is addressed to M0RJC so would have been a contact made from home using my ladder tuned dipole. This antenna was slung between the house and the trees at the end of the quite short garden. It operated on 14MHz without a tuner and was a lot more efficient than the simple dipole that preceded it.
In the centre of the dipole the two copper wires diverted down towards the ground in a ladder line made using plastic spacers. They were connected to a 4:1 voltage balun, possibly not the best choice because it would not have handled imbalance or mismatch well. The unbalanced side of this balun was connected to the radio.
The contact with with GB2GGM was made in May 2009. This was while I was camping in Cornwall. GB2GGM was taking part in a “Mills on the Air” weekend. My antenna was a long wire run into a tree. Looking at the photograph of it, it runs very low, rising perhaps only 10 or 20 degrees from horizontal. This would not have been an efficient arrangement. The photo shows the tuner at the foot of the antenna. The antenna can be seen in the top right of the photo. The radio, a Yaesu 897, was operated from the car. The battery on top of the tuner would have been to allow the radio to be taken to that point to adjust it.
Now I have an antenna analyser I have more chance of making matching antennas in the future. The biggest problem on this day was throwing the string high enough into the tree to lift the antenna. I do own a Clansman mast which I have used on other holidays to help with height.
Given time it would be interesting to experiment with other antenna arrangements such as loops. If I am to get on air again then I’ll most likely use a loop because this can be made small, perhaps fitted in the attic. The challenge is making a loop to cover all of the bands I am interested in. There are some interesting pages on the internet about portable loops which would be great with a smaller radio for portable work. A smaller radio with lower power enters the world of QRP. Skills such as Morse Code, or the use of a highly efficient digital mode would be helpful here. At the moment these must just be future plans.