Radio Lighthouse Activation
Along for the ride was a KX3 with stock mic and 7AH 12V gel cell battery. This connects to the antenna balun via a 12 foot length of RG316 coax.
This is, essentially, a very lightweight, easy deploy, QRP setup.
Here are various pictures of nothing in particular starting with another boring view of the mechanical heart of this antenna design…
UPDATE 2014: Here is a better looking choke assembly.
My chair makes the perfect “stand” to hold the antenna during length adjustments. By the way, all the elements have black marker at each band setting for quick length adjustment.
The wind was always present… probably about 10-15 mph. The antenna on its stand had no problems at all. I did push the antenna by hand in the same direction of the wind vector to see how close it was to tipping over. It didn’t take much. It was close…, but not close enough to be an issue this time.
This was early morning and the lighthouse grounds were not open. This particular location meets the ARLHS distance rule.
With just two radials I quickly learned to point them along the wind vector so they didn’t help topple the antenna.
You can pick up the whole thing with one hand.
Everything was set for 20m. I tuned around. I wasn’t very efficient, but was in no particular rush. I made the following contacts within about 90 minutes…
- YW2LV – 59 both ways
- K2K – 59 both ways – 13 colonies event – NH
- KB2ZVP – 59 Sent, 41 received – NY
- K2C – 59 both ways
- K2L – 59 both ways
This isn’t stunning performance, but certainly confirms the antenna works.
That’s about it. For what it is this thing simply works. This isn’t very exciting, but that’s kind of the point. This is a very simple antenna that is easy to build, easy to tote and easy to setup. So long as you have the lengths for your band figured out in advance and have a good balun, this antenna provides satisfaction.
I didn’t have a lot of time for radio during this beach trip. The quick setup of this portable QRP operation was possible because of this no-fuss antenna.
I realize propagation makes or breaks contacts, but I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome with QRP levels of power. I have to give some credit to the audio quality of the KX3 as several folks specifically mentioned the good tone.