NVIS works very well… except when it doesn’t

QSOs made into NoVa in the Virginia QSO Party

Near Vertical Incident Skywave (NVIS) propagation works wonders when the bands cooperate, but can slam the door shut at any moment.

Dipole Generates Static in PL-259

Irrespective of the fact the solder-the-braid PL-259 connector is probably the worst RF connector conceived by the mind of man1 and the fact the spark shown in the video is in an area that should be a direct short, the video, shown below, wonderfully shows the ease with which static charge can build on a dipole antenna.

That’s not the point though. If we were to cut off the connector we would surely still see a spark from center conductor to shield. If the cable were near station ground we would expect a spark jump. That large a charge has to go somewhere.

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Ladder Line the Old Fashioned Way

A fellow club member is preparing to put up a big 160 meter horizontal loop antenna. Nice. We have discussed many options and conclude ladder line is the best approach to connect the loop to the operating point.

He went shopping online only to find many vendors are low in stock of many items including the 400ish ohm windowed ladder line. We both agree making our own is a viable option.

So here is a photographic step by step we took in 2005 to construct the spreaders of our ladder line fed dipole antenna we use for Field Days, JOTA and other events requiring a simple antenna.

Since our antenna is used for various events it is not in the weather long. We opted to use wood spaces soaked in paraffin.

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43 Foot Antenna Installation – The Rising

Here are some details regarding the next, and probably last, phase of my 43 Foot DX Engineering vertical installation.

This post is very late. The actual date of the events within it are just before March 2009 in preparation for the Virginia QSO Party.

In the many posts within this site, it is no secret my examination of various vertical antenna solutions with comparison between BigIR and the 43 Foot products a big part of this. Check out all the 43 Foot posts on HHD here…

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NVIS 80m with 160m Full Wave Loop is less than ideal

Big HF loop antennas provide great performance, but they can’t do everything. 160 meter full wave loops won’t work well for NVIS when used at 3.8 MHz.

The 43 foot vertical – The answer to everything?

The 43 foot vertical antenna is a popular height being promoted by several antenna manufacturers for 160 to 10 meters. Let’s see why and examine some advantages and pitfalls.