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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Digital GOTA attracts the Youth

If you are like many ARRL Field Day operations you have a Get On The Air (GOTA) station for guests.

We have done this every year I have been involved with my club’s Field Day and have had mostly good results. We usually have one Boy Scout troop stop by and make a few QSOs each. Also some technicians in our club like to operate the station during the late hours to get a chance to do SSB HF (yes we always have a control operator with valid privileges). Also it seems every year a new ham really enjoys the simplicity of the GOTA station without the concern over band sharing the other stations deal with.

Every year our GOTA is set up pretty much the same…

  • Icom 746
  • HF Antenna – Wire Dipole
  • Microphone
  • Key
  • Computer for logging
  • and that’s about it

Last year I posted observations about what the youth seem to enjoy most about our Field Day 2008…

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Priming Aluminum Antennas

Aluminum envy

If you have been reading this web site you will recall I have paid much attention to the 43 foot antenna manufactured by DX Engineering and Zero Five Antennas.

After much simulation and trading the benefits against pitfalls, I purchased the DX Engineering 43 foot antenna kit with the balun.

However, a shiny aluminum antenna in the back yard would attract the kind attention I just don’t need. Research on the Internet reveals several solutions including:

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Young Attracted to PSK31

During Field Day 2008 we carefully observed what operating modes the young teens did and did not enjoy while they operated. Without a doubt the digital modes, especially PSK31, got their attention.

Teenager and a younger boy sharing PSK31 contacts on an HF station.
Teenager and a younger boy sharing PSK31 contacts on an HF station.

The older of the two, KJ4FAJ, in the picture above said this when he made his first PSK31 contact just after midnight during Field Day…

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