Antenna Adventures, Part 2

Andy writes:

I have 33 feet of Cat5, all strands bonded together at the base and up into a tree, and four 33 foot radials each of one pair of said Cat5 on my balcony. 25 feet-ish of coax to the LDG auto tuner and then to the IC-707!

KK6VYZ "helping" by holding the wire.

Make sure you get they type with the pull string.

Solder all the pairs together.

Hot glue, lots of hot glue

Red (Vet) pill bottle full of hot clue, slightly melted from the heat gun, path the edge of the coax, past the edge of the soldered braid.

33 foot antenna (Blue Cat5) and four 33 foot radials

Taping the antenna to the rope by tying it to my car.

Coax balun at the antenna point.

Jim B. adds:

We are at solar minimum right now so generally, conditions are poor.

Forty meters is a night time band for DX. DX might be defines as North America right now. Your mileage may vary... During the day, California/Nevada maybe Oregon.

In order to use your antenna with a band other than 40, you need to use a tuner. It is very instructive to sweep the antenna and find the dips in the return loss. Mine dips in the 30 meter band for example. The tuner matches it nicely.

Your antenna will be poor on 20 meters. 20 is a daytime band. It is also one of the more popular bands.

Thirty meters is CW and digital only. It is mostly active in the daytime but I have seen a few DX openings at the dusk terminator. For example, Antarctica was on last night about 6:30.

Ten, 12 and 15 meters will be open for only short periods of time during noonish.

Seventeen is an interesting daytime band.

Be aware that there is an AM gentleman's agreement zone in each band. The best way to get folks mad at you is to fire up SSB in those zones. 3885, 7290 are AM calling frequencies. http://www.arrl.org/considerate-operator

If you are interested in if bands are open, check out the NCDXF beacons. http://www.ncdxf.org/pages/beacons.html

When you get tired of talking to folks complaining about how much their pills cost each, try the WSJT modes.