Antennas

House #7 (2018-Present)

Around the end of September 2018 radio waves ceased to emanate from M0PCB at home. This was in preparation for a move to W3-land for a work assignment.

That hasn’t kept me off the bands, and in late November 2018 I had installed some antennas in my attic space. This is the down-side of living in a rented home in an HOA.

As time and facilities were in short supply – well really none of my household belongings or tool kit had arrived – I decided to do the thing I usually don’t like doing and purchased wire antennas! There’s a definite trade of money vs time these days.

Attic antennas at AD5XI
Attic antennas at AD5XI

Up in the attic I have:

  • EAntenna 80DXS – Single band loaded dipole for 80m
  • EAntenna 40201510DX – Fan dipole for 40 through 10m
  • EAntenna 301712DX – Fan dipole for 30, 17, 12 and 6m

As I am effectively end of terrace the feed points are in the apex at the farthest point from the neighbours, wires running down the roof line then along the rafters towards the next house.

Notice the GM3SEK chokes on 80m and 40-10m, plus a large #31 mix ferrite on the WARC antenna. They cured my minor RFI troubles completely.

Results have been good, even had contacts into Europe on 80m CW with 100W.

House #6 (2015-2018)

In December 2015 the antennas needed some significant maintenance. The Inverted-L had snapped in wind and due to the work on the garage the SixPak remote switching had not been wired in.

Over a couple of relatively dry days the remedial work was carried out. Modifications to the G3TPW Cobwebb were made to add extra feeds. Now 20m, 17/15m and 12/10m are presented on three separate cables. The 40m/30m parallel dipole is still in use.

A new, higher power, remote antenna coupler was installed on the Inverted-L, along with new wire and also side guys for the fibreglass pole. This covers 160m, 80m and 60m.

The SixPak was fitted and wired up with new screened control cable and new coax cable to the shack and the antennas.

For VHF there is currently an EAntenna 6/4m Dual-band Moxon Rectangle on a small rotator on the back of the house.

House #6 (2012-2014)

In October and November 2012 some more antenna work was carried out to upgrade various components of the antenna system, namely coaxial cable and the rotator for the VHF antennas. The 6m Moxon was moved from the top of the main HF support to the VHF stack and a new Inverted-L antenna for 160/80/40m was installed off the support across to the house.

In mid 2013 the 80/40m dipole was replaced with a doublet fed with an MFJ-994BRT remote tuner, this provides coverage of 80m and 60m, as well as 40/30m, though the match isn’t great. Subsequently a dedicated parallel dipole for 40m and 30m was installed in inverted-vee configuration from the mast.

The inverted-L had to be fed up inside the Cobwebb while the support was luffed over, which has made fine adjustments a tedious process. Initial indications on performance on 160m are good given its small size. The design was that of GM0ONX as published in Practical Wireless. Google will find his articles.

House #6 (2011-2012)

In late 2011 M0PCB and M0GEJ moved to a new house and so began a new episode of antennas. With a much bigger garden to play with things are much improved for all bands. Initially a Force-12 Sigma-5 allowed basic operation on 20m while the shack was constructed and a better idea of the garden layout was formed.

The HF antennas were:

  • G3TPW Cobwebb at ~30 feet AGL
  • 80/40m Trapped Dipole, inverted-vee
  • 30m Half wave dipole

The VHF antennas were:

  • Moxon Rectangle for 50MHz
  • 3 element LFA for 70MHz
  • 4 element LFA for 144MHz
  • Comet GP15 for 6m/2m/70cm FM

House #5 (2008-2011)

Butternut HF-9V, 100 foot Doublet and SGC SG-230, Comet GP-15 and Sandpiper 6/4/2m Delta Halo.

Previously I had a Hustler 4-BTV and an 80m Inverted-L for a while, but the Inverted-L was a bit unwieldy and I found 80m performance on the Butternut to be good enough.

In early May 2011 the doublet wire snapped right at the feed point. As this was in fact the 2nd time the wire had snapped I decided to replace the whole antenna with a new design. Still 100 feet long, this time made from Racal military grade kevlar wire and fed with 450 Ohm slotted ladder line rather than home-brew open wire feeder. I also had to use 8m from my 12m Spiderpole to provide upgraded support as the 10m fishing pole was not sturdy enough to carry the extra weight.

House #3 & #4 (2007-2008)

During this period of time, after moving out of my parents house, I lived in two houses, neither of which were ideal for radio, but I made do. Alas I can only find pictures from the second of the two houses. Each one required some novel techniques for erecting antennas! The fun of amateur radio…

University (2003-2007)

During my time at University I managed to stay active on the bands. activity was pretty minimal in my first year halls, but for the rest of my time there I tried a variety of antennas at my house in Tang Hall.

House #2 (2005-2007)

Extensive reworking of the antenna system was carried out just before Easter 2006 when I got home for the University vacation! Along with mum and dad, I spent a full day sorting the system out.

House #2 (2003-2005)

This is how the antennas at M0PCB looked during 2003/4 and into 2005 after my parents had moved house in August 2003. The photo that is missing is of the first Cobwebb that I had up here. Unfortunately it had an argument with the byre roof before I had chance to take a photo…

House #1 (2000-2003)

Back in 2000 when I got my licence I proceeded to fill my parents attic with antennas. They all worked pretty well all things considered and got me to DXCC within a year.

  • 40M Full Wave Loop
  • G3TPW CobWebb for 20M – 10M
  • 1/2 size G5RV
  • Mighty wide 6M dipole
  • 2x 2M J-Poles
  • 2/70 Collinear