I always wondered how the “lossy” 9:1 UNUN fed, multiband, shortened antenna would stand up to a dedicated, single band, tuned end fed and so I did a few tests here in South Africa just the other day on 40m. The 9:1 UNUN fed 16.2m wire antenna stood it’s ground – sometimes outperforming the other!
After this test I felt confident in making it the antenna of choice within my new RaDAR kit which is slightly bigger than the previous kit I used to carry. More space for logistics, for survival is part of the RaDAR operators skills in being a good communicator, anywhere, anytime.
The real test came where I had taken my RaDAR kit with me where I work just about every weekend on the little house down by the “river without water”. It was the 10m CW contest. I was hoping to make a contact or two but opportunity was dwindling away, fast. Time waits for no one. In desperation I hung my short 16.2 m wire over a tree branch barely two meters above ground at the apex!
I placed my FT-817ND and tuner on a table inside and connected the 7 A/Hr Gel battery. All was good to go and I connected the short two meter length of RG58cu coax to the balun. 10m was alive with CW activity. The hand key is what I use for RaDAR now. I find in windy / noisy conditions it is sometimes difficult to hear the sidetone while sending. Sending by hand at 12 to 15 w.p.m. seems to be a little easier.
I called some really strong callers but none heard me. Who knows, they could be running a kilowatt or more and I only five watts with a “lossy” antenna and certainly not orientated for a low takeoff to DX lands! I did not have much hope for a single QSO but came back again and again to try.
Some operators have really good ears and possibly others leave a CW CQ keyer on to keep the frequency busy but here on 28.0625 I heard Fred NP2X calling CQ. I called him and he heard me. He HEARD me!!! We could even exchange numbers and it didn’t take long either.
I sent Fred an email later,