gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Archive for July 4th, 2010

Playing radio at the cottage

July 04, 2010 @ 13:56 By: gordon Category: Amateur radio

Although I’ve been licensed since the early 1990s, I don’t get on HF very often. This isn’t due to a lack of interest in working HF, but rather because it’s impractical for me to operate HF where I live. (I live in an apartment building, so I can’t really set up an antenna without violating some condo rule and I’d also be concerned about interfering with the fire alarm.) So, when I do get on HF, chances are it’s either Field Day or I’m at the cottage.

There are a lot of tall pine trees at the cottage, so I have installed some slings with caribiners from a few of the branches and strung ropes through them. This allows me to quickly set up a G5RV Jr. wire antenna when I want to operate. It works fairly well, but I can only work 10m through 40m. I’d need a full G5RV antenna to be able to work 80m, but there just isn’t quite enough room for it.

The orientation of the antenna is such that I can work down into the US, central America Cuba, and sometimes South America. Chunks of Europe are occasionally accessible and I’ve even worked Australia and New Zealand (I worked ZL3TE on 20m PSK last night). But try as I might, I can’t work people in Ottawa, especially if they’re using a vertical antenna because they’re looking at the end of the wire where almost no RF comes out.

I’m thinking of reconfiguring the G5RV Jr. into a sloped-V that’s aimed towards Ottawa. That should open up eastern Canada and the more northern countries in Europe.