Coventry Amateur Radio Society

Oct 13, 2014

Trying Something New

Some wire, some string & a sense of experimentation..
Posted by: M0ZOM

When was the last time you tried something new?

I'm not really into construction, and modern "black box" radios dissuade tinkering, but I do like to experiment with antennas.

So it was that this Sunday saw me take my FT-817, some wire, a 9:1 un-un, a small ATU & a kite to a local country park.
It didn't take me long to get the kite up at the top of a hill, tethered to a ground stake with about 100ft of wire hanging down underneath. I connected the end to the un-un, which gave the twin advantages of converting the high impedance to something nearer 50ohm and giving me a DC path to earth. Kite antennas can build up high static voltages, and it's ESSENTIAL to bleed those to earth rather than damage your rig.
After connecting the ATU & the radio, and matching the antenna to the rig on the band I wanted to work (17m), I had a listen around and quickly found a station calling CQ. waiting my turn, I answered his call and was rewarded by a 45 report into Virginia! I was quite pleased with that considering I'd just experimented with a bit of wire and 5 watts from a barefoot 817.

So sometimes it can be worth trying something new - and it also goes to show you can work some decent distance (in this case 3,600 miles) on very little power. So if you're newly licenced and having trouble making contacts, don't be disheartened - it can be done - just try experimenting!