I originally wanted to go with a 4-element SteppIR for aesthetics,
but what convinced me ultimately had nothing to do with an antenna at
all. It was CQWW-SSB a few years ago. Saturday night, 40m; the band
was on fire and I had a good shot into Europe with 600W my dipole.
All of a sudden my logging software froze, then the PC abruptly shut
off. It took me four hours to repair the log and get the PC up and
running again. Indeed, Mr. Murphy had come for a visit and brought
all his luggage with him.
I see the idea of having that kind of circuitry and mechanical
complexity 70' up, where I can't service it myself, plus one extra
cable run, is engraved invitation for Mr. Murphy to come back for a
longer stay--of course, at the least opportune time.
While I'm leery of the rivets giving way, from what I understand, if
an element or two fails at a rivet, the antenna will still be sort-of
usable, albeit with degraded performance. If a Stepper motor fails,
the control line fails or worst of all, the berrylium-copper tape
breaks, that's it...you're either QRT or stuck on one frequency (hope
you weren't listening to something on shortwave broadcast at 16 MHz
at the time it pooched out!).
As Scotty said, the more complicated the plumbing, the easier it is
to stop up the drain."
Besides, try to tri-feed a SteppIR!
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