[Antennaware] Random wire on 160

Terry Conboy n6ry at arrl.net
Thu Jan 31 13:37:40 EST 2008

At 10:07 AM 2008-01-31, Gary Smith KA1J wrote:
>Have just come onto about 500 feet of the "loop" wire the telephone
>company uses. Kind of like a very durable insulation around a solid &
>stiff copper wire. This stuff is like zip wire in that there's a
>groove between the wires and it can be pulled apart to make two wires
>out of one.
>No open space for an antenna thoughthere's trees & wetlands around
>the house. The  top of the house has several antennas on it already
>so I can't mount a new antenna up there.
>Was thinking I might take a 130'section of this wire and hook it to
>the random wire terminal of the transmatch and use it as a temporary
>160M antenna for this winter & do something better for next year.
>Looking for DX. Any thoughts on a random wire at this frequency &
>there's no tower to hang it from as a sloper.

That length isn't too random, since it's a quarter-wavelength on 
160m, so depending on how you route it, you could think of it as an 
inverted-L.  Your success will depend on how high you can get most of 
it and how good the ground system is connected to your tuner.  Adding 
a few radials at the tuner in parallel with any ground rod(s) you 
have will pay big dividends.

With the heavy insulation on that cable, you can probably get away 
with draping it through your trees.  Use an insulator or monofilament 
line to support the at least the last few feet clear of the trees to 
reduce the possibility of arcing on transmit.

Expect it to be noisy on receive, unless you are unusually lucky, 
since the high current part of the antenna will be right at the tuner 
in the shack.

Take a look at http://users.erols.com/k3mt/inv_u/u_160.htm for one 
approach that might be similar to your situation.

73, Terry N6RY

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