Topband: Short Radials, Antenna Update: FINALE

EP Swynar gswynar at
Sun Nov 5 10:46:58 EST 2006

Good Day All,

Well, in as much as I might hate to be self-congratulatory & all, I must say, that I'm just as pleased as punch with the new 3-element tri-angular phased array here...

Unfortunately, I'm afraid I have very little to offer in the way of "A vs. B" performance notes, save for some rudimentary empirical observations...and to that end, no doubt the biggest observation that I might submit forward is the fact that I can honestly say that I don't believe I've had to wait longer than one minute to work any DX station that I've heard through any pile-up, since completing the project.This includes stations in E51, XF4, 8P9, HI9, PY2, and others.

This was most assuredly NOT the case with the single "L" that I ran last season.

To be sure, there are still far-off stations calling CQ DX that I simply can not raise --- but then neither can the other Stateside Amateurs that I hear calling those same stations on frequency, either.

Besides the fact that it has perhaps elevated me up one rung in terms of Topband station effectiveness / performance, the design, lay-out, and construction of the project has certainly given me a new appreciation of what it is that might really make things tick on 160. For example, after repeatedly coming up with new questions on grounding & ground radials during this effort, my re-reading of specific paragraphs in both LOW-BAND DX'ING, and the ARRL ANTENNA HANDBOOK, was like reading these passages for the very first time --- if necessity is indeed the mother of invention, then genuine curiousity & the resultant need to learn from doing things "hands on" is the engine that drives an attentiveness to, and the retention of, what one sees from the work of others!

I have definitely come to appreciate what some guys have accomplished with their 4-square arrays, "stone henge" multi-element arrays, etc. etc. What an incredible investment in time and money --- they are light years ahead of my humble effort here. 

Still, in the final analysis, nothing should preclude the owner of even the most modest of set-ups from striving for something that's perhaps more competitive on the band, i.e. something that goes beyond the proverbial inverted "L" , or inverted "V" antenna. While they'd certainly be nice to have, one most assuredly does not need the acreage of a national park, nor shares in a Chilean copper mine, to improve one's lot in Topband life. Armed with a a bit of knowledge --- and a dream! --- things can only get better...

Now if only CONDITIONS on the band would do the same...!

See you in the pile-ups, & Happy DX'ing.

~73~ Eddy VE3CUI - VE3XZ

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