Topband: First foray onto Topband

John Harper john at
Mon Nov 27 13:43:17 EST 2006

After 28 years in the hobby, I guess it was high time to venture into new 
territory! The CQWW contest provided the excuse and the temptation - I used 
my 80m antenna Friday night to listen to the activity on 160 but could not 
load it to transmit. Saturday morning found me 60 feet up on two towers at 
my work QTH, hanging an inverted L. Then a drive to Home Depot to spend $50 
on 1000 feet of copper wire.

The antenna analyzer I have only goes down to 1.8 MHz and the Inv L was 
resonant somewhere below there. I had 2.8:1 VSWR at 1810 and plan to trim it 
later, the tuner would take care of it for now.

Saturday night came and I worked 16 countries on 160 with my 100-watt Yaesu, 
the best being Hawaii from my New York QTH. Got him through the pile-up on 
the first call. GM3POI had an amazingly strong signal and is also in my 

I plan to add more radials and investigate the possibility of shunt feeding 
one of the comm towers. It was frustrating to hear stations calling CQ, then 
me being the only one to answer them and having them respond with another 
CQ. Lots to learn here but that's what keeps the hobby interesting all these 


John  Harper   AE5X

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