Topband: 160m Antenna, worse than I thought !

Mike Smith VE9AA ve9aa at
Mon Nov 26 15:26:22 EST 2018

de Mike VE9AA


O-M-G -,If you read my 3830 report from CQWW CW.. I thought my 160m antenna
had just 'fallen down' and was still 130' or whatever feet of wire at
~12'AGL, but when I was out in the woods just now, nice bright sunny day
that it is (0*C/32*F), I *REALLY* saw what was going on.  I couldn't believe
my eyes.


After my 24hrs (Classic) was up post-test I went outside y'day in the late
afternoon and instead of hiking through the snow, I used binoculars and
looked across the field and down into the woods and 'thought' I knew what
was up.


It was only in the light of the noonday sun today, after I had hiked through
the snow that I saw it..OMG, I laughed so loud.   I am not sure how I made
*ANY* QSO's at all. (even one DX QSO into the Carib!)


My inverted L antenna had broken about halfway or more.  It went up from
about the 6' level, (where the base of the inverted L is) to about the 12'
level, then.....wait for came directly down to the ground and was
all bunched up in a heap mostly covered in about a foot of snow!  What I saw
yesterday, was apparently a raised radial from one of the 80m 4-square
verticals .  Essentially, I was transmitting on an inverted-U antenna 6' up,
then 12' back down, with a big blob of 70-80' of wire at the far end, laying
on the ground in a heap, mostly buried in snow. a huge rats nest.  I see
another bit of antenna way up in the trees over yonder which I think is the
end of this one.


So, the moral of the story is check your antennas WELL, (in person, before
the contest) and don't assume, and don't be so lazy as to use binoculars
when you have lots of wires zig-zagging this way and that.  With all the
snow on top of it, I bet it's been this way for well over a week, maybe two
and I could've probably fixed it before the contest.  I hear 160m condx were
stunning and I really missed out, especially with no 10m prop and 2 broken
antennas for 15m.  SIGH.


Strange thing is, the SWR wasn't that bad.  About 2.1:1 with a nice dip @
1830kHz...bizarre...when VY2ZM was only 559 here, that should've been my
clue that something was seriously wrong.  


What a goof I am.


Learn from my mistake.  Don't assume SWR means everything is all OK.




OK, back into my igloo I go.




Mike, Coreen & Corey

Keswick Ridge, NB


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