SKCC 5123T----- FISTS 14979----- Flying Pigs 2331----- NAQCC 3610-----QRP ARCI 14176-----Polar Bear 257

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tall Pines Beg for an Antenna

My parent's home in Dothan, Alabama is on Pine Tree Drive . This is where I grew up and started doing ham radio in the late 60s. The tall pine trees are impressive and beg for an antenna. However, the first limbs are 50 feet plus high. It was not possible for me to throw anything that high. This was my motivation to get the Big Shot Slingshot. I was able to get lines over limbs at the 50 plus foot level with the Big Shot. As usual the layout in most lots favors an Off Center Fed and this is my first OCF. The shack is my Dad's workshop near the back of the lot. This weekend was my chance to get the OCF up. I am using a Balun Designs 4 to 1 balun fed with 70 feet of RG-8X. The long end is 90 feet and the the short end is 45 feet long. The long section is East West and is over the roof. The short section does a dog leg to the North East. The antenna is 40 feet above the ground. I am leaving ample slack as the pines can really bend in high winds. So how does it tune? Well 80 meters is 5.5 to 1, 40 meters is 2.7 to 1, 20 meters is 1.7 to 1 and 10 meters is 1.8 to 1.  So no tuner on 20 and I am very happy with that. With the exception of 80 I think this is par for the course. We will see if my internal tuner on the IC 703 will handle the SWR on 80. I think it will.  I always have limited time in Dothan so I am calling this a success! I did work  MO and AZ using QRP on 20 meters while I was there.