YouTube often runs in the background when I am on the computer. Every once in a while I stumble across antenna construction videos that make me go “well, that’s just too easy to not try”. Dave Taddock, KG0ZZ, has a series of YouTube videos which talk about different ways to turn scrap into an antenna. One of these videos, the 10/11m ground plane antenna looked like a good one-day antenna build which would produce a great antenna for field operations.
The radiating element is ~8ft4in of aluminum tubing fed directly from an SO239 connector. Two pieces were used so that I could telescope it in order to tune it for different parts of the band. This was done by cutting teeth into one of the tube and adding a hose clamp to keep it taught. The ground, at least in my build, is 6 radials of the same length. The radiating element and the earth are separated by PVC. The mount is from the feed point of an old yagi which was scrapped by the Coquitlam club. For some reason I spared the unit on clean up date and it has now become useful.
The antenna photo, taken at dusk, can be seen below. I will provide better snaps shots later on, but for now, this should do.
Dave’s article, and the aformentioned YouTube video are on his webpage at http://www.amateurradio.bz/10-11m_ground_plane_antenna.html
I set the unit up and plugged in a radio before even tuning it. I spun the dial around and was a little bit disappointed. As for band conditions, there was not a peep on the band other than a beacon which was barely there. I rolled the VFO over to 20 meters and found it was hopping with activity – a good sign. The antenna was not cut for 20 so I didn’t bother trying to raise a contact at the risk of the finals. With the radio back on 10 meters and the power backed off I tuned around the band. It was about 1.5:1 on the majority of the band with a preference for the lower portion where it dropped until I hit the band edge. I slid the inner tube down a few inches to bring the SWR to 1.1:1 and the beacon came up enough to move the S-meter. I brought the power back up and tested transmitting – pop – the radio rebooted. Not enough power. Resolving to just RX for now I swept the band and found activity at 28.690. It soon became apparent they were holding a net, and taking check ins. These guys were all local to me, within 30kms, so most where loud. I tried to call on the next call but the radio dropped out again, I had to start the truck and try again. About 9 S-Units of ignition noise greeted me at the radio.
The video is not great, but it shows the noise, the net, and the antenna (sort of), and my legs…The radio is borrowed courtesy of the Coquitlam radio club.
Thank you for reading this! Cheers,