Monday, December 28, 2020

Beverage vs 1/4 wave ground plane with elevated radials on 30m

This month 12/2020 I've been spending time working DX on 30 meters (10.136 Mhz) FT8 mode.  I started the month with 48 DXCC confirmed via LotW.  And now I have 140 DXCC confirmed via LotW and about 4-5 unconfirmed still.  SO I worked almost or right around 100 new countries.  Places like VK6 (South Western Australia) which is the furthest away from me that I've ever worked.  That's nearly 19000 km.  Close to being on the opposite side of the world from here.  

So I was under the impression that my little 1/4 wave ground plane with 4 elevated radials was hearing and being heard really well.  And I would say that for what it is.  Considering I'm running about 170 watts on 30 meters.

Yesterday I installed my first ever "Beverage" antenna.  This is about 800 feet of galvanized steel fence wire at an average height of about 12 feet.  Some places it's more like 8-10 and some it's around 15 or so.  It's higher than most beverages because in places I have to drive my tractor under it.

I've just discovered that my beverage is hearing about 13db better than my 1/4 wave GP antenna.  So the GP has a noise floor around -135db and the Beverage has a noise floor around -148 to -150db so 13 to 15 db better on the Beverage antenna.

Here's a sample of what I'm talking about.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

800 foot Beverage - first impression

 I've been working on a new RX only antenna called a "Beverage" antenna.  My first one is about 800 ft long and ranges in height from 10ft to 15ft (which I think is high).  I put mine up higher than normal because I drive my tractor through some of the areas it runs through.  I wanted to make sure it would clear ok.

I will post the actual details on how I built it later this week.  But for now I'll share this video...

This is 80m, 160m was a real eye opener for me.  I was decoding A45XR at -7 LOL.  I've maybe heard 6 dx stations outside North America on 160m in my life.  I just never had a decent RX antenna for the band.

Now I really have to get working on TX antennas for 160-40m.  Now that I can actually hear what I've been missing.