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Old August 19th 18, 05:20 PM posted to,
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Default [W2LJ] QRP Guys vertical antenna

W2LJ QRP - When you care to send the very least!

QRP Guys vertical antenna

Posted: 18 Aug 2018 06:55 PM PDT l

Thursday evening, I came home to a delightful surprise. My son had mowed
the lawn while I was at work. That gave me some unexpected free time and I
used it to build the QRP Guys 3 band vertical antenna that I had recently

Today I got the chance to deploy it and check it out. I used my 31'
Jackite pole as a support, which was definitely overkill. I ordered a 20'
fiberglass crappie pole from Sportsman's Warehouse for $20 - but it won't
get here until next week. As per the QRP Guys instruction manual, I checked
eBay for "17' fiberglass fishing pole", but came up blank.

Anyway, getting back to the subject at hand, this is what it looked like.

I hooked up my little Autek antenna analyzer, tuned it to 14.060 MHz and
checked the SWR and found it to be 1.5:1. Following the instructions, I
cut a 3" section off, thinking I could get the SWR even lower, but it ended
up increasing instead of decreasing! So I replaced it with another 17'
piece of wire and am going to let it go at that. In any case, the KX3's
autotuner brought the match to 1:1 in less than half a second. The same
held true for 30 and 40 Meters.

This is a close up of the actual circuit board portion of the kit.

After all was said and done, I secured the toroids with the provided wire
ties. To secure the matching portion to the fishing pole, I am going to end
up using two pieces of gardener's Velcro tape that I keep in my backpack.
When not securing the board to the pole, the Velcro tape will keep the
antenna and radial wire bundles neatly wound. Here's a view of the antenna
looking back towards my operating position.

The circuit board was a piece of cake to build. Even the toroids were no
big deal. After all the toroids I've wound over the years, I don't even
think twice when I have to wind some. The hard part for me was seeing!
The "close" portion of my bifocals are OK for reading; but are useless for
real close work like soldering. I took Bob W3BBO's advice and bought a
cheapie pair of grocery store "readers". In my case, I chose the +1.5
magnification variety. I put those on and no problem! Those are going to be
a tremendous help in kit building projects, as my eyes are nowhere where
they used to be.

Tomorrow's weather is "iffy" at best for my neck of the woods. There's a
50/50 chance of showers the entire day. I may end up working the Hunt from
the backyard, losing the water bonus points. My reasoning is that I have
that nice, big umbrella that you can see in the third picture. That will be
a real boon should it start to rain. And it it should start raining really
hard then I can always finish the Hunt from the basement shack, if I really
have to.

I have my fingers crossed, hoping it ends up being a blown forecast and
that I'll wake up to sunny skies tomorrow morning that end up lasting for
the whole day.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

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