To see if I'm on the air right now click here

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

80 meter vertical

As I look forward to cooler weather I've starting to think about 80 meters. With the winter months 80 becomes quieter and a better band for "DX". 80 is also to best band for my 1929 transmitters. I'd like to put up a better 80 meter antenna. Right now my endfed wire is only 10'-15' off the ground. If works OK for Minnesota but not much else beyond that. The radiation angle is too high. My backyard was too recently a corn field. Nothing back there is tall enough to support a higher dipole or end fed wire.

I'm going to start with a 30' to 35' 80 meter center loaded vertical and maybe even top load it a little. For a mast I'm going to try some of the fiberglass camouflage netting support poles / antenna masts seen on ebay these days. AI4WM has a good article on the web describing these poles . I found some with the fiberglass reinforcing ring on ebay fairly cheap. A trip to my local big box hardware store resulted in several "attachments pictured:

  1. 1.5" Conduit Hanger - This allows me to attach coils, pulleys, etc to a mast or they can be used to attach to mast to something else (like a fence or a post).

  2. 1.25" PVC Cross - This fits nicely over the top/male end of the mast.

  3. 2" x 1.5" PVC Reducer - This I found in the electrical department. With a little drilling to add a few wire loops I should be able to use this to attach guys

  4. 1.25" PVC Plug - This goes in the top (when mounted) arm of the PVC cross. It will give me a place to add a 6' whip above the top fiberglass mast.