It was time to finalize my antennas at the house. I had 3 basic antennas operating and all needed changes. We decided to do this on Saturday March 11th.
UHF/VHF – my everyday antenna, the modes I use in my truck and for most local conversations. I had been using a ladder line/rollup J-Pole and would be changing it to a Diamond X50a Dual Band Fiberglass. This was the one I used in NH and in a recent test (I put it on a temporary mast) it totally outperformed the J-Pole.
6 Meter – I have been experimenting with 6 meter as we have a group of local friends participating in a Net for this band. I have made 3 antennas, a wire dipole, a vertical and rigid dipole made form aluminum adjustable whips. I have used it on a temporary mast and will be moving it to the main mast when I change to the Diamond.
HF (High Frequency) – This is my long range antenna, the one I talk around the country on, and even around the world. It is a purchased End Fed Wire that is designed for small spaces. I had decided to attempt to improve it by raising the center mast and increasing the wire length.
The first one we worked on was the HF. It had a 44′ wire and I increased to 66′ (recomended). After cutting the wire, I added the bolt lug and insulator. I extended the center mast an added 3 ‘ with a coupling. Turned out it had 2 issues, the first was the wire was too long for my yard. 2nd was that the mast (pvc) was flexible and both ended had to be in line to act as guy wires. I folded the wire and attached the other end, mast still had too much deflection. I ran the analyzer and was not pleased with the results. I re-positioned the wire such that the masting would work and determined how much wire to cut (14’). Checked the charts for random length no-no’s and I was ok, so I proceeded to cut the wire and re-install. Analyzer indicates ok and extra length and height should be a plus!
Next, we pulled down the temporary mast with the 6 meter dipole. I ran the analyzer, adjusted the arms lengths and then removed it from the mast. Next the main mast came down. We removed the jpole adjusted the mast length and installed the Diamond X50. Just below it on the mast, I mounted the 6 meter Dipole antenna. I cut about a foot off the receiver pipe so it would be easier to raise and lower the mast and put it back to its installed position with two new antennas, hooked up the feed coax and ready to test. All were working just fine