2019-07-04

Antennas: The Right Tool for the Purpose. Part 1.

Over the past few years I have been working a bit of everything on every band I could.
Just over 4 years ago I returned to my native Denmark after 25 years working abroad.
I moved back to my childhood home and started re-building my antenna system which had deteriorated a lot over time. That process is far from finished, and I suspect it will never be, due to new projects and interests in the ham radio field.

#1: Getting some local VHF FM system working. I chose the Diamond V-2000 antenna, because it had 3 bands available: 6m, 2m and 70cm. 6m has been a great interest of mine ever since I the band started becoming available in Europe.
So, why use a simple vertical omnidirectional antenna for a band like 6m? You can work so much more with a beam. The simple answer is that I wanted to get started quickly, because the Sporadic E season had just started, and getting a beam and rotator would take too long.
I had been working a fair amount of DX on 2m, 70cm and 23cm before, so that was not high priority, and I wanted to have some antenna for local FM traffic.
The V-2000 simply fits the bill very nicely, and easy to mount on my mast going up through an apple tree. the 6m capability was a great bonus, though.

#2: In my years since I got licensed in 1973, I have worked very little HF, but I would like to try out more. The exception was 10m, I have worked a lot on that band, especially in the summer Sporadic E seasons. The choice was a 5 band dipole for 10-15-20-40-80m. I tuned the antenna for the low parts of the bands, because I worked mostly CW and later digital modes. I managed to work DX on 80m, like the US and Japan, in the deep of winter, so the antenna was working, at least.
10m was OK-ish, but not too good for my taste hence:

#3: 10m vertical. I purchased a low-cost 27MHz end-fed half wave antenna and got it mounted about 6m above ground. Even in the rapidly deteriorating solar activity I was able to work some DX on 10 most of the year. This has, of course not been quite as good right now, as we are in the deepest low of solar activity. Only the sporadic E season is really any good on 10m, but I know things will improve when the sun gets going again. The 10/11m vertical does work on some lower bands, using the built-in antenna tuner of the radio. Suddenly I was able to work on 30m, even if that was bot the best antenna in the world.

This is what happened with my antennas the first year or so after I returned home. More happened later, but this is sufficient for now.
At the least this got me going on most of the bands from 80m to 70cm.

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