Surprising Antenna Test
Today Hanz, W1JSB, and I hiked on Johnson Road and setup next to
other. We worked Italy, Russia, the Netherlands, and Florida.
up we each called CQ and compared received signals on the Reverse
The results were surprising.
Hanz working 20M CW with an HB-1A with a Par End Fed half
For these experiments we used
nearly identical rigs. Hanz had the HB-1A,
and I had the HB-1B. Both roughly 4 watts with similar power
Hanz ran the Par Electronics half-wave end fed wire straight up to a
branch. It was
perfectly vertical. This is the antenna that I've been running for
almost 5 years.
I thought it was probably the best portable DXer I could use.
Perhaps I was wrong.
I ran a 66 foot wire configured as an inverted Vee with a 33 foot
an Elecraft T-1 tuner. Here's a rough diagram of the antenna
that I used. It's supported
at the apex by a tree branch. The ends are a few inches above ground
I am sitting at the spot marked "X" on the above diagram.
We each worked the same stations on 20 meters. First we worked
N4KXG, Pete in Florida. I received
a 589 and Hanz received a 579. I expected that my antenna might be
better than Hanz's for relatively
near stations. I was correct. We got a hint of something unpredicted
with the next QSO.
We worked RA6CA in Russia. Pavel gave both Hanz and me a 589. I
would have expected Hanz to be
stronger with the vertical. Of course this is subjective. Next
we worked IZ2UE in Italy. Andrea gave
me a 559 and gave Hanz the same 559. Again... a surprise. The last
station was PA3GEG, Gerald in
the Netherlands. I received a 579 and Hanz received a 599. That
would be expected.The next test
shattered all my preconceptions.
Jim working RA6CA with 4 watts and an inverted Vee antenna
Before packing up our gear, Hanz suggested that we both call CQ and
check our signals on
the Reverse Beacon Net. That was a stunning idea. Here are the
results. I was heard by six
stations. Hanz was heard by 10 stations. Four stations recorded
signals from both of us.
DL1EMY 13 db
11 db 16 db
db 10 db
In each case my signal was consistently stronger than Hanz's. Same
rig. Same location.
Sent within a minute of each other.
I have to say I'm really surprised. I thought the end fed vertical
could not be improved
upon for a portable wire antenna. We will definitely do more