Ever since picking up my IC-705 in October 2021 I’ve been dining out on location rather than configuration, at least where the home antenna is concerned; a random-length end-fed with a 49:1, slung up into a tree next to the shack. I’ve had some pretty good contacts using this setup, working QRP far into Europe and occasionally pinging the ding-dong repeater in New York on 10m, but it was always a suck-it-and-see first attempt, a cheap way of finding out which bands I want to focus on before spending more money. I was still chasing my first transatlantic contact when I heard Russ VE9FI one evening in December but, unable to work him on my EFLW I quickly uprooted the IC-705 to the back patio, where my home made EFHW was doing WSPR duty. Blow me if I didn’t get an S5/5 @ 5W, nearly three thousand miles across the pond, on battery power.
An obvious solution would be to throw some more power down the wire, but at the back of my mind it was clear that the wire was the problem. And the power. But mostly the wire. So here I am two months later, with some very nice fibreglass poles and a hastily flung resonant 80m HW, buzzing with excitement at the changes brought about by some fairly simple guying.
Yesterday’s initial attempt at stringing the 40m long stealth wire across the garden in a rotated L configuration produced more of an inverted V, thanks to the luxurious flexibility of my new poles, but adding some guy lines today actually enabled the vertical part to be truly vertical, and I think that’s what’s made the difference between the RF fizzling out at the horizon and providing a truly great take-off angle. All I know for sure is that I’ve not had any WSPR spots from Central America, West Coast US, or China until today.
Going forward I’ll probably add a second 2-section pole to hold the blunt end of the wire, replacing the far too flexible single section that I used as a stop-gap in fading light yesterday.