As a recently re-active Radio Amateur that has not been active for nearly 20 years, access to HF is a new thing to me. I was very keen and active on VHF and some UHF, but never active on the “DC” bands.
Roll on nearly two decades and here I am with a “shack in a box” Yaesu FT-897D. SO I decided to start with a simple mono band dipole for 20m. Nice and simple to make with things I have lying around. Some RG223 feeder and some heavyish DC black and red wire. A sheet of perspex called into play and some cable ties and we are in business.
Here is the feed point of the dipole. I must remember to solder to the centre core before bending it next time. The top hole is for nylon cord to tie it to a mast.
Finished (apart from tuning) dipole. Both halves of the driven are wound onto the small spool.
Next it was load up the car with my youngest daughter, the radio and some bits and pieces including a mast, and head off to a nearby drive on small hill to test it.
Once on the hill I remembered how awkward it is to erect a 20 foot scaffold pole on your own on hard ground. An old big screwdriver was deployed into the ground to slip the end of the pole against to push it up and after some convincing my wheelchair bound daughter was pressed into holding onto a guy rope while I adjusted the other two. I hadn’t spaced them very well, there was an angle of about 160° between two, so I leant the mast over away from them to be safe. The wire elements were unrolled from the spool and using some nylon cord tied to the wire ends (leaving some adjusting tail) and pegged out. Tuning was done by bending back and keeping neat with two clothes pegs on each element. Didn’t take long to get a decent tune that didn’t register any movement on transmit.
Now to test it!
By now time was getting on so we didn’t have long, but we settled in with myself in the back and my daughter draining her phone battery and mine as I was using it as a wifi hotspot for her.
Didn’t work a lot of stations but got a few nice contacts and people could hear me pretty well considering.