At the urging of my friend Bob W3BBO during our weekly Saturday Echolink BS session, after we were done, I went down the basement shack and removed the Butternut from my K3. In “Antenna 1”, I hooked up the 88′ EDZ and in “Antenna 2” I hooked up the W3EDP.
I then proceeded to go to 160 Meters to go listen to the contest traffic there.
Switching between “Antenna 1” and “Antenna 2”, I was able to make some comparisons between the two. First off, there was virtually no noticeable difference in the receive quality of any of the signals I heard. Both antennas gave me loud, strong signals to listen to. Neither was noticeably weaker or quieter than the other, and switching back and forth was instantaneous. The comparison in reception was easy to make.
On transmit, it was a different story. The best match I was able to get with the EDZ on 160 Meters was between 2:1 to about 1.6:1. And to get that match, the K3’s autotuner took it’s good sweet time – I’d say about 5 seconds or longer to achieve that match (seems like much longer while those relays are chattering away!). The W3EDP? A quick little “brrp” lasting about a second or two at the most, and a match that was 1.0:1.
In the space of a matter of a few minutes, I made contest QSOs with K8NVL in Ohio, WA1BXY in Rhode Island and NX2X in New York. All of them with the W3EDP.
Is this the solution I am looking for for 160 Meters? No, I’m not that stupid. But it will allow me to have some 160 Meter fun this winter until I get something dedicated built. Of course, that project has been on my radio project horizon for two years now. Next spring/summer I am really going to have to follow through. But for now, this will do.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!