Antenna Summer – part 3

Summer is over and we’re back to work full time. My much anticipated “Antenna Summer” ended rather uneventful. The weather was mostly to blame: it was either too hot to work outside (I burnt myself while working on the metal roof), too wet (two typhoons and a tropical storm passed) or too windy (“Wind! The thing feared most by ham radio operators and stamp collectors”). The only thing I could do was to prepare and prepare more. There are three antennas projects in the pipe-line now, but I still haven’t found the opportunity to put them up. Sigh!

The only antenna project which I could finish indoors was my big loop for medium- and longwave. I started this more than a year ago, but the first iteration was a size too big to be sturdy enough to withstand the strong winds here in Taiwan. A second -smaller- one was build, but not finished before last winter, so I shelved it. When I took it out I found that the wooden spreaders had split due to moisture and the old surplus wire had snapped in several places. Even several coats of lacquer can’t prevent wood from decaying here in the sub tropics, so it was back to the drawing board.

I pulled out my wallet and bought new, thicker wire and PVC pipe for new spreaders. I made a special vice to hold the PVC pipe, templates for the holes and rolled up all of the 180 meters of wire on an old garden hose reel. Being well prepared pays off because I already have half of the loop windings in place. I won’t be able to finish this antenna this summer, but it will be finished this fall.

Currently there are no typhoons heading our way and the temperature has gone from scorching hot to very hot, so the prospects look good. But that leaves me with a conundrum: should I call my next installment on antenna improvement “Antenna Fall” or not?

Hans "Fong" van den Boogert, BX2ABT, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Taiwan. Contact him at [email protected].

3 Responses to “Antenna Summer – part 3”

  • Phil ZL2OWL:

    Fascinating – good read. Please keep us posted, & GL with the project Hans.
    Autumn (rather than fall) antenna might be less fateful name?
    73 from very windy and earthquake prone Wellington.
    Phil ZL2OWL

  • Dave, WD8CIV:

    I like Phil’s idea. Autumn antennas always work better because we take more care with them. Nobody wants to fix an antenna in the winter!

  • Stephen W4TOL:

    Great article. I’ve been following your post on your antenna projects and enjoy reading them. I’ve been interested in loop antennas also, but never tried one yet.

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