The Miracle Whip, that is.
I only acquired my fantastic Yaesu FT-817 to give me 5W of SSB on V/UHF from windswept Welsh hilltops. I
couldn’t resist a second-hand bargain of a Miracle Whip to see what I could
achieve with QRP on the HF bands.
|The '817 and Miracle Whip|
It’s a classic Fred-and-Ginger combination that has been
blogged, reviewed and You-Tubed extensively along with other rig/telescopic antenna
double-acts. Yes, it’s only 57” of radiating metal with a rather good tuner at
the base, but thanks to the current propagation conditions it at least enables
you to experience the miraculous.
Its advantage lies also in its simplicity. It means you’ll use it because it
connects, extends and tunes in seconds. I like that! Connect. Extend. Tune.
I’ve been having fun with the ‘817 on my lap, indoors,
running off its own batteries (=2.5W max) and chatting to stations on the
higher bands in places such as St. Petersburg and the Ukraine with 5/9 reports.
You simply can’t get this thrill with a big station. It’s reconnecting to the
magic of radio – which is a real miracle every time a contact comes out of the
ether. I’m even moved to ‘Tweet’ a new QSO with excitement! (@MW0DNK).
I’ve started at 10m, sliding my way down the bands as the challenge rises. Using 5W
(external battery) I managed a QSO with Algeria yesterday on 15m, 4/3. I
finally cracked 20m with a shorter, brief contact to Spain. I had a 5m
counterpoise wire connected this time.
|Connect. Extend. Tune.|
On 40m I’m simply not heard, at least not yet. This is where
I need to start learning some CW skills. This will open up the lower bands for
me. Until then, living on the Isle of Anglesey, I might head to a beach and try
getting some salt water under my portable station to see if I can crack the
‘40m SSB phono challenge.’ Listen out for me.
On 2m the antenna is a ¾ wave. I’ve no idea what the
radiation pattern is for this length, but it seems to work very well.
Unfortunately the antenna is just short of a ¼ wavelength at 6m, so perhaps a
wire clip-on extension is the answer.
It was with sadness that on visiting the Miracle Antennas
website I saw an announcement about the passing of the company founder and
product inventor, Robert Victor, this year. It seems he’s left us a wonderful
legacy. Vy 73, OM.