This past weekend the IARU world contest was in action and I planned to enter the CW category. The contest morning started just fine for me BUT in the corner of my radio room, a boxed Hustler 4BTV was calling my name. The weather outside was great, the mounting base was installed and the ground radials (all 30 of them) were also installed. As I was making CW contacts my mind at the same time was spinning. The weather here has been sunny and clear for very few days and the upcoming week looked once again rainy. The same little voice in my head was telling me " Mike a contest situation is great for testing a new antenna"
Well, a few hours into the contest I jumped off the operating chair and decided it was time to finish the 4BTV install! The little voice in my head had won out. Just the day before I had marked the antenna tubing with the rough measurements for length setup between sections. The only thing left was to put the section together and tighten things down with the provided screw clamps or as I call them hose clamps.
|Copper paste |
I did purchase copper paste to use on the pipe-to-pipe connection for good connectivity and help stop corrosion. In no time the antenna was together and ready to be mounted on the ground pipe. I was delighted with how light this antenna is, making it easy to lift and install.
The initial SWR was somewhat close to what was written in the DX Engineering manual, there was just some fine-tuning that needed to be done. I wanted my configuration to be in the CW area of the bands. Thank goodness I have an antenna analyzer, this made very short work of fine-tuning the antenna. I will make another post regarding the details of the SWR and adjustments.
Once the antenna was set up SWR-wise in the area of the bands it was
|Marking the antenna sections|
off to the contest again to see how it stacks up to the Endfed antenna I have been using for 2 1/2 years. Using the new antenna I started calling (CWing) "CQ CONTEST" and I was pleasantly surprised with the results. Now having said that this was the first time using the antenna so a fair comparison would be over the course of a month or so with varying propagation conditions.
More to come regarding tuning, assembly and results.