At the Dayton Hamvention, I had picked up the Buddistick™ Deluxe Package portable HF antenna. This antenna is very popular with the Summits On The Air crowd and other QRP enthusiasts. Usually when I am doing SOTA activations, its all about VHF. But being a self-proclaimed HF Slacker, I might get on HF sometime from a summit, so having a Buddistick available seems like a good idea.
I decided I better check this thing out to see if I can make it work on our back deck.
After actually reading the instructions, I assembled the antenna and used the clamp mount to attach the antenna on our deck railing. I strung the single radial out on the deck to the recommended length and connected up the transceiver using a short length of RG-8X cable.
Then I used the “by ear” tuning technique to set the tap on the antenna coil. You basically just run the tap down the coil to find the spot that produces the highest noise level at the transceiver. I checked the match using the built-in SWR meter in the Yaesu FT-817 and verified that it was good.
At first, I tried 20 Meters and discovered an S6 noise level. Not good. Retuning the antenna, I moved up to 15 Meters and found the noise level to be much lower. I also heard a few strong stations working the North American QSO Party.
I tuned around on the SSB portion of the band and found Bob N4BP calling CQ Contest so I gave him a quick call. He came back to me right away and I gave him the contest exchange of name and state. QSL and I was in his log, no problem! I heard N8II calling and repeated the same exchange, no sweat.
Hey, this QRP stuff really works!
So that was a great first experience with the Buddistick. Now I need to try it from a summit.
73, Bob K0NR