Scribbles, &c.

Earache My Eye

I recently bought an “EARCHI end-fed antenna”… put it together in about 30 minutes (20 of which were winding and re-winding the toroid) and have been testing it out, by which I mean, trying to get it to tune

  • in the attic,
  • using the included 30' wire with and without a counterpoise,
  • with and without an RF choke
  • outside the attic
  • with a longer wire and a counterpoise

I switched out the 30' wire they included with a 53' length, and here’s where things stand right now, using the internal ATU of the radio. The matchbox end is just inside a second story attic window, with a 16' counterpoise in the attic. The main antenna element slopes down to a nearby tree to about 6' above ground. It’s not ideal, but it’s the closest tree I have. Herewith the latest results:

Band SWR
6m 1.1
10m 1.0
12m 1.0
15m 1.0
17m 1.0
20m >3 across board
30m 1.0
40m tunes under 3 down to 7.180. Below that, it spikes over 3.
60m nope
80m ok > 3.600. Below that, no

So on the one hand, here are a whole pile of new bands! On the other hand, losing all of 20m and the bottom edge of 40m sucks because I just started working JT65, JT9 and PSK31 there. The consensus is that an external tuner will do the trick. Hard to fault the built-in one too badly, though. I will add an air choke back to the feedline at the matchbox, though, and see if it makes a difference. If nothing else it’ll minimize RF coming into the shack. Now if only the weather would clear out so conditions would improve a bit…