• [KB6NU] After 50 years..SUCCESS!

    From KB6NU via rec.radio.amateur.moderat@21:1/5 to All on Sat Jun 25 16:07:16 2022
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    KB6NU's Ham Radio Blog

    After 50 years..SUCCESS!

    Posted: 24 Jun 2022 01:49 PM PDT https://www.kb6nu.com/after-50-years-success/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

    Im really not great when it comes to antennas, and when I was a kid, I was
    even less so. And, because my family lived in a subdivision with hardly any tall trees, about the only antenna that I could get into the air was a
    14AVQ vertical, mounted on the ground in my back yard.

    I yearned to have a better antenna, and fell prey to several scams, or
    perhaps I should say to over-blown claims. One of them was the Partridge Electronics Joystick VFA antenna (see below). I spent $80 or $90 on this antenna, and in 1970s dollars, that was a substantial amount of money.
    Alas, because I didnt really understand antennas, I never got it to work.

    But, even though I never got it to work, I carted it around with me for the past 50 years. It accompanied me to Sunnyvale, CA, then San Diego, CA, and
    then back to Michigan.  I kept thinking that someday things would fall into place, and Id figure out how to make a contact with it.

    Over the years, I did learn more about antennas, but the more I learned
    about them, the lower my opinion of the Joystick. It really is a compromise antenna. As you can see from the advertisement above, the antenna itself is just a metal rod with a loading coil in the center. One end of the antenna
    is connected to an antenna tuner. The radiating element is only about 7
    feet tall, so honestly, how good of a radiator can it be, especially at
    lower frequencies?

    Well, this Monday, the opportunity arose for me to try to make a contact
    with the Joystick. On the third Monday of each month, our club, holds an
    event with call AMP Team meetings. AMP stands for ARROW Mobile and
    Portable, and we drag out all kinds of QRP  and portable gear to a local
    park and try to make contacts. Its kind of like a mini-Field Day. Our June AMPTeam meeting was held in Hunt Park, which is just up the street from
    where I live.
    The Joymatch antenna tuner is a simple L-network, suitable for tuning random-wire antennas, which is what the Joystick is, after all.

    I got there early to reserve a couple of picnic tables at the northeast end
    of the park. I set up my gear and hoisted the Joystck up in the air using a convenient tree branch, plugged the single-wire feedline into the antenna
    tuner (see right), the strung out a counterpoise. My first thought was to
    try 20 meters, since the antenna is so short.

    Unfortunately, I couldnt get it to tune on 20 meters for some reason. The lowest SWR I could obtain was about 3:1. After fooling around with it for
    more than a half hour, I decided to try 40 meters instead.

    On 40 meters, I was successful right away, achieving a 1.3:1 SWR with a few twists of the tuners dials. I hooked the antenna up to my KX-3 and began scouting around for contacts. Unfortunately, it didnt sound like anyone
    could hear me. Calling CQ yielded no calls, and when I tried to answer CQs
    or tail-end a QSO, I got the same results. Finally, someone heard me, but I guess I was too weak because they never did get my call right.
    Yours truly hunched over my KX-3, trying to scratch out a contact with my Joystick antenna.

    I kept at it, though, and finally managed to make a contact, with K9ID in Wisconsin. He bailed on me pretty quickly, but still it was my first
    contact in 50 years with this antenna!!

    I managed to make two more contacts Monday evening. The second contact was
    kind of like the first, very short with the other operator bailing on me because my signal was so weak. The third, however, was a very nice contact, with signal reports of 569 both ways. The funny thing was this third op was also running QRP.

    The final verdict is that this antenna is definitely not an antenna for QRP work. With it being so short, Im sure that its very inefficient. I was, however, quite excited to actually make a contact with it, finally.

    The post After 50 years..SUCCESS! appeared first on KB6NUs Ham Radio Blog.

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