New antenna model

I was able to find some EZNEC model files for a G5RV antenna including the feed line and tried to modify it to match my current antenna setup. 40m and 80m are pretty much the same, but the radiation patterns for 20m and 10m become a little more complex compared to my initial model.

10m

EZNEC G5RV 10m
EZNEC G5RV 10m

20m

EZNEC G5RV 20m
EZNEC G5RV 20m

Here’s EZNEC’s SWR plot

EZNEC G5RV SWR plot
EZNEC G5RV SWR plot

Modeling the antenna

Using the EZNEC ARRL version that comes in the ARRL Antenna book, I attempted to create a simple model of the antenna as it’s currently set up.

Using a tape measure and some very rough estimating, I came up with this plot of how the antenna is set up, without the ladder line in the middle (haven’t figured out how to add the feed line yet).

EZNRC antenna diagram
EZNRC antenna diagram
EZNRC antenna diagram XY
EZNRC antenna diagram XY

The far field plots EZNEC gives me look like this

80m

EZNEC far field plot 80m
EZNEC far field plot 80m

40m

EZNEC far field plot 40m
EZNEC far field plot 40m

20m

EZNEC far field plot 20m
EZNEC far field plot 20m

10m

EZNEC far field plot 10m
EZNEC far field plot 10m

The antenna model is pretty simple and nowhere near perfect. I’m probably missing a lot by not having the feed line included. Based on these rough simulations though, it looks like I’m warming a lot of clouds (ham speak for when your antenna is sending radiation mostly straight up).

Up Antenna!

Thanks to help from Dave/KF4FFO and Tom/AJ4UQ, the antenna is now hoisted up into the trees and plugged into the radio. I didn’t get a chance to grab my camera, but Tom had his to take pictures with.

Antenna raised
Antenna raised

My Hyperdog ball launcher and 4 fishing weights with some lightweight line that Dave brought proved to be a very effective combination for getting rope and antenna up into the tree.

The arms of the antenna are arranged in kind of a tilted/rotated inverted L, with one side angled down and secured to shrubs at one corner of the house, and the other side nearly horizontal. Perhaps not an ideal configuration for this. Right now everything is secured with temporary knots. I’ll spend some more time making some adjustments to the antenna before securing everything down properly.

SWR tested with Dave’s Youkits analyzer showed pretty decent SWR and impedance at 20m and 40m (~1.7 or so), so-so at 80m, maybe usable at 15m and 30m with some tweaking and not so good at 10m. Since the antenna should be able to do 10m, there’s probably some adjustment that needs to be done with how things are arranged. I think I’m going to have to get myself one of those Youkits analyzers. They’re pretty slick.

Analyzing the antenna
Analyzing the antenna

Radio receives pretty well on 20m and 40m so far. I can hear the WWV time signal at 5 MHz and 10 MHz pretty clearly. Heard lots of CW and digital signals on 20m after connecting up the antenna. Need to test how well I can get out next.

Right now the coax feed line just runs along the ground, but I think I’ll look into routing it through the crawl space so that it’s not lying out in the elements and won’t get run over by the lawn mower.

Now an interesting exercise will be to figure out how to use something like EZNEC and try to model what the antenna is doing.

Temporary ham shack

This is a very temporary set up of our two radios, a 2m Kenwood and the HF rig.

Temporary shack setup
Temporary shack setup

Until I make myself a better antenna, the 2m rig is running at 5W feeding one of my extra HT antennas (a Diamond SRH 77CA). Perhaps not ideal, but it works well enough to pick up the CARS repeater on the Yorktown (146.790 MHz). The radio has a few issues with the display operating intermittently or just displaying random LCD segments. It receives, I just may not know what frequency I’m receiving on. Hopefully it’s nothing more than just a loose connector to the control panel.

Soon the radios will move into their permanent corner of the office/shack. Then we’ll be cooking with fire!

Ham radio goal list

Stealing a page from KQ2RP, I thought I’d create my own list of 2013 ham radio goals.

  • Get the shack up and running
  • Build the SoftRock radio kits
  • Get the OpenBeacon W2MDW gave me up and running
  • Build my own OpenBeacon
  • Earn skill levels in CW
  • Build Moxon antennas for 6 and 10m
  • Experiment with making antennas
  • Try some digital modes