Saturday, February 21, 2009

New Antenna Up Today

I got a new antenna up in the air today. I picked up a G5RV Jr. and some feedline at the Orlando Hamfest last weekend and was able to devote some time to get it up in the air this afternoon. I currently have a full size G5RV up and it has performed well for the last year or so. I decided to put another antenna up in a slightly different orientation to see if I could get a different transmit pattern. My son Zane helped me get the antenna up in the trees. The Jr. is only 52 feet so we had plenty of room. I duct taped some line to my "magic softball" and was able to fling that sucker up higher than my current antenna. Well, it did take more than one fling. I would say it's up at about 45 feet in a flat top configuration. Got everything tied off and ran the feedline from the shack. I connected both antenna feedlines to a new switch that I got at the Hamfest last weekend so that I can switch from one to the other without disconneting anything. I backed the power down and check the SWR. Good to go. Guess what happened next? I checked the DX Cluster on 20 meters and saw a Japan station in the General Class portion of the band. Now, I have never heard Japan let alone talked to anyone there. But I thought, what the heck? I tuned to 14.288.50 and I heard the station! No way! Then I thought, there's no way I can reach Japan on a G5RV Jr at 100 watts from my backyard. But I sure did! I talked to Kentaro Suzuki (JO7CVU) in Sendai City, Japan. He gave me a 57 signal report. Wow!! Not too shabby huh?

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