I have always used a dipole antenna both at home and on a few occasions portable. On my first and only Sota activation at Mount Tootie VK2/CT082 a dipole was also deployed. However, after reading Andrew’s VK1NAM blog on his construction and use of a 40 Meter End Fed Half Wave Antenna, I thought it was time to look at this option and add the antenna to my arsenal.
As always, there are plenty of opinions on the net as to which is the “best” antenna, over the years like others, I have experimented with different antennas but have always come back to the dipole. The one exception is the Windom antenna which is just an offset dipole fed with a 4:1 balun which works very well.
Taking Andrew’s lead, the EFHW on 40 meters was constructed using flexible light duty AWG25 wire cut to 20.1 meters. This light gauge will should be more than sufficient for QRP operation. The chosen colour is red, it might be a little easier to see in the grass than my other antennas all of which are black. I have placed attachment hardware at both the center, so it can be configured as an inverted V and also at one end enabling it to be use as a slopper. On both occasions the intention is to support the antenna using a 9 meter squid pole. The entire antenna together with 10 meters of light with blind cord fits nicely onto an 8 inch plastic fishing reel for easy transportation.
The proof of the pudding was in the eating, the antenna was erected supported by a 9 meter squid pole as an inverted V, one end of the antenna running down to ground using light weight blind cord as the support and the other end ran down to the ground, held using a tent peg. The rig used was an FT-817 at 5 watts and a Hendricks Sota Tuner. A 1 meter length of the same AWG25 wire was used with the SOTA Tuner as a counterpoise. On 40 meters reception was good from VK2, 3, 4 and 5 with signal reports received ranging from 5/8 to 4/5. ZL2WL Wayne from the east coast of New Zealand had a booming signal on 20 meters and received me 5/2.
All in all I was very pleased with how the new EFHW 40 Meter Antenna performed at home and look forward to taking it on my next planned activation at Mount Lambie VK2/CT-007 on Saturday, 16 July, 2014.
Here are a few pictures of the antenna supporting hardware and the Hendricks SOTA Tuner.