In an effort to better understand the performance of my ft817 and the ZM-2 ATU, I’ve been exploring different random length wire antennas while camping. I read an article posted on a sota forum about random wire lengths and how to choose an efficient length, this article talks about the importance of choosing a length that isn’t a ½ wave length on any band that you may want to operate on, this results in only a limited pool of good lengths that don’t fit this criteria. So. The last two nights, I’ve played with a 41 foot(12.5m) length of wire into the antenna tuner, the first night hanging over a tree. And last night in an inverted V configuration on my squid pole on the camper trailer. Tonight I’ve upped the ante and have tried an 84 foot length (25.6m) on the squid pole in an inverted V format.
Only having a couple of watts. My results have been mixed. But. I’ve worked around Australia on 80m, 40m and 20m. And into PNG (P29) on 20m. Receive performance felt similar on the short and long antennas with different band conditions. Of course the longer antenna appeared to transmit better on the 80m band. But. I haven’t got the antenna mounting and orientation correct yet for the longer wire and will continue to make this better.
I’ll continue to test and optimise the setup and find a simple solution that gives the best bang for buck.
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