Tuesday, 8 May 2012

The "Chillicon Special" Antenna

A couple of years ago I read an item on the blog of Martin VA3SIE on his latest canoeing adventure on Joeperry Lake in Frontenac Provincial Park. He was using two antennas on that trip, one was a 28’ vertical and the other was a 90’ inverted-L. It was the 28’ vertical that caught my attention as being a city dweller, space is at a premium on the antenna farm out back.

I emailed Martin a couple of times about it and Martin told me that it wasn’t the best of antennas, but would do in a pinch. Still intrigued about it but busy with other things, it went on the back burner for a while. It wasn’t until the Ottawa Valley QRP Societies annual “Chillicon” gathering of September, 2011 that I finally with the help of Jim-VA3KV made one. I used a 31 foot MFJ collapsible fiberglass pole as the support.

Picture from VA3SIE Blogsite
of the original design
 Originally Martin made his with only one 16 foot and one 32 foot radials, and I made my “Chillicon Special” using only four 16 foot radials. Right off the bat it worked very well - allowing me to check into the Trans-provincial Net on 40m and Ontars Net on 80m as well as numerous DX contacts around the world.

Last weekend I was cleaning out the garage, getting ready for the upcoming big move, I dragged it out and set it up again. This time I added two 32 foot radials to the original four 16 foot radials. What a difference that made! Using my IC-703, the first SSB contact was on 20m with W4P, a special event station in St. Petersburg, Florida, who gave me a nice 58 report.

Mainly I have been working 40m, 20m, 15m and 10m with it, but it will also tune up on 80m and 6m with no issues. 

Since then I have worked Kuwait, Dubai, Sweden, and Morocco with this antenna. I have a suspicion it’s going to get a lot more use up on Fort Henry Hill this summer on our very early Saturday morning get-togethers. I might even add another two 32 foot radials and see how that improves the overall performance.

This one is a keeper.

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