Hello. Finally I was able to operate on 160m band from my small lot in HOA community. I already had all bands coverage, but 160m was a bit challenge. Now it’s a the good season for 160m band DXing and FT8 mode gives a lot of opportunities for it. Most of activities on low bands are in digital modes.
The objective was to build small, portable(in case in needs to be quickly removed) 160m band antenna that will fit into my backyard. My choice was an Inverted L antenna. It’s well known antenna in our amateur radio community and also popular because it doesn’t require massive towers or expensive parts. It can be built on standard fishing pole. In my case I’ve used my old 10m fiberglass pole purchases back in 2012 from Germany.
So let’s list all parts that were used:
- fiberglass pole
- insolated wire 18AWG
- coax cable RG58
- few hardware to connect cable and wires
For reference I’ve used antenna description from one russian publication.
I applied some modifications based on my current situation and yard. So I’ve used 6m for L2 instead 4m and shorter horizontal length to fit into my yard. The radials made from the same 18AWG wire with 18.5m length each. The one that under horizontal wire is straight is possible , the second one in case case is curved around the house.
The entire length of wire is 42m, 18m on the pole and rest is a horizontal part. The distance between turns about 1.5-2 inch (6cm) tighten by electrical tape. I kept L3 is 1 meter and used 10-24 hardware to attach cables in points A and B. Cable length is 12.5m from the antenna to my radio shack. It’s important to keep it in that length since it works as a transformer.
The far end of the antenna hanging on the tree about 8ft up. After installation of antenna and connecting cable its the time to check antenna on antenna analyzer. I was surprised that the resonance was right on 1.850MHz without any tuning or adjustments, so I kept it as is. Now let’s wait until dark and check antenna in the air.
Forgot to mention I use a magnetic loop antenna for receive on low bands so on 160m this antenna is extremely useful. Also in the shack I have a noise cancellation device that I’ve built 2 years ago and since then it was my favorite device. Living in the city and HOA the industrial noise on low bands is horrible, so having magnetic loop and noise canceller is a huge benefit.
Finally darkness arrived and I’ve started working on 160m band using FT8. The easiest way to check your signal is to use a PSK reporter. Right away I noticed that my signal seen on east coast and that was a big moment of happiness. RF power was set to 100 watts, rig is IC-7300.
After 3 hours of operation I had in my log following:
- 30 US states (need 20 more for WAS)
- 3 continents (still need Asia, Europe for WAC)
- 10 countries (DXCC)
- 10 CQ zones (WAZ)
And all of these just in 3 hours. I hope until end of season I will collect at least WAC and WAS awards. Looking forward to participate in next contest (CW, RTTY) on 160m band.
Based on PSK reporter info this how my signal was seen yesterday (12/27/2020)
Cheers and Happy New Year!