Antenna FUBAR Again

Last night we had pouring rain, followed by some freezing rain. Looking out the kitchen window while making breakfast, I could see a coating of ice on both the coax and my 20m ground plane antenna.

After breakfast, I went down to the shack to work a little CW, I found the SWR to be way up again, measuring about 1.7:1 at 14050 kHz. I went outside and wiped off the coax, but that didn’t seem to do anything.

I’ve been waiting for it to warm up and for the ice to melt, but the temperature’s been hovering around freezing all morning, and I’m not sure it’s going to get much higher today.

Maybe it’s time to replace that coax. It is, after all, a piece of coax that I’ve had laying around here for years. I can’t imagine that it’s a problem with the antenna itself, but I suppose that’s a possibility.

Update: 4/6/2003, 1130am
Well, this morning, the antenna was back to normal. That coating of ice must have been what was causing the high SWR. As I’ve said in the past, I’m no antenna genius, so I don’t have a clue as to why this should have been so. Anyone have an idea?

Unfortunately, the band conditions this morning aren’t all that hot, and there are a couple of contests, including the Polish DX contest and the QCWA QSO Party, on 20m this morning, so I haven’t been too successful making contacts. I did call one of the Polish stations, and he heard me, but I wasn’t strong enough for a solid contact.

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