It takes me forever to complete some projects. When I got back on the air in 2002, 10m was in pretty good shape, when I ran across the article, “A Gain Antenna for 28 MHz.” It seemed simple enough to build, and I even went so far as to purchase and cut to length two pieces of PVC pipe to support the antenna. Well, time went by, and I never got around to finishing the antenna before the sunspot cycle went south on me.
This sunspot cycle has been notably lackluster, at least up until about a month or so ago. The ten-meter band was rarely open, so I wasn’t really motivated to finish and put up this antenna.
About a month ago, though, noting the more frequent band openings, I finally decided to finish the antenna. I cut the wire and attached it to a Budwig center insulator. Then, I left it laying on the floor of my shack.
Well, today, with the temperatures in the 40s, was the perfect day to get it in the air. I flung a tennis ball over a tree branch in my backyard and hauled it up. I’m finally on 10m with an antenna that should work better than my 30m dipole!
The SWR is 1:1 down in the CW portion of the band and still only 1.5:1 at 28.500 MHz. Not bad, I’d say.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t a whole lot of activity on this afternoon around 3:00 pm when I finally got it in the air. I did manage to work HH2/HB9AMO, though, and a station in UT and one in the Virgin Islands heard me calling CQ and reported as such on ReverseBeacon.Net. Bring on the skip!