Saturday afternoon was spent in the company of my "antenna man" and all round great helper Tony Allen EI4DIB. Tony won the Michael Collins Memorial Trophy at the IRTS AGM at the weekend for his dedication to the amateur radio hobby over the years and for all his help and support to other budding hams. It's easy to see why. Without Tony's help, I would simply not be QRV. He has installed all of the antennas at my QTH, and I do mean all. They include an Antron 99 vertical, a Butternut vertical, the half-size G5RV which was replaced at the weekend, a 2m dipole and a 6m dipole.
Due to the limited use of my half-size G5RV and its limited effectiveness, we decided recently to source a magnetic transmitting balun and see how that would work with a wire antenna. So Saturday we took down the half-size G5RV, which only just fit between the chimney and a pole on the wall at the end of the back garden, and set about erecting a wire antenna. The guage of the wire is probably a bit heavier than needed but at least that will give it good bandwidth. We ran the wire from about six or eight feet outside the shack window, up to the chimney, back down again to a pole in the corner at the rear of the garden, and then back along the side of my semi-detached house. So basically it is a W-shaped longwire, probably not ideal, but the only practical solution in restricted space.
To our delight it tuned on all the bands, from 160m to 10m, but I only intend to use it on 160m, 80m and maybe 40m.
Of course 160m was completely dead Saturday night and again early on Sunday morning so I wasn't able to test it on that band. I did, however, make a contact into Thailand on 40m CW on Sunday night, so I was delighted. I got 559 each way with HS0ZCY/4 after trying about six or seven times working through a pile-up. The wire works well on 30m too and is marginally quiter on receive than my Butternut HF-V9. I got into Lebanon on 17m with OD5NH Puzant giving me 55. I also worked Scotland on 80m and was a solid 59 no problem.
I hope to make some contacts on 160m over the coming nights if possible. I will give a further update then as to the antenna's effectiveness. I might also try to take a couple of photos to illustrate how it was put up.