Here’s some bumper-sticker-fodder for the radio-heads out there…
I threw it together after some inspiration from what I would call a successful antenna install yesterday morning as demonstrated by some really good QRP contacts.
My new OCF dipole antenna has a few of improvements over the previous attic-installed dipole:
- The radiating element is fortuitously about as far away from my maddeningly noisy power meter as possible.
- I added a simple balun to both ends — five turns of coax about 5″ in diameter.
- My noise floor is now reading solidly S0, peaking to S1; previously it would often average S8 or higher!
- While now exposed, it’s reasonably discrete. (okay, not an improvement, but it won’t draw attention).
This isn’t to say that an OCF dipole is a good idea. It requires a bit of math and some elevation to run one without a tuner. Otherwise, a tuner is a must.
I’m lazy, so run a tuner.
This particular antenna consists of about 120 ft. of wire spanning from one corner of the house, to a point about 20 ft. up one of the trees in my back garden then to another tree about 12 ft. up on the other side of my lot. On each tree, a stainless steel eye-bolt and pulley through which the wire runs. At the tail end, a 5 lb. weight to keep the antenna taut. The pulleys and weight allow the trees to sway freely in any wind without straining the wire and without destroying the house.
I was just going to make the whole thing a long-wire and ground out the shield, but then I realized that I had an obvious addition to try: 62 ft. of aluminum gutter right where my long-wire exited the house. So, now it’s an OCF dipole.