Errare humanum est…

Actually the full quote is “Errare humanum est. Perseverare diabolicum.” That means there must be some dark forces at work here because I made the same error twice when cutting and tuning the 17m antennas (sloping and horizontal dipole). I had troubles to believe my own ‘coupling with the tower’ thesis, but at the time it was the only thing I could think of. So I hooked up the analyzer again and started from scratch and I was able to find a perfect resonance point. I now had a 17m antenna. Finally! And to prove I’m not a one hit wonder, I made the same antenna for 12m. Yes, back on 12m too. I worked some JA and some USA and some nice DX.

Now to add 30m. I decided to finally build the 3-band dipole for the WARC frequencies. It’s just three wire dipoles with a common feed point separated by strips of plastic. I cut the wires (NOT making the same mistake a third time 🙂 ), assembled the antenna, pulled it into the air and measured the three resonance frequencies. From this I calculated the resonant λ/4 wavelength and subtracted the desired quarter wave length. The result was the length of wire to cut off. I repeated this once again and achieved perfect resonance on 30m and 17m but cutting away the last centimeters for 17m detuned the 12m dipole. It is now resonating a bit too high so I need to add some wire again.

Finally I’m back QRV on the WARC bands, with a simple wire dipole inverted V-style but it’s better than nothing and I already worked nice DX on it. Even barefoot – I forgot that 100W using CW into a decent antenna actually works! The propagation may not be like we want it to be but it sure is the best we’ve seen in years!

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