The neverending 30m story

Like I said a few days ago: I need a 30m antenna. Something that does not need the tower cranked up. Something that does not clutter up the lawn. Something that doesn’t need installing after and removing before every contest. Something that works.

Two years ago I did an effort with the remains of the broken trapped WARC dipole, but it wasn’t a success. Exit traps. Resonant elements are the way to go.

A permanent WARC antenna

Talking about lawn cluttering… My old 40m DP aluminum radiator has been on the lawn for years. I didn’t have the courage to cut it up. I think I made that antenna ten years ago, January 2006. I put it against a wooden post and used the spruce tree hedge as a support for two elevated radials in gull wing configuration. That was also the base of the trapped WARC vertical mentioned above. So if I would trim that aluminum radiator down from 40m to 30m, I could reuse it and just put two tuned radials in the spruce trees.


Post, gull wing radials, quick mount-detach system

Quick mount-detach system

And so I did. The antenna analyzer showed a clear dip and the antenna kinda worked. The initial test proved I could work DX with it, although the RBN didn’t pick me up. I concluded that just like the previous WARC effort, it doesn’t work too well and eats up more power than gets radiated.

I had another old 40m antenna around: a wire dipole I used as a two element vertical sloper array suspended from the tower. That was before February 2011 when I put up the rotary dipole. I trimmed that wire dipole to 30m and put it up last weekend when the tower was up one level for the 9A CW contest. I left the 30m GP in place for real time A/B testing.

Saturday morning I was active on 30m with both antennas and guess what? Everything I heard on the sloper was almost as loud on the GP. And RBN picked me up on both antennas. Must have been propagation the week before? The GP is a little less noisier. I worked more than fifty (+50!) JA’s that morning on 30m. With about 500W and the RX loop for dicercity RX.

What did we learn?

  • When conditions are right, the 30m morning opening to JA is rock solid.
  • The GP works as well as the sloper but doesn’t need the tower.
  • The GP with two elevated radials in gull wing configuration is a winner, as long as you stick to apples-apples comparisons. Of course a yagi high up the tower will be better.
  • The GP for now is a keeper for 30m.

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