EFRW is it settled Yet? I Wonder!

After much testing and procrastination I think I may have stumbled across the right length for an End Fed Random Wire antenna for 40/20 metre bands plus some higher bands. Those who have been following my SOTA activities will know I thought I already had it right long ago but we can’t sit on our hands with antennas. I needed it to be light weight and to tune easily using the You Kits MT 1 tuner which it now does with ease. I messed with some lengths and using the web page put up on Ham Universe and the calculations done by Jack VE3EED [sk] to avoid having a length close to any half wave of the frequency I want to use or multiple there off.  I wanted or thought maybe some where close to a 3/8 wave on 7.030 would be a good starting point at around 50 feet but I ended up making it 53 feet . The reason I arrived at this length was the influence the MT1 tuner had trying to tune the 50 foot length. For starters it would match ok but VSWR was not as close to 1 t 1 as I liked and I had to use two different counter poise wires when swapping bands and it was too much to remember . Using 50 foot as a starting point and keeping with 9 feet of counter poise I used educated guess work and slowly increased the wire length right out to 58 feet with changes but still not good tuning results. Thinking I had gone too far I juggled with some shorter add on pieces of wire and found at 53 feet long the antenna tuned really easily on 7.030 and went right down to 1 t 1 and I could achieve that result in the SSB part of the band as well. I talk in feet as my method of measuring because it is in line with Jacks calculations on the net. I do convert to metres to measure things as I have a long passage in the house and every 3 floor tiles equal 1 metre. I can run out 17 m of wire from the garage door to end wall in a bedroom so even rainy days I can still make up antennas.

EFRW HB1B Blog 004 This is my test sight in my yard with 53 footer deployed.

I set up all these measurements using the MFJ -269 AA then did a test using the You Kits HB-1B CW rig in line with the MT1 tuner to make sure the VSWR meter on the little tuner was reading right. The VSWR is tuned easily on 40m and 20m but being a bit sharp on 30 it is touchy but seems to tune ok. I got it to tune on 17/15/12/10 metres as well but not sure how it will go using a rig I have not tested it with the kx3 yet. Added bonus it tuned it on 3.6 MHz but I have not checked it with RF there either I run out of time. It will also be interesting to try the kx3 tuner on it as well when I get a chance.

EFRW HB1B Blog 001 You Kits HB1B MT1 53 foot Antenna with 9 foot counter poise.

Well the chance arose today and the KX3 does tune it on most bands but not that good on 30/10 metres possibly a bit close in relation to wave length of wire. But the MT 1 tunes it nicely on all bands so the HB1B rig will be good to use in combination with the MT 1. I noticed using the MT1 with the kx3 its best to disable the auto ATU in the rig but still watch the VSWR read out on the rig as well as the tuner they are much the same as one should expect.

EFRW HB1B Blog 002 KX3 with antenna and bnc fitting easy to plug in antenna.

EFRW HB1B Blog 007 Full Kit ready for action.

I did swap a quick report to vk2 on 20m cw and a qrp 2 qrp into vk3 on ssb using the KX3 on 40m .

EFRW HB1B Blog 006 view from other end .

EFRW HB1B Blog 007     EFRW HB1B Blog 005

That’s all for now watch this space for further activity Ian vk5cz ..


Mt Bryan and Brown Hill Range

This weekends activating was Mt Bryan and Brown hill range. This time I had permission to drive up the back way to Mount Bryan which save about 3 hours of walking so I could fit 2 summits into my day. The Weather forecast was for calm sunny weather which is handy on Mt Bryan but I was completely fogged in when I got there. It was very cold too only a few degrees I am sure. The track up was dry and I did the climb in 4×4 high range with out any trouble, it’s not that steep but is a bit washed out in places.

Mt Bryan BrownHill 2015 002 No view at all and the Summit is up behind the Colorado in the fog about a 15 minute walk, there is a style in the fence so its easy to get over fully loaded. I got set up and Ian vk5is did a spot for me on 40m with a steady amount of chasers in my log when the rain came through.

Mt Bryan BrownHill 2015 004 It was fine to start out but turned wet very quickly and I had a chance to try my Boffy Bag in the field for the first time which was great I only wish I had it set up earlier.

Mt Bryan BrownHill 2015 005 I probably should have just stayed put under my shelter for a while but the kx3 was a bit damp as was my other gear so I quickly packed up and headed back to the Ute. Sorry to those who missed out and it would have been nice to give out more points after roll over. Ian logged me on 2m fm before I left that was all he was a good signal on the vx8.

Mt Bryan BrownHill 2015 007 This was the first time I saw the sun about half way back down off the summit, the track was a bit slippery coming down after the rain . Thanks to the chasers on Mount Bryan vk5/se-001.


Its about 30 km to Brown Hill Range from Mount Bryan on the main road to Jamestown and you turn south on the Booborowie Road along the gas pipe line. I met the managers son in the paddock he was spreading urea with a big tractor and spreader on the sides of the hills in a crop . No issues getting to this summit the wind farms are there and its a good road with a couple gates to go through.

Mt Bryan BrownHill 2015 009 The weather was much better this time

Mt Bryan BrownHill 2015 010 Its a good summit among the rocks with good shelter .

Mt Bryan BrownHill 2015 016 This is my summit shack among the rocks

Thanks to the chasers for the contacts and Ian for the spots its handy having that contact on 2m with the hand held.

This time from vk5/se-004

cheers all de Ian vk5cz ..


Maurice Hill and Hogshead SOTA Summits

The frost was quite thick and minus 3 when I left Clare to head out for Pekina this morning but by the time we got there it was a nice sunny day. This was the first time to try the Colorado in 4×4 on Maurice Hill, I have been up it a couple times before in the LC ute and the Colorado did it with ease.

001 I had Dan a touring cyclist who is staying with us for a while with me and he was enjoying a rest from the bike and seeing some nice country. He is a film maker and keen photographer and has some really nice gear so looking forward to seeing his work.

003 As usual Mt Remarkable can be seen this is a view to the west.

004 View to the east to Hogs Head the next summit .

Once we got down from Maurice Hill I called by the farmers house to get more directions to make sure we are in the right paddock, we have been going into the neighbour’s property the last few activations. So off to Hogs Head  after smoko and found the right entrance to the property and made our way as far as we could drive then had to tackle the steep climb on foot.

008  Fully loaded .

012 This is Dan he was way ahead on the climb and shot some good video and photos as we climbed. Another well built stone cairn .

015 This is my shack behind a box thorn bush which made a good wind break. I had lots of contacts on 40m and some cw contacts on 20m on both summits but no dx this time. I was probably too early in the day for Europe this time .

018 A view towards the Bluff in the distance with a stiff breeze holding out the SOTA flag.

017 View to Maurice Hill the morning activation and Mt Remarkable in the far distance.

019 Down in the weeds working the pile ups.

Thanks to the property owners for access to the summits and all the chasers and great company from Dan.

73 de Ian vk5cz ..