Thursday, February 18, 2010

I'm a Believer in the Buddipole

Well the foot of snow melted finally here in the Dallas area and today was a nice warm day in the 60's. So this afternoon I decided to try my new Buddipole now that I have the needed extra coax to get the antenna away from the house. My first try was to put the Buddipole in a vertical dipole position. On PSK31 I made a quick contact to Ohio with a 599 report. I felt comparing the Buddipole and the Slinky dipole, the Buddipole was picking up stations better.

When I ordered the coax from Buddipole, I decided to order the counterpoise as well so I could try out verticals with the Buddipole. So after my PSK31 contact to Ohio, I put up the 20 meter vertical per the directions of the Buddipole user group website. As you can see from the pictures it is pretty tall. The mast goes up 16 feet, then with the whips and extra length poles I estimate it is up about 25 feet. You might be able to see the counterpoise dropping down toward my daughter swing set. I tested the antenna with my Dad's antenna analyzer and found it was resonate on 20 meter band and had a SWR of under 2.

So time for the test. Right away I noticed a major increase of stations on PSK31. I immediately made contact with Venezuela and Azores Island with only 50 watts. So then I thought I would tune around the SSB area on 20 meters and heard more stations than I have ever heard. Mostly stateside, but also a few DX stations including Trinidad and Venezuela. Then I listened around the 17 and 15 meters and heard phone stations there as well. I am a believer in the Buddipole, but more a believer in the vertical version. I will try to play with a 40 meter version as well tonight.

****UPDATE 2/21/2010*****
I put the buddipole back up today to see what I could do on a weekend. On 17 meters I got a 579 RST report from Northern Japan and 599 RST report from Mexico on 20 meters PSK31. This antenna is working great. Oh and I was only using 40 watts out put to contact both.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Future Ham?

While watching TV tonight, my daughter (age 4) picked up my QST magazine and appeared to start reading about antennas. You tell me if she is a future ham or not.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Buddipole J-Pole

This afternoon, I decided to play with my new Buddipole a little. I have not had a lot of opportunity to play with my new antenna because the coax is too short to run into my house and it has been too cold to take radio outside. So before the snow storm hits tomorrow, I thought I would try making some j-poles with the Buddipole. I have been reading on the Buddipole users group that you can make a j-pole for 2 meters and 6 meters. So I did. I had my Dad's antenna analyzer and found it works really well. On 2 meters I was able to get the antenna resonate at 146.3 MHz and an SWR under 2. Same was true with 6 meters as well. Resonate at 52.67 and SWR under 2. I even read you can have a 440 antenna with no attachments as well. I did try it and it worked ok, but I had no way to test SWR. I was able to hit many local repeaters on 2 meters and 440 with my HT.I also read that some have used cell phone antennas for 440 j-pole, but I was not able to try that. Pretty fun to play with. I should get more coax to try next week, so hopefully the weather will improve and I can play more with the antenna on HF.

2 meter J-Pole

6 meter J-Pole

440 Buddipole

Sunday, February 7, 2010

First Transatlantic Contact with Slinky's

I made my first official transatlantic contact with my slinky antennas this morning. I talked to ON7GB from Belgium on 17 meters and PSK31. I got a 559 report from him, but it was my first contact outside of North and South America. Above is the location of the station according to