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Wednesday
Jul082015

New Antenna

After a lot of planning in the designing of my new HF antenna it all came to ahead last week when a friend in Melbourne contacted me. For this new antenna to go up I had to purchase a new Automatic Antenna Tuner. My current tuner I was using with my random wire antenna would not work with my new antenna. I was using an Icom AH-4 tuner one that is designed for use with a long wire or random wire antenna. Anyhow back to my friend contacting me. He asked if I had started my lay-by for a new tuner, sum $420 worth. I was looking at getting myself a MFJ-993B automatic antenna tuner. He asked this because he was selling his and I could have it for a good price (yes it was a good price). The next day he shipped it up to me and 5 days later it was here. This got the ball going and all my planning started to come into play. Last weekend I put up the mast to hold the new antenna and got it all ready for when a new lot of coaxial cable arrived.

On Monday it was full steam ahead, the day came to where my old antenna was to be pulled down the the new antenna was to go up. Some 4 hours later the new antenna was up, all cables connected to the tuner, the tuner was connected to the radio and setup began. Turned the tuner on and then the radio, a everything lit up nicely. It tuned the 40m band fine, then tried 80m and that tuned up and finally the 20m band and it too tuned up nicely. At the time I didn't have anyone one of the people I wanted to test the antenna with so I turned on WSPR and saw an improvement almost straight away. Things were looking good.

That night came and it was time to catch up with a couple of people I wanted to test the new antenna with. The reason why I wanted to test it with these two people was I knew how my other antenna worked and I knew the signal I had to them, so it was much easier to compare antennas with it I did it to a known source. One of the people was Erik, VK3MBV. My signal to him was normally S9+10 (peak). The other person was Craig, VK3CRG, my signal to him was normally S9+10 (peak) also. This was on the 80m band (3.684MHz). My signal to Erik now was S9+20 (peak) and to Craig I was S9+30 (peak), there was a big improvement in my signal and of course I was very happy with the results. I thought there would be some improvement of around 1 S point or something but nothing like I was being told. Craig even made a video just to prove it to me. After about 30 minutes of talking another friend joined in, Adam, VK3FCCC and he told me my signal into him was a strong S9+30 a much stronger signal than I've ever been to him. All three were in Melbourne and all three I had spoken to via my old antenna. It was the best way of comparing the two antennas.

So after a lot of planning and a bit of money I now have my new antenna up. It's just a standard, full sized G5RV dipole antenna. It's up at 10 metres at the centre and about 5 to 6 metres at the ends. The antenna is in a "L" shape as I don't have the room to have the antenna out in a straight line like they are meant to be. I've been blown away by the results and I'm glad I got the model tuner I did.

I've always said there are some wonderful people in amateur radio and this antenna project would not have been completed this soon without the help of one person. This is a great hobby and there are some great people in it.

Here is a photo of the PVC piping going in that would hold the coaxial cable and the box where the choke and the coax and ladder line would be connected. This allows for easy access if I need to do repairs.

 

 

Here is the connection box for easy access to the antennas connection

 

The G5RV installed and in place.

 

A lot of hard work but the out come was well worth it. I've had the G5RV for over 2 years. I purchased it when I got my Icom IC-7000 and AH-4 tuner. I did have a plan to put up the G5RV when I put my tower up but after I had to move the old antenna off the old gum tree, which has now been removed, I noticed that once I move it over to the nut tree I noticed that I could fit the G5RV in if I kept it at the same direction as the random wire was. So the planning of the installation of the G5RV began and now it's completed. The antenna is working and I can now finally say I have a "real" antenna up. I'm going to set up the old tuner so I can use it for portable use if I decide to use my radio away from home, not that I'm planning anything but you never know :)

It's now amazing that I can now switch bands and before hitting the tune button on the radio I can hear stations, something I couldn't do with the old antenna. It's made a big difference to my station and now it's a station that if I can hear a station I can talk to them.

A big thank must go out to Craig, VK3CRG for passing on his old tuner to me and giving me a great offer. Also thank you to Erik, VK3MBV for helping me test the new antenna and being truly the first person I spoke to on it. I also must thank Pete VK2FPMC and Adam VK3FCCC for great signal reports while testing.

I now look forward to talking to everyone now that I have the G5RV up in the air.