One of the many joys of being a ham radio operator is building antennas. I’ve covered the L-Match tuner and long wire antenna in the past, and while it’s a great way to get on the air, it is a compromise antenna. It’s not resonant, and so it is less efficient. When you’ve only got 5w of power to play with, efficiency matters, and this is why I’ve been testing out a different antenna.
Since I converted my BITX40 to 20 meters, it has opened up new possibilities. I now have the ability to build resonant antennas that were a bit too big before. An Inverted V dipole is only about 16 feet per side, easily small enough for my back yard.
I borrowed the 23′ antenna pole from my long wire, and erected an 20m inverted V using some zip ties and an camera tripod. I started out with just a basic BNC panel connector on a plastic card, and when it started raining I devised a new center center that you see in the pictures below, with hot glue for weather protection. Hopefully it can live up to the Pacific NorthWet winter!
You’ll notice that in one of the pictures there is a jug of water hanging from the center of the tripod. This is to ballast the whole thing down when the wind picks up. When I permanently install it, I won’t be using a tripod, but this works great for the time being.
Update 11/7/2017: It’s now a 40/20/15, and will tune up on some other bands too, even 80m! There’s a video about it on Youtube: