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Antenna for 10m contest

Mar 4th 2014, 13:16


Joined: May 8th 2013, 22:09
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I plan to participate in: from Indiana.

I'm really new to Amateur Radio, but feel like I had some success last weekend during the contest, making contact with 17 different countries. And I found it rather enjoyable. I found the Nauryz contest on and thought I'd give my hand at it. Here are my questions.

I have an Icom IC-761 (seems to have a great autotuner) and it's 100W. Currently I have a handmade 10m dipole with what I believe to be propagation from East to West. During last weekend's contest, I was getting South America, Alaska, as well as Europe and Eastern Europe (Ukraine, Bosnia, etc..) This worked well for a general coverage antenna I think. But since this Nauryz contest is located in one central area, I suppose that I'll need a more direct method to make as many contacts as possible.

What kind of simple homemade antenna, might work best for this? I should also note that I do not have a way to turn the antenna remotely, and would probably get up on the roof to adjust it by hand. I plan to do this the few weeks prior to the contest, and hope to get it in the correct direction.

I currently have easy access to some cheap supplies at a hardware store (say Lowes or Menards). Wood, PVC pipe, and wire that is available at those sorts of locations, are what I could feasibly get. Of course, I also have Radio Shack available as well. I do have an extra 50' PL-259 to use for this.

So far, I've read a little about Moxon, Loop, Dipole, and Yagi antennas, and they seem to all have their fanboys. Yagi seems to be a little too much for me to build and work with for now, so I kind of discounted that already. Moxon and Loop seem reasonable in price, but I'm unsure how well they would work with my Icom-761, so comments on this would be great. Plus if you guys have any other suggestions for antenna types, please let me know.

-Matthew, KC9ZFI
Mar 4th 2014, 14:42


Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0

Central Asia can be a difficult place to contact with just 100 watts and a simple antenna. From Indiana, you have a "Polar Path." Polar Paths are challenging for DXers--your signal is likely to be blocked by the auroral curtain. A K index of 3 or higher typically means no propagation. I'd be happy with just one or two contacts--just as I was in the EME contest, where I made two QSOs and got a great looking participation pin!
I'd suggest running this propagation program for both Long and Short paths--you will find your propagation windows to be quite short.

Yes, a Yagi is typically best, but on a path like this, where you want to work both long and short paths, a bidirectional wire beam may be better.

A High Gain Single Wire Beam by Robert Wilson, AL7KK
QST July 2009, pp 38-39
The author now recommends feeding this antenna directly with a 4:1 balun instead of the shunt inductor arrangement suggested in the article.

On the East Coast, the difference between magnetic North and true North is almost 14 degrees, so we need to account for that when using a compass to set the beam heading. It is likely that you don't need to worry about that where you live. A good reference for North in much of the USA is Polaris, the pole star--though it doesn't work as well as you get closer to the equator.

Zack Lau W1VT
ARRL Senior Lab Engineer

Mar 4th 2014, 16:19


Joined: May 8th 2013, 22:09
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Wow, awesome information! I played around with voacap, and I have to say I'm impressed. I'm going to have to use this more often. Though, I do feel almost like I need a training session for it, I do mostly understand what I'm doing with it.

That's certainly an interesting antenna design. I'm going to have to consider it.

Thanks again Zack.

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