Today at around 07:30 UTC I decided to drive down to the end of the Dawesville Channel (a peninsula of sorts with a rocky outcrop with water on both sides) and to try the Buddipole from there. I initially listened on 20 metres using my Outbacker aerial on the car and was pleased to hear Dave, G4AKC bicycle mobile coming through.
I’ve spoken with Dave on a number of occasions over the past 12 months and he always does an excellent job with his portable set ups from the beach in Blackpool. He’s also one hell of a nice guy! I was receiving Dave about 5/5 (he was only using about 50 watts output power!) with a fair amount of QSB and made contact and arranged to do a comparison test with the Buddipole. Dave was receiving me ok with the Outbacker but he had difficulties copying me on my final over before going to set up the Buddipole.
Approximately 15 minutes later after some frustrations with the tuning and counterpoise wire (I had a stake with me but had forgotten to bring anything to secure the wire to it securely) I had the Buddipole up and running. I was thrilled to receive a 5/9 signal report from Dave but sadly some technical problems brought my operation to an abrupt end.
The FT450 started resetting itself whilst I was talking which I’ve never had happen before and this confirmed my suspicion that I’ve got RF issues with the Buddipole, particularly when using it in a vertical configuration on 20 metres. At Dave’s suggestion, I’ll be buying a toroid on Monday and I’ll wrap a couple of turns of the coax around it to present a high impedance to the RF energy.
Fingers crossed this will do the trick and I can get the most out of this antenna system. It will also save me the expense and wait over buying a triple ratio switched balun from Buddipole in the US. Watch this space!
Filed under: Amateur Radio