It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’ve been learning the hard way that there are times in life when you need the right equipment since otherwise you can waste a great deal of time getting nowhere!

I’ve just invested in an antenna analyser which might be the best amateur radio investment I’ve ever made and one which I should have made 6 months ago. I realised a month ago that the power cutting out issues had absolutely nothing to do with my antenna system but was occurring because I was running the rig from my car’s battery.  Not surprisingly, transmitting with 100 watts puts some drain on a car’s battery and the FT450 is fussy about the voltage required for it to operate.

I now connect the rig to the portable car battery at all times when portable/mobile and have had no further problems.

I’ve set the Buddipole up twice on 20 meters since the antenna analyser arrived last week and have had it tuned to a near perfect SWR in minutes! I am beginning to understand why this is a ‘must have’ tool for portable setups, particularly when using an antenna such as the Buddipole. The Buddipole is a great antenna system but it has many parts which increases the chances of a loose connection etc. so now I can set it up and connect the analyser, knowing within seconds whether I’ve set it up correctly or not.

When I operated yesterday, I initially had an SWR on 14.200 of 2.6 which dropped to 1.1 when I lengthened the counterpoise wire by about 1 foot. The SWR was the same from about 14.100 to 14.400 so no complaints there and it took me about 1 minute to get it right.

I’m looking forward to more portable operation now that I’m properly equipped. I might even begin to look at bicyle mobile operation since I’m cycling over 100 kilometres per week at the moment to work etc. Thanks again to Dave G4AKC for his assistance and support in my times of trouble :-)

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