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.

Buddipole vertical  Buddipole vertical

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!

VK6PTU calling CQ, CQ, CQToday, I decided to take advantage of the pleasant weather conditions and set up the Buddipole by the Estuary at Dawesville. I’m still only operating on 20 metres since unfortunately 15 and 10 are always showing fair and poor propogation when I check.

I set up at around 6:30 UTC and decided to operate at the Dawesville Estuary where I was able to set up on the sand near the water. I also figured that I’m facing in an Easterly direction which would help for long path Europe. The following photographs show the setup near the Estuary.

Buddipole in horizontal vertical configuration   

I set up the antenna for 20 metres, connected the FT450 and the antenna tuned effortlessly immediately. Unfortunately I realised later that it was resonant a bit too high up the band and did not operate well below 14.200 Mhz.

I put out a CQ and was pleasantly surprised to immediately receive a call from Harry, I3KAN who announced that conditions were poor between him and VK6. I don’t think I’ve ever received a reply to a CQ call on 20 metres from a station in Europe so I was thrilled! I then spoke with Franc, F5PAU who I speak with quite often and was pleased to receive a 5/5 report which is better than the usual 5/2, 5/3 reports.

I’ll need to take greater care next time I set up this way to ensure that the antenna is resonant at a lower frequency on the band. The FT450 would not allow me to transmit below 14.200 Mhz on some occasions which was very frustrating. All in all a good test. I’m looking forward to trying the Buddipole in this location as a horizontal dipole and see how it goes.