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ANTENTOP- 01- 2014 # 018

Lawn Antenna

 

 

 

 

 

James R Kellner, K2MIJ, Hicksville, NY

 

 

Ok Gang in case you don't remember me....I am the guy who ran a couple of "Forks" as a dipole awhile back and actually worked W1AW/5 Oklahoma running 5 watts SSB from my trusty Yaesu FT-817....Well I have a new one for you and help will be appreciated to reach my goal!

I will digress a bit before making my help request.

Four days ago I received a text from my portable ops partner that 15 meters was showing some signs of opening, We had been discussing for awhile now at the lackluster band condx, I texted him back that I had noticed condx. seeming to be improving and that while cleaning the shack I found the "Fork Antenna" and had been giving it a good workout trying to get myself a spot on the RBN or possibly another contact with it.
He laughed and said "Knowing you, I am sure you will succeed" Standing in the yard while we were texting I noticed the two empty folding aluminum lawn chairs sitting there and I said to him "Perhaps I'll see if I can throw some RF into a couple of lawn chairs and see what happens!"

Well of course as soon as we finished our conversation I folded up the two chairs, stuck one under each arm and off to the shack I went. Five minutes later "The Lawn Chair Antenna" was born!

Running the 817 @ 5 watts into my favorite LDG Z11 AT, 6 feet of RG8X coax and a 4:1 balun the chairs loaded without a hitch on 10 thru 40! (40 you say....keep reading!)

 

But would it radiate? I threw out a quick "CQ CQ de K2MIJ K2MIJ" on 20 meters and was immediately spotted by N7TR Reno Nevada. Eureka, Success!

Could it actually work? IS DX possible?

 

I started working in earnest from that moment and the results have nothing less than amazing! First contact was with John N0JA in MO 20 meter SSB John gave me a 52 and I was ecstatic! Next up was Morris W4REX in FL a 53 report on 17 meters SSB and the mind blowing contact of the day was my 3rd QSO, Lacy HA3NU in Hungary on 17 meters SSB a typical 59 "contest exchange" report...BUT....I made it across the pond with 5 watts into a pair of lawn chairs sitting on a bed inside the shack!

 

Lawn Antenna

 I was getting a complex, I could work phone contacts without a problem but a CW contact was an effort in futility!

 Finally after a number of attempts....my 1st CW contact with K1GHL on 40 meters was a complete delight! The LDG Z11 tuner found a match quite easily on 40 meters but making a contact I thought would be at best a stroke of complete luck given the antennas obvious inefficiency at that low of a frequency...Boy was I ever wrong! My first CQ out of the box netted me an RBN spot by VE2WU with a SNR of 9db! As I was picking myself up off the floor it took me a minute to realize that was my call coming back through the speaker...K1GHL Glenn in upstate NY gave me a 559 report but disappointingly came back on the next go around saying he had lost me in the noise and bid me a 73...Crestfallen, I soon was to have my spirits lifted when immediately after Glenn, Art W2NRA called me and we completed a solid 5 to 6 turnover QSO and a good SKCC exchange! I
 now have 6 completed 2 way CW contacts on 40 meters. Furthest distance is New Hampshire with Randy KX1NH.... Yes the lawn chairs will work on 40! My 1st CW DX contact finally came via S.E. station AO8BWC Canary Islands on 20 meters...

In the past 4 days, CW and/or SSB, I have so far put 55 domestic and DX contacts in the log, 14 states NH, NJ, NY, FL, GA, AL, IN, MI, WI, IL, MO, AR, TX and CO and 9 countries Hungary, Canary Islands, Germany, Sweden, Ireland, Poland, Czech Republic, Wales and Russia!



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May 1, 2016 22:27

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