Shipboard 20m dipole

Feb 17, 2006
5,102
Lancer 27PS MCB Camp Pendleton KF6BL
Finally ordered all the parts for my 20m dipole for the boat. Was thinking of going with an auto tuner and a 30' alternate backstay antenna, plus assorted counterpoise, but decided instead to go with a dipole.

The antenna parts consist of 1/8" vinyl coated wire rope, 3/16" sleeves for the wire rope, and a Budwig HQ-1 center connector and end insulators. The antenna will be raised with the main halyard when the main it is not in use. This until I can get another halyard at the top of the mast for the purpose of raising and lowering the antenna.

Hope to be up testing on the boat in a week or so. We shall see. All this was based on WA6CCA's design. Here is the link to his page (not working now for some reason).
 
Feb 17, 2006
5,102
Lancer 27PS MCB Camp Pendleton KF6BL
Don, I will let you know when I am ready. I will also test on 14300 kHz.
 
Feb 17, 2006
5,102
Lancer 27PS MCB Camp Pendleton KF6BL
LOL... received the cable, sleeves, and Budwig connector. Opps... Cable is way too big. I guess I didn't realize just how big 1/8" coated cable can be. Going to plan B, which is get smaller cable. I think I was originally go with 1/16" so I might just do that. Heck! (That's not what I really wanted to say.) LOL
 
Mar 12, 2008
557
Jeanneau 49 DS San Pedro, CA
And I'll tune in as well, although the ground wave will certainly reach me!
 
Feb 17, 2006
5,102
Lancer 27PS MCB Camp Pendleton KF6BL
Just ordered 1/16" cable with 3/32" coating. That should do the trick. It will be here Friday. With the antenna analyzer I should be able to cut and tune quickly. Plan is to do it on the hook at the harbor entrance. There is a nice cove there that should provide some protection from rough waves. LOL

In the area of the red circle in the image.
 

Attachments

Feb 17, 2006
5,102
Lancer 27PS MCB Camp Pendleton KF6BL
OK, the antenna is up.

Went to the boat this morning to put the antenna up and run some SWR analyzer test. I purposely cut the antenna long to make sure there was ample wire to remove. It paid off. The analyzer said I had a 1.2 at 13.5 MHz. Way too long for the 14.3 MHz frequency I want to operate on.

That test was conducted at the docks. I went out and dropped anchor and tested again. Nothing change except boat location. Getting 1.2:1 on 13.3 now. OK, I got it. Did the back math and remeasured, cut, crimped, and put the antenna back up. I was sure to keep the lower end of the antenna in the same location on the stern.

WHAT!?! 1.2:1 at 14.5MHz? Did I cut it wrong. Yep, took off too much. Now that I think about it, I measured correctly but inverted the cut point for the wire, making it too short on each side. Now I have about 1.5:1 to 1.7:1 at 14.3 MHz. Meh, I can live with that. 93% to 96% available power should not make a big difference.

Then I am wondering if I move the antenna up a little it might change the SWR. Hmmm... I will have to play with that tomorrow.

L8R
 
Sep 25, 2008
6,314
Alden 50 Sarasota, Florida
Brian
I wouldn't get too concerned with that SWR. As long as the rig has full output, the loss is negligible.
 
Feb 17, 2006
5,102
Lancer 27PS MCB Camp Pendleton KF6BL
Don, you are correct. So I am not really concerned. Just upset that I committed such and "amateur" mistake in measuring a dipole. LOL

Was going to try and get on the air today but, holy crap, there is a contest going on and you know them contesters. They just interfere with everyone and everything regardless. Take the band away. Kind of like racers who think they own the water because they are in a race. LOL

I will wait until Monday when the band is void of contesters.
 
Feb 17, 2006
5,102
Lancer 27PS MCB Camp Pendleton KF6BL
I managed to get out today and do some testing. But I think I picked a really bad day. I had a solid 5-9 noise both at the dock and on the water while on the hook,even with every thing turned off. It was the same no matter where I moved. I heard we had a solar flare I believe. So I will count today as a fluke of a day for testing. I will try it again next week.
 
Oct 6, 2009
97
Custom Bluehull Kennesaw, Ga.
Sounds like you have it now. If you have a schedule set up, i'll try to listen in also. if you do post it here for the weekend. Good luck
 
Feb 17, 2006
5,102
Lancer 27PS MCB Camp Pendleton KF6BL
I did one from Camp Pendleton Marina on Wednesday (11/5) around 12:42 PT. The noise level was down but had another solar flare, M-class I think. I could only hear one station and checked in with him. So far, two test and two not so good results. I guess I really have to wait until the solar cycle starts to quiet itself down.

Even at home I am getting more noise than normal. Seems like 40 meters is a solid S9 noise where several weeks ago it was S5 or S4. 20 meters now at home is S5 but it seems very loud.