Inverting the “V” in (the) Sil”V”er Maple…

As of yesterday, a 76 ft. inverted “V” antenna is being deployed in the yard of the QTH. Its vertex is abt. 25 ft. up one of the branches of the Silver Maple contiguous to the backyard fence. It would have been better if it could have been higher, but trying an old EZ-Hang sling in the middle of a busy condo is not for the faint of heart; hence, the length and height of the wire are two parameters targeted for future improvement. The insulated wire is being held at its proximal end by a bungee cord that holds it down in a drip loop, preventing any rain from reaching the contacts on the wall, and at its distal end (the wire ends in a small loop soldered to itself) another bungee insulates it and attaches it to the wooden fence across the yard, at about 2 meters from the ground. The entire contraption exists within the walls and limits of the QTH small backyard; hence, if an “accident” similar to the one that brought down the previous wire ( were to occur, it would have to happen well inside the yard and affect the tree, any of the bungee cords or the wire itself. 

As “random” wire antennas go, the length of 76 ft. was not one recommended by Jack VE3EED (SK), but neither was it ruled out by the program written by Mike AB3AP ( At any rate, the new antenna is readily tuned by the LDG 100 to SWR values of less than 2:1 in all the HF bands (including 160m).  

I do not expect miracles from any wire in this location. However, this morning, I was able to contact Tom KU8T who was calling CQ POTA from park K-4177 (Dora-New Holland on Salamonie Lake State Recreation Area) in Indiana State. Our QSO was in CW in 14.0635 MHz. I was operating the 703 at 5W. He immediately picked the “TI” in my suffix and asked for “AGN”. Then he gave me a 559 report and I corresponded with a 599. I may have been a bit too generous, but it was well deserved, Tom. Early in the afternoon, also in the 20m band, I completed an SKCC contact with Tony W4FOA in Chickamauga, GA. Tony is SKCC member 641T, one of the few older members like me (I am member 7020T whie the SKCC club is already reaching member 23,000) who have yet to make the jump from “Tribunal” to “Senator” level. I am a few Tribune QSO’s shy of becoming T-5 but a T-8 is needed to make the jump (not easy for QRP operators who seem to always contact the same big stations…).