Had a first chance this morning to use one of my Racal Clansman wire antennas - consist of several tens of metres of kevlar reinforced wire on a winder, with different markers every 25cm, every metre, every 5 metres and every 10 metres, strain relief hook, several tens of metres of slick line on the other half of the winder.
Unwound about 20 metres of the slick line, attached the compulsory half full bottle of water to it, lobbed it over a branch a short way up (5 metres I suppose - not many tall trees about!). Bottle brought the line down nicely. Unwound 10 metres of the wire and locked it into a slot on the winder. Hoisted the winder aloft with the slick line and tied it off to the tree trunk, drove a tent peg into the ground to attached the strain relief of the rig end of the wire.
Attached 4:1 current balun, attached other side of current balun to a random length of 316ss stainless steel wire I had - about 1 metre extended and rest coiled up, attached Elecraft T1 atu, then the FT817ND......and tuned up easily on 40 and 20 and 17 and 15 and 12 and 10.
Only had a short time while my lad was at footie training, but had a great couple of QSOs on 40 using 2.5W SSB. One with GR0BBB (Uri) - only about 48 miles - and one with GB1AVR (Colin operating at the time), up in W. Yorks - about 230 miles as crow flies. Pretty pleased really considering I'd only unwound 1/4 wave of wire on 40 (was going to be working on 20, but got distracted by 40!), and highest point was only 1/8 wave above ground. Thanks to both Uri and Colin for taking the time for a chat under less than ideal conditions.
Couple of pics of the antenna are attached. Unfortunately I didn't have a camera with me to photograph the antenna in-situ and the view!
If you get a chance to purchase these antennas for a good price, they're well worth picking up. I know they're basically just wire, but it's the way the whole lot is put together with a really good winder, the slick line, the strain relief, the use of kevlar reinforced wire etc - perfect.
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