I mentioned in a previous post that my personal Activation Challenge for 2022 was “to build a new antenna each month and deploy it at least once that month during a field activation.”
In January, I built a doublet with a military fixture/winder.
For February, I decided to purchase and build a counterpoise-less end-fed half-wave kit from from Adam (K6ARK). This kit is available on Amazon.com for a mere $19.95 (affiliate link).
The build itself is pretty straight-forward and not terribly complicated. With that said, you do need a fine soldering iron tip and a little dexterity to manipulate these super tiny components. Adam includes instructions for building an EFHW with a counterpoise, without a counterpoise, or a random wire antenna. The coil can be configured as a a 49:1 Unun, 9:1 Unun, or 1:1 Balun.
If you choose the EFHW route you will need to solder one surface-mount capacitor on the board. If you’ve never worked with surface mount components before, take your time and use a good magnifying glass.
Blue Ridge Parkway (K-3378 NC)
Since I configured the K6ARK kit as a counterpoise-less EFHW, I wasn’t entirely sure how stable the SWR would be in the field. For this reason, I was a wee bit nervous pairing it with my MTR-3B since that little radio lacks an SWR meter and really needs a good match.
I decided, instead, to pair the K6ARK antenna with my Elecraft KX1 which has a built-in ATU that can both monitor the SWR and find an impedance match if needed. Of course, I turned off the internal ATU for the activation, but if I needed it, I knew I could engage and use it. Continue reading Antenna Challenge #2: K6ARK End-Fed Half-Wave paired with the Elecraft KX1