I replaced the 80m skywire loop with a 40m extended double Zepp, which is essentially a 176′ long doublet with gain on its design frequency (40 meters). It’s fed with 450 ohm ladder line to a 4:1 current balun inside an MFJ 993B. The feed point is 60′ high. One leg is attached to the tower at 80′ high and the other end is up 70′ in a tree 176′ away. I used about 250-300 feet of 450 ohm ladder line to get it back to the shack, and the antenna faces perfectly broadside NE/SW. It tunes every band from 160-6m using the MFJ 993B, and so far, is outperforming the 300′ loop.
The loop didn’t perform very well on 80 and 40, but seemed to do okay on 20m and above. My goal with this wire is DXCC on 40 and 80m. With gain on 40m, the antenna facing broadside 45-50 degrees where the most hams are located, and the antenna functioning like a doublet on 80m, I hope to work DX much easier on 40 and 80m. The antenna seems to work well on all bands so far – as good or better than the loop.
I’ve been trying to work K1N for about a week on 30m, and it’s been the hardest band for me to get them on so far. They either shutdown not long after I start calling or switch to EU. Tonight, I was trying to work S79AC with no success on 10105, when suddenly K1N starts calling on top of S79AC. I was already up 1 trying to work S79, so I responded to K1N (who was also 1 up) and was his first contact of the shift. This kind of thing never happens to me.
I was worried that I worked a slim, but I listened on the tri-bander and the beam heading was right. He also responded to my call within milliseconds of me sending it with a perfect fist (or perhaps keyboard). Not long after he covered up S79AC, he moved to 10.114 and this is what the pileup sounds like now. I’m really anxious to see if this confirms in Club Log later tonight or tomorrow. There’s obviously a lot of demand for 30, because this pileup is still insane after one week of operation. I’m really glad to not be in this pileup.
In today’s log is K1N on 10m SSB, 12m CW and 15m SSB. I now have K1N on 8 band slots. Also, I worked Cameroon (new band) on 20m and some gray line into Southeast Asia. Even if they’re not new or rare, anytime I can get into SE Asia or Africa, I get pretty excited about the contact. Those two areas seem to be the toughest for me. I worked the Philippines on 10m CW and South Korea on 15 CW.
I recently completed DXCC 150 without a single paper QSL. I am at 152 confirmed on LoTW. I will soon have to send out paper QSLs because some of the entities are just too hard to work. My strategy has been to work as many stations as possible until I stumble upon a LoTW user. That’s just not likely to happen in some countries.