Make a virtue of necessity…..

Almost a year ago we were fully equipped and packed. Ready to go to Swains.
The unfortunate COVID pandemic caused this plan to be postponed.

In the months before our planned operation, a 160m T loaded vertical was built.
An 18m fiber pole from Spiderbeam  will house the 16.5m vertical wire.
Matching is accomplished with a coil/hairpin match.

Last year summer we have set it up to complete the tuning procedure and check for possible improvements. All was fine but the  “on the air and in real life”  box had still to be ticked. So we decided to take part in the CQ160m CW contest to give the antenna a good work out. The goal was to test the antenna and have contest fun.

The vertical was set up at our local VERON club, the Dutch radio society.
On a large abandoned soccer and athletics field the antenna was raised and a fair amount of radials were laid out. Just to be equipped with a RX antennas during the contest, an EWE to the west and a 120m long BOG to the east were rigged up as well.

The antenna just worked great.
Being a vertical, the high angle signals from surrounding countries were OK, but where it really shined was on low angle and DX.

In 20 hours operating time, 875 QSO’s were made into 66 DXCC counties and 25 states of the U.S. During the contest some Caribbean stations were active and they could be worked very well and I had no issues to break a contest pile up.
It even gave me 6 new countries on topband.

All in all a good test for our antenna to be used on Swains.

73, Martin PA4WM

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