I built up my version of the kit as per the directions. In my instance, the antenna works great on 20 and 40m with the switches in their proper place, however for 30m I found the antenna works better with the 40 vs 30/20m switch still set to 40m. I’m not sure if this means on of my torroids is not wound properly or needs adjusted, however using it in this manor worked just fine for me.
The one modification I did make after assembly was the use of loctite threadlocker blue (non-permanent) compound to get the two nuts and lock-washer more solidly locked in place. This prevents the attachment point from falling apart in the field. I have always had issues with the qrpguys bolt, nut and wingnut attachment method without the use of said loctite. I emailed them and suggested they add this to the directions.
I will be giving this antenna a shot this year for my next activation or two. It is lighter than my pacific antenna trapped dipole, which is currently my favorite SOTA antenna. It will also allow me to use less lossy coax then my current 25ft of RG-174. This is actually quite significant!
I compared a 10ft length of RG-8X to 25ft of RG-174, at 14.030, with an swr of 1.5 to 1 using 15 watts (my typical operating conditions). I ignored the bnc insertion loss since both will have this.
The 25ft Length of RG-174:
0.80 db of loss
12.48 watts reach the antenna
83.2% transmission line efficiency.
The 10ft length of RG-8X:
0.11 db loss
14.60 watts reach the antenna
97.3% watts reach the antenna
I have plenty of RG-8X jumpers around in the sub 10ft length variety.
Because I’m initially using 26 AWG stranded wire for both the radiating element and radials, adding at least 4 more radials should take up very little space or weight so I plan to do so. For longer term activations, or during activations where having the best signal possible matters (S2S days, contests, etc) I may bring up to 16 or even 32 radials (most sources agree 16 radials is really the starting place for on-the-ground verticals) and replace the vertical radiator with a 20 or 18 AWG wire (to decrease loss in the radiator).