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5 watts SSB, a small whip antenna and a lot of hope!

Yesterday I actvated DL/AM-060 Laber. This was really to test out the Diamond RHM-8B loaded telescopic vertical antenna, now that I have it mounted on a tripod with radials and extensions added.
Despite the rather dissapointing propagation conditions that we have had over the last month, I was amazed to work into Portugal and Spain, but these contacts were then followed by an 1850 km contact into Russia and a 5500 Km contact into Canada which blew me away.

It never fails to amaze me what is possible with QRP and even a limited antenna if you are lucky enough to be on the right band at the right time!

73 Ed.

Full report here:


Come to conclusion in open on a summit does help as I like working the sotas due to there mostly QRPs and home brew antennas slung up. Bugger missed ya yesterday.
But conditions last few days have been rather good interesting and propagation popping up in strange places.


Amazing what can be done with such small aerials and low power.

I am happy with the results I get with a full sized half wave dipole, but reading about the performance of small whips like yours is little short of unbelievable.

Elevation and a quiet noise free summit would help as well.

Nice photos despite the dismal rain.

As for the walking track would leave that to young enthusiasts. Think I would be happy with the cable car for a steep mountain like that.

73’s Nick

Hi Nick,

The small antenna is much more sensitive to weather and ground conditions than the Inverted-V. As you know on some summits there simply no room for a full sized antenna so a compromise antenna such as this one is the only option.
I am now happy that the reason for the bad performance on G/TW-002 last week was the extremely wet ground and the fact that the counterpoise was not raised above it. Tests in the back garden yesterday confirmed this. Counterpoise on the damp ground - difficult to tune for a low VSWR, raise the wire about a metre off the ground and all is good again - got a (true) 5-9 report from Belgium on 20m to another portable station.

Off today to take advantage of a seat lift to take me half way to the DL/BE-003 Zweiselberg summit as the lift only has limited (weekends and public holidays only) service after next weekend. This is the time of year all of the lifts go through annual maintenance before the ski season.

Unfortunately I won’t be there in time for the Long Path back into VK as the lift only starts service at 9am local time and the Long Path window closes at the moment at around 7:30am.

73 Ed.

1 Like

Hi Ed,

Very much the same with the Westlakes club squid pole vertical.

The designer recommends the ground plane radials are sloping downwards at an angle, like in a caravan setup which is more what the squid pole was intended for.

As well the ends of the radials should not touch the ground at their ends and are held in place by lengths of insulating cord tied to tent type pegs.

Another comment about these verticals is that they are more suited to DX working than for local chats say under 300km.

Which may help explain your success with far off stations.

73’s Nick

Just another comment on DX with small whips.

Over the past few years have regulary qso’d with Sam FK8DD/M in Noumea, New Caledonia on 20M whom drives to a quiet spot and operates cw stationary mobile.

Has an neat station set up in his car and usually puts out a 599 signal.

Another Noumean whom I’ve worked at times, is Maurice FK8HZ whom operates with a mobile whip bolted to the railing of his balcony. Is in an apartment.

(see his profile on QRZ for a photo)

Nearly always 599 into Australia.

Hang onto your portable whip and tripod, it may be the secret weapon! :wink:

73’s, Nick

It works

3/3 here 5/3 to Ed

well done on your stick and 5w

Heard you on 7155 loud and clear 11:13utc, then nothing but caught a spanish station working you afterwards man bands can be so cruel.


Hi Nick,
You know the old saying “the best camera you have is the one that you have with you when you want to take what could be a very special shot”? The same applies with antennas. While the Squid-pole and inverted-V OCF or trapped dipole are undiubtably better than this vertical, there are summits where I could not set up the squiddy, but the dipole and tripod do “work”.

From my experience today, I am very happy with the performance of the antenna on 20m but 40m is not so good. At home in the garden I have a very good SWR on 40m with almost no reflected signal, today on the summit, I could not manage to get the same situation, so I still need to investigate further.

I probably should try for some long path back into VK with the vertical, I have managed this several times with the Inverted-V.


Yes Ed, I was also greatly amazed a few weeks ago too, when I found out how far can an electromagnetic wave travel starting from this small stick !!!

I worked well VE1WT, KI4SVM, VE2JCW, W2RLB, AC1Z, RK3SWB, AC1Z stations on 21Mhz, from EA2/SS-030 (Murugain). My working condition did not exceed 8W, but we had good propagation for a short moment getting good signals at about 13:00utc.

As you note before we were lucky to be on the right band, in the right summit, at the right time.
Let me share with you an image of this past activity from Murugain.

73&GL de Inaki