I recently purchased a FT818ND and bought the last MTR3B in stock last evening to explore HF activations (I am learning Morse/CW now and have a goal of doing my first activation on Dec 31/Jan 1 with that technique) I was thinking a EFHW 20m resonant antenna from LNR? I am looking for super simple right now. Will that antenna work with both rigs in ssb/cw mode? Your thoughts appreciated!
Take a look at the band hopper (multi-band linked dipole) antennas from SOTABeams (available either direct or through DX Engineering in the states) plus a 6 or 7m fishing pole.
No ATU needed, great for the QRP rigs that you have (but can also be used at higher power levels).
If you want to have a go at building your own - the calculator is here: Extras - various tools for SOTA purposes - sotamaps.org
Of course it will work. You may find that the perfect SWR 1:1 is not met all accross the band but my advise would be for you to adjust it for perfect 1:1 (or close enough) in between the CW & SSB frequencies you will be operating on. Having 1:1 in that middle point should let you operate on CW (around 14.062) and SSB (around 14.285) with good enough SWR (i.e. <2:1)
Good luck with you morse learning.
Thanks for replies. Luckily I live 30 minute drive from DXEngineering! When I get back to Ohio next week I’ll pickup a SOTA beams band hopper.
You really should make HF wire antennas and not buy them.
Most are lengths of wire, some plastic bits you can make out of scrap plastic in your house and a feeder (coax). You have to fit a coax plug and solder a couple of joints but it can all be done with hand tools. Easy peasy.
Start with a dipole. When you’ve made one that works, extend it to a multi band dipole with links. When that works make an end fed and its matching network. Then try converting links to traps.
I’m not saying which is best, it depends on many things but you really, really should make them yourself. The feeling when you work DX with some scrap bits of plastic and wire is wonderful. My job is in custom semi-conductors and simulations where I work on multi-billion transistor chips. It’s nice to see people using the products they end up in (mobile phones, tablets, set-top boxes, car ECU, car dashboards etc. ) after you have worked on them for a few years. But that’s nothing compared to the feeling of using a bit of maths (468/f) and some wire and working someone in VK/JA from GM.
Grossly generalizing, I think NA operators prefer and have seen much success with end feds.
The LNR precision ones are now offfered by Vibroplex.
I have used the trail friendly with great success.
Deploys quite easily. Here it is deployed at 11,500 ft and the flag should suggest the country.
I am a fan of the EFHW for portable operations and the LNR line is top notch with a good selection of QRP models. One suggestion though is to take a look for the 49:1 transformer only, I did well finding one on eBay. You can then have a couple of radiators: one at ~66 feet will work 40/20/15/10 sans tuner, you can cut others for activations focused on other bands. Could even make a linked 20/17/15 or 12 and 6 for that matter.
The antenna will work with any mode, as long as it is has a useable SWR - digital and CW are at the low end of the bands.
Oh, easy to set up also! Only one support needed.
Good luck & 73,
Yes I plan on building some antennas this winter. Currently I am not with my tools or an area to work within. I am flying a business jet contract until November with the option to extend another year. I live in hotels! I also have access to many different SOTA peaks doing this job being based out of Denver. I wish I knew about this years ago. Many of the Activation zones I’ve hiked too but I was not into amateur radio yet! Thanks for the advise everyone.