AX1 Whip as dx antenna - seriously?

On this reflector so much has been written and discussed in detail about the advantages and disadvantages of various ingenious antennas and antenna tuners.

Daniel HB9IIO was once again able to experience with great satisfaction that dx contacts are also possible with a very modest antenna effort if you work on the right band at the right time.
Daniel could log the following dx stations this afternoon with his Elecraft KX2 and an AX1 Whip antenna at 20 and 17 m on HB/VD-044 Tour de Gourze:
Good job Daniel.

73, Heinz HB9BCB

Photos below from HB9IIO


Hello Heinz and Daniel,
Yes , indeed; propagation is like gold; it’s where and when you find it.
Listening for more DX.; gotta love 17M.
Best, Ken


Nice. If it works, it works well.

And again a push to get my CW learning a restart… :innocent:


Given propagation forecasts, I was not expecting to work across the Atlantic on 17M today. Daniel with his whip antenna atop HB/VD-044 has good ears. I was running 90 watts to an inverted vee wire in the backyard tree. Maybe next time we can work an s2s. :slight_smile: :slight_smile:
Stay well & 73!
Mike, WB2FUV


But it is not just working the right band at the right time, the ionospheric conditions also must be in your favour, especially with a compromised antenna such as that.

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I think that’s what is meant by “right time.” :slight_smile:


Great success…

…which in this particular case is probably due to the propagation conditions…
…and the particular location with the metal railing on which it is mounted. - This is, as I see it, a capacitively coupled part of the antenna.
I think: In combination with the excellent tuner of the KX2, you could have used any (telescopic) rod of the same length in this conditions.

Nevertheless: nice qso’s

73 Armin


Hello, totally true, yesterday I worked on 20m @ZL1TM with my AX1. Later I’ll upload a video.


And there is an additional factor… the equipment of the other ham.
If your QSO partner is able to recieve a weak signal, he will be usually able to set a good signal… this increases the chances in addition.


I get a lot of my Euro QSO’s via the AX1 and TX-500

Half a watt radiated will work a lot of stations within 1500 km, if there is propagation.


Yes, that may be true.
The real and insurmountable minimum limit for real 2-way dx connections is given by the laws of physics.
Of course, in the age of digitization, you can also use the internet (WebSDR) to receive a weak signal from a QRP station, hi.

To come back to my original post, I didn’t mention that Daniel had connected a 3x 4.20 m radial set to the AX1.

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And a piece of wet string or a barbed wire fence with croc clip has been shown to work as well, or a short wire lying on the ground, if there is HF propagation!


There was an article in QST 20 years back were the guy soaked a length of garden twine (natural fibres) in a strong brine solution and used it to make many QSOs on 20m until it dried out.

So yes, a wet piece of string works as an antenna :slight_smile:


I have made the experience that reception didn’t change much when my mast collapsed and the wire fell to the ground, but nobody answered any calls anymore …
Haven’t yet dared connect my transmitter to a wire fence - somebody might touch the far end while I’m transmitting - or the farmer might let the cows in and activate it.

73 de Martin / HB9GVW


I have actually done that MANY MANY years ago, (pre SOTA) and like you say it worked, and I had some QSOs with it.

Once in EA8/LA it was so windy that I just couldn’t deploy the dipole (I could barely stand up) and I laid it on the ground and qualified the summit with around 4 watts from my HB-1B

73 Victor GI4ONL


Actually a “ground loop” (ideally with 4:1 UNUN) is an excellent receive antenna. The signal to noise ratio (SNR) in urban areas will most often improve. For effectively transmitting HF energy, one has to put a good length of wire into the air.

Exactly. If you use the supplied counterpoise ONLY and didn’t the railing, I doubt it would have worked as well if at all.

The set of radials will improve the antenna.
Sometime it helps to connect any metalic parts available in the field to the radial system, e.g. the upper metalic bit of the wall.

I remember playing with a FT817 and a “miracle whip” antenna during a peak of a sun cycle and making many SSB contacts >1500 km… and this was indoor. No set of radials was used… BUT all the contacted stations had huge antennas.

Would be interesting to see to which extent digital modes like FT8 or JT9 can compensate a bad antenna…
With wisper it will compensate! Used QCX minis and a 80cm (2,6’) vertical mobile antenna for different bands 40m, 30m, 20m and was received worldwide, e.g. ZL, VK, Antarctica, etc.

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