My thanks go out to all who took the time to offer their thoughts, suggestions, and/or experiences regarding EFHW design and usage.
I have some of the gold RC power connectors all ready to go for making a linked EFHW. But the notion of using a trapped EFHW resonated with me (pun intended). While it looks like it will take a little longer to make and tune, I like idea of not having to stop and lower the antenna to be able to change bands. So, I have ordered some Pico Traps from SOTABeams and I will be making a 20-30-40 meter Trapped EFHW.
Whenever I’m using my End Fed Transmatch (I hate to use the word “Tuner” even though that has become the common terminology), I take advantage of the FT-817’s SWR Foldback circuit. I watch the power output indication on the FT-817 display and rotate the capacitor on the transmatch, centering it on where I see the FT-817 showing maximum power output rather the watching the tuning LED on the transmatch board. So, with a Trapped EFHW, I should be able to change bands in just a few moments.
Since I have lots of the SOTABeams Lightweight Antenna wire available to work with, if this three band Trapped EFHW works out well out on the summits, I will be making a 15-17-20-30-40 meter version later on. And, I may still go ahead and make a linked EFHW for 20-30-40, although with the bands being as changeable and wobbly as they are right now, it will probably be impossible to do any kind of real comparison test with the trapped version. By the time that I switched antennas, the band will probably be behaving differently.
As far as the EFHW counterpoise goes (which was my original question), there were lots of differing opinions on the need for one, as well as how I might do it. I liked the idea of making just one three-wire counterpoise which consists of lengths for 20-30-40 taped together. Easy to deploy, and pack. So, I will start out with trying that approach. And I will also experiment with not using any counterpoise at all, again keeping an eye on the FT-817 power output indicator.
If this thread remains open for a while, I’ll come back and report my results.
Jody - K3JZD