Every summer I spend some weeks far from home staying in my parents-in-law’s village.
This is a very little and quiet village, with about a dozen inhabitants, in the middle of large crop fields.
There, I miss the HF beam of my QTH but in the other hand this lesson in humility creates a good opportunity to rack my brain in order to find alternatives to keep on chasing SOTA friends.
The house is a two store with thick walls and an unused, not spacy attic plaged with long legged spiders. I have tried almost all feasible configurations there: random wires hanging under the wooden rafter, short doublet dipoles, and zigzagging end fed wires.
Success with such indoor antennas under the ceramic tiles is somewhat compromised…
Operating from this attic is a kind of vintage fascinating and makes me look like a vintage spy radio op!
Performance has always been compromised with such constraints but it’s great when you make the way through the SOTA activator using this limited system, running my SOTA gear, briefly over 5 watts. Well, it’s not a S2S, but you feel like it!
This year I decided to try the antenna outside, at the back yard, being at risk of provoking a reaction in the always peaceful neighborhood.
I put a 20m long wire inverted vee on a 5m pole and used it as an 7 + 14 MHz EFHW, fed at the window in my bedroom. The antenna was confined and surrounded by houses but it worked fine for what it was and kept me busy, chasing in mornings.
If you are one of the activators who have felt my signal was lower than usual this summer, thanks a lot, you are blessed with your good ears!!
Now that summer is over and I’m back at the comfort of my well equipped shack, I’m a bit nostalgic and miss my simple summer alternative shack.
Simplicity can be very rewarding!
73 de Ignacio