As today is the first day I’ve had off for a long time and the sun is beaming down, I dug out an old spool of wire and cut a W3EDP antenna. 84ft main element, 17ft “counterpoise”.
I took it out to the public gardens near my house in Bangor, taped it to my mast and bungeed it to a fence. Radio was an FT-817 at 5W, using an MFJ-901 travel tuner (T-match), which works just fine and the antenna will tune up happily on 80, 60, 40 and 20 as well as others. I can even get an acceptable match for 2m, hi! First contact was David MW6WOW/P on SW-028 on 3.666-lsb, followed by G0RQL and then Geoff (Dad) 2W0BTR/P who was also on SW-028. My received reports were encouraging, but I was struggling to hear all stations. I think that 80m is a bit flat today as I could only hear one CW station and no SSB other than those that came back to me, but the noise here varies between S3 and S7. I wonder if my close proximity to the sea (about 100m laterally, and about 10m ASL) helped with performance?
I shall take this antenna out on the hill with me next time and see how it performs from a summit. I think its worth experimenting with. Its another one of those maximum fun/minimum outlay designs.
Many thanks to all stations who patiently came back to me.