I’ve been planning for a while now to put up an antenna in the garden, but where is the question. I have a 20m wire and 9:1 unun to set up somewhere – ideally I’ll run this up the garden but that goes under the phone line, or actually the end of the wire would be under it. What stopped me was the impending changes for EMF as the unun would be mounted outside pretty close to our bedroom window.

So, for a laugh I got another unun to experiment with (yes I know I can make one but the ferrite I had is lost in the workshop moves). Looking at the ‘ideal wire length’ chart 36 feet comes close enough to the distance between the bedroom/shack and the hedge so I cut 36 feet of bell wire and launched it across the utility room towards the workshop as a measure. Tied to the bedroom window reached almost to the far side of the workshop. I reckon I can attach a pole there and attach the unun to the wall outside the shack – there is a convenient airbrick nearby. But, for a laugh I attached said bell wire to the unun, hung the unun on the window handle, ran about 6m of RG58 across to the tuner and tuned it up. The YT-1200 actually managed it right down to 80m (the loft fan dipole will not go longer that 40m).

But the FT450D was very unhappy trying to feed power in to any band under 20m. A string of clip-on ferrites cured that and I managed to be heard on FT8 in Eire and Germany on 80m plus managing FT8 contacts on 40m and 30m.

It is deaf – no surprises there. The bell wire is not taught so it almost touches the garage roof on the way down. A proper bit of wire stretched up may be better and I have a reel so more fiddling may be had yet.

The icing on this experiment was being heard, FT8 again in Finland on 60m and later managed an exchange with a French station – my first ever anything on 60m. Oh, yes, and I have that ‘Hold Tx Freq’ checked so it doesn’t stray outside our limits… worth remembering that because had it tracked up to the French station it would be out of our rage.

The downside is its getting very cold in the shack with the window open! 

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