Today I finally got the weather to cooperate,
and was able with my wife's assistance to get the 30' flagpole
installed, and the Alpha J Pole Jr. antenna installed. The
top of the Alpha J Pole Jr antenna is at 30 feet and the bottom at
10 feet (a bit more than 10 feet because the point where the lower
end is tied off is at 10 feet.
The antenna is broadside in the East/West orientation (this photo
is facing East).
All it takes to change is to untie the lower end, and move it to
an different anchor point. Conveniently there is usually a
truck parked right about where I would need that ... humm ...
I rigged the Alpha to take the strain of the 'J Pole' on the
antenna insulators, and suspended the balun and isolator so that
the coax would tend directly down the pole.
The only thing I got wrong was the up side of the halyard is on
the inside of the pulley. Took a couple tries to get the
halyards, coax and pigtails all working together correctly.
Of course I had to try it out right away, so at about 2130z I
started on-air testing.
The antenna tuned up below 1:1.2 on every band I tried. 100
Watts on the PO meter, and no RFI detected (so far). The map
below shows each band: 80m (purple), 40m (blue), 30m (green), 20m
(dark yellow), 17m (bright yellow), 10m (rose), 6m (red) that I
used and the stations which logged my transmission in the PSK
Reporter spot collector.
Running FT8 I got hits all over United States and Japan (still
well ahead of the gray line!!).
This is where I was heard in United States.
And I got into Hawaii at -14dB on 20 meters FT8.
And Japan at -16dB on both 17m and 20m
Of course working well after sunset should result in something
different, so the next day (night?) I did this on 40 meters.
And shortly thereafter on 80 meters (pink), and 30 meters (green)
And logged a QSL with Australian station VK7AC on 30 meters FT8.
And here's my final night time test for 4/14/2021 - on 30 meters
Notice I'm finally getting into Australia - My first trans
My next plan is to get on air an hour or two before sunrise and
see just how far West I can get.
Perhaps in conjunction with that I'll run a test swinging the
antenna to North/South.
We had some strong wind (>30 mph on my WX station), and I
wanted to inspect and correct the Alpha antenna harness.
This is how it was originally rigged and how it is currently
I added brass halyard clips, whipping the halyard loop with sail
twine, and sealing the work with heat shrink tubing. I added
a loop to take the strain of the insulator, and another to take
the weight of the balun and coax. The isolator is whipped to
the lower halyard with 550 lb braid, and the insulators are
connected by 800 lb braid. I also corrected the route
through the truck to place the up haul to the outside, and added a
cleat on the opposite side of the pole to move the halyards away
from the edge of the asphalt roof tiles. I expect this rig
to last a very long time.
The 30' pole is make from decreasing diameter tubing which is
swagged to fit with a little slop. When the wind blows the
noise of these joints working is transmitted into the shack quite
loudly. I'm contemplating cures: 1) lubricate the
joints to remove the 'creaking'. 2) glue the joints with
Locktite 620 (green) which will require 500º F heat to
remove. The jury is out on this one, I think I'll leave the
decision to later - perhaps time will offer another solution (like
maybe atmospheric dust - of which we have a lot! - will freeze the
I took a couple pictures of the radio installation - this is
temporary while I replace the very small desk that supports the
3/4" ACX top to create the real estate for the radio.
As soon as I get the new top installed I'll do a write up with
Here's a few PSK Reporter screen shots of my recent FT8 activity
using the Alpha antenna: