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 FT8
Notice I'm finally getting into Australia - My first trans equatorial connection!

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 rigged.


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 500ยบ 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 joints).

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 pictures.

Here's a few PSK Reporter screen shots of my recent FT8 activity using the Alpha antenna: