Backyard Alternate Antenna

I cleaned up the backyard a bit, and ran a new 12.5m (41ft) random wire up the hill behind the house.

My first tests the next day on 30m at 1W got me some contacts. By 4:40pm EDT, the bands were all in “poor” condition, so it got tough to test.

The next morning, I watched the 40m band close. It was ablaze at 8am, but getting pretty quiet by 10:30am EDT.

I compared the old antenna out the front with the new antenna out the back using FT8 and PSKReporter.

The back antenna saw fewer decodes on 15m on average. It mostly lacked any stations from Europe. Looking at the antenna’s physical attributes, it starts on first floor (lower than the old antenna) in backyard, but it slopes up more vertically. The middle of the antenna, on average, is blocked by the hill to the East.

The old antenna out the front saw more decodes overall, including Europe. It starts at second floor window and only slightly angles up. The whole antenna is higher and clears the hill, even though Europe may still be mostly all the end of the antenna. It performs better.

I had fun physically launching the new antenna, but I’ll need to do some more work to get more of it higher in the air to be useful.

hf  antenna  ft8 


The 40m band was hot at 5:30am EDT. I got:

  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Dominican Republic
  • mostly eastern US otherwise

Switched up to 15m to get Finland, and I grabbed 1 local contact on 6m. I’ve accumulated 1800 contacts on QRZ, 1489 are confirmed, across 79 countries.

ft8  dx  hf 

Busy 40m

I used the fully-extended, large dipole kit and the RTL-SDR to successfully receive lots of 40m signals. It may have been especially busy, since it was Labor Day in the US and Canada. I found FT8 (40m and elsewhere) signals from St Lucia, Slovinia, South America, Cuba, and a little FT4 (40m).

I also found some BPSK31, RTTY/45, and still unidentified digital signals.

HF  FT8  FT4  SDR  rtty  PSK31  DX  digital