Saturday, January 3, 2015

W5GI Mystery Ant

John BasilottoW5GI was a friend of mine.  He was very involved with Flex from it's creation.  He published an antenna idea he created in CQ July 2003.  He claimed it was an antenna that defied explaination.  Here is a pretty good explanation.

I had a 137 ft dipole fed with open wire in the trees but it was struck by lightning and I've been debating whether to put something dipole like ever since.  My open wire tuner is the venerable KW matchbox, but I'm hooked on my MFJ-998 auto tuner for ease of band change.  I decided to give John's antenna a whirl since it's touted to be easy to tune and a pretty good match 80, 40, 30, 20, 17, 15, 12, 10. and 6.  A tall order for sure!  I recently put up a vertical dipole for the 10 meter test which gave me a ready skyhook to pull up the W5GI.

Last summer I purchased a W5GI from Joe K4TR over in Brooksville, FL across the state from me.  It's been sitting in the box ever since.  This antenna is very well built, and while I had enough stuff around to home brew it I didn't want to fool with tuning and primping to a fare the well, which is my general nature when it comes to ham radio.  I pulled down the 10M vertical dipole and hoisted the W5GI aloft.  It's up about 55ft and I shot some rope into 2 other trees so the ends are up about 25-30 ft.  High enough to keep away from ground effects but low enough to not get tangled in the lowest branches of the trees.  I coiled up the excess coax into an ugly balun about 10" in diameter and set about to test out my mystery antenna.

I ran some SWR data 80-6 with no tuner to get a general idea of what I was going to be up against.  Here is the result.

Pretty damn good!!   I am able to tune to low SWR on every spot on every band and then run a KW once tuned.  I don't perceive any RF ingress into the shack.  My radios and amp (ALS-1300) are smooth as butter.  It's basically a 102 ft dipole broadside into north Africa.  I was tuning around this evening around 2300 Z about sundown on 80 and heard several EU and worked a couple and then a couple in Africa running a KW on CW.  The antenna is a little bit quieter than my full size 80M vertical with a bazillion radials.  The verticals take the cake on 80 and 40 but they are very close to the W5GI and I can foresee there will be conditions where the W5GI will win.  I have the Verticals on port 1 of the tuner and the W5GI on port 2 so it's dead easy to compare.  

Overall I'm very pleased!  It's very stealthy in the trees, it covers everywhere from 80 to 6 and handles a KW without batting an eye and gives me one button rapid tuning so I don't have to screw around with the dip da dip da dip di dip and It took less than an hour to get it into the sky.

73  W9OY