Well I rediscovered something I think I already knew. An antenna as close to resonant as possible say an SWR of 1.23 with a reflection of 15 dB is better without a tuner than with one. To test this hypothesis I connected my Cobweb antenna direct to the IC – 718.

I am working FT8 like a boss. Running 80 wats, with a 15 dB reflection or a loss of about 3% is doing fantastic. Course the night may have something to do with it, however I heard and connected with MA this evening. Still need ME but I am probably closer than I’ve ever been. I learned that a tuner is not always needed if the antenna is close to resonance.

I researched tuners for the past few days. Wondering why some folks suggest you run a tuner with every radio? I finally learned what a tuner does, making the radio think everything is hunky dory with the antenna and there is no mismatch. This is great for a random piece of wire, but makes a tuned antenna work as a sub-par performer.

Back in the day, when I first started this journey, I was told a length of wire set up as a dipole matched to the frequency desired was the best antenna you could get. Somewhere along the way , I forgot that simple adage. Well I sort of forgot.

I picked up a Cobweb antenna , basically a folded fan dipole with wires cut for each band. Sub-consciously I must have remembered it because for my small lot it sure works well. Right now it is at 16 feet, because the city ordinance says you must not be able to see it from the street, and I’m afraid at 20 feet it may be seen. Going to chance it anyway.

It would appear I am incorrect. The state statue http://www.arrl.org/idaho-statute makes it pretty clear as long as I keep a low profile with nothing extravagant it should be OK.

Sorry about that, SQUIRREL!!!

Ends my rant, KF7SFU 73

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