For the 2021 160 meter season the DXCC country count only went up a few countries and stands now at 66. Slightly disappointing, plus something is arcing at 750 watts. It’s ok below 750 watts. Capacitors with larger spacing were purchased and installed.
This picture shows both capacitors connected in an omega match configuration. The antenna would not tune correctly at 1840 kHz but it does tune at 1500 kHz. Over the summer one more change had been made. The capacitors may be wired wrong. These are both butterfly caps but they got wired in parallel as if they are two independent caps. That will be corrected on the next trip. Meanwhile, Bill, N0CU, made an on site visit and provided great consultation. He also provided a link to a great video that added insight.
The video sent us back to the books. Reviewing Section 6.9, Using the Beam/Tower as a Low-Band Vertical, in ON4UN’s Low -Band DXing, Fifth Edition the author offers that the omega match might not be necessary in some cases. He suggested trying the gamma match, too. That is easy to try by just disconnecting the capacitor that goes to ground, on the left. Doing so produced a dip of 1.45 SWR at 1840 kHz, just what the goal is. Next, it’s time to test it out.
Early results: Using 80 watts on FT8, 8pm local time October 3, Pskreporter shows a spot as far away as Israel with a nice report of -18dB. Unfortunately the station was not on the air, only monitoring, and so no contact could be attempted.
The following morning at dawn luck was better. Australia showed up on FT8 and was worked with only a few repeat transmissions, still using 80 watts. This is a new country on 160 meter. Very promising.
The new system has not been tested yet at high power. That is next. After re-wiring the caps, that is.