Be sure to watch the video below.....
Balloon Antenna Success
by Tyler Costantini KBØPQP
The balloon antenna worked very good what was surprising was the broad tuning range. The antenna was a 1/4 wave at 160m but we never measured the length we just used the antenna analyzer. It was first fed with a random wire tuner at the base that didn't provide a very good match. Next we just used a BNC to banana adaptor and put the wire right in the end of the 50ohm coax which lead to my MFJ 989c tuner that setup worked great. We could tune 160-20 no problem any part of the band and it seemed to radiate well. We put a 2mH choke between the radial and ground to act as a DC ground to remove static. I couldn't notice any change in the behavior of the antenna with the choke in place so I guess my math worked. It's 50+ turns in a FT-240 type 43 toroid.
I will be operating a FT-817 using PSK and JT modes on 10 through 40 meters and I know of a few others are planning to setup and we will be finalizing our plans over the next few weeks as the event will be here quick!
We will have lots of gear setup and please bring your own and get on the air all weekend of even a few hours! I requested our camping site reservation today. We will be out there setting up early on Saturday June 25. We will have a big screen room for shade and bug relief and lot's of room for other operators.
One thing I would like to see us do better is when someone comes out to setup for a few hours, let's work together to give them time on the bands and frequencies they want to operate on while the full timers stand by. I think we can work together to give everyone a chance to make some contacts and have fun as well!