Special Contributer Bob Kimbrell WØAO -
After returning home from Keystone Park for the After Beryl Breakfast Activity I was disappointed that I had only worked 3 counties in the Kansas QSO party and they were all in far western Kansas. I had been using a 40 meter vertical at the park and most of my signal was going over Kansas. I constructed a low NVIS 40 meter dipole with a reflector wire on the ground underneath in my yard (HOA neighborhood) to try to fill in some more counties:
With that antenna I was able to work 20 Kansas Counties in 2 hours. The unexpected bonus was that I was also able to work 28 counties in the Ohio QSO party during the same 2 hours. The Kansas QSO's were all CW on this antenna. (The 3 from the park had been on SSB) The Ohio QSO's were 17 on phone and 14 on CW. The kicker is that this antenna is only 3 feet off the ground. It is made of some of my favorite antenna materials: Electric fence posts ($1.89 each at Lowe's) and speaker wire (about $40 for 500 feet if you split it in two -- even cheaper on Ebay) All the stations were S9 or above and I had no trouble making any of these QSO's. Two operators said "Hi Bob" on CW and I looked them up later. K0I was Mark KI0I that we some times hear "motorgrader mobile". K0N was Russ K0VXU, president of the Kansas City DX Club. I had fun building and testing this antenna.
Bob Kimbrell, W0AO