This worked pretty well – I was able to take down the center support, pull on the two top wires, solder them together and then let it “snap up”, which it did. This weekend I’ll lower both elements and replace the spliced wire. Its easy enough to do – just telescope them down. I then used the BT1500A as a base fed tuner – its not the right tuner – I only need a simple L – C tank circuit, but it works anyway. I’m on 160M still, which is all that matters.
OBSERVATION: The Mod Bob was a quieter antenna – which I could use on RX. The noise level is a little higher tonight anyway so I will test this again when the DXE 40M array is behaving like it normally does – which is almost zero noise. Its 2 S units higher – S3 and the Inverted U is S7, which ends up being a difference of 25 dB more noise. The Inverted U sure sounds like a vertical! The Mod Bob was quieter, by a couple S units. I was heard in Milwaukie at 9 dB SNR, but could not make the 9Y4 contact last night – which would have been #89 on Top Band. I did work ZF9CW and could hear him just fine on the Inverted U. It was a very easy QSO – so I am glad that I am getting into the Caribbean this well. Conditions last night and this morning are plagued by some solar noise for sure.
The BT1500A does work (default mode with no power on the unit) with the Inverted U – but I think the tank circuit is the better choice. Some things I will try:
NEXT STEPS: I’ll play with this until Saturday, when I get everything set. In the meantime, I think I will get the u.RAT set up in a way that will make it easy to deploy and tweak at the base of the antenna. I will also run the new control line since I can catch the last rays of the sun, which is ll I need since most of the run goes under the house in our basement.
A little bit of prep over the next couple of nights means smooth sailing Saturday.