I have been using a DX Engineering DV-40P phased vertical array on 40M for years – and I am pretty sure that’s what I used to work ZS8M – which was also at a low point in the cycle and where his antenna was extremely compromised, and where he only was running 100 watts. In fact – he had an inverted vee hung on a tower and it was a commercial broad banded job that had big resistors on it.
My UrbanBeam at only 34 feet would be a cloud burner – my phased vertical array (shown in green – but where the gain is 3
dB more than what you see – my model pattern is right – the gain is not). It has a low takeoff angle – and I have used it for years to communicate with ZS6CCY at night – and have broken the pileup with 100 watts – but much more easily at 500 watts or more.
I am putting all of my bets on 40M – and maybe 30M and maybe 20M. But 40M short path for sure. I will hang a 40M dipole up 60-ish feet because it will be quite a good antenna. The orientation between the two trees I can use is perfect. I haven’t kept such an antenna up in the past because one of the trees is my neighbors – and it is leaning so much that I expect one really big rain storm will have it crashing to the ground. My neighbor has about 4 falling trees – some uprooted and just leaning against other trees. He has been taking his ash from his fire place to “fertilize” his trees – and he is killing them instead. A very scary thing given in the Fall – it is so bone dry that we have been having massive wildfires each year.
The UrbanBeam works on 40 – 6M, but since its only up on an ALM-31 crank up, it will be useful on 30M – 17M. I actually will be surprised if anything above 17M is useable – and even 30, 20 and 17M will be a gift.
I will have the dipole up Saturday or Sunday, and will also have 1000 watts – so I do expect good things. If the team does operate from the ship – I will use that as a test – else – ZS6CCY as usual.