The KY6R “Retirement Antenna Challenge”

A Doublet up 50′, an Inverted Vee up 60′ and a 20′ Circumference Mag Loop Walk into a Bar . . . 

I won’t be retiring for about 5 years – but I guess in a way I am retiring from Ham Radio as far as having a “serious” station and antennas. However, I am more or less back to where I was in 2001 – when I had 100 watts and a ladder line fed doublet up 40 or 50′. After a while I upgraded to 200 watts, and worked almost 300 entities with that. I might have upgraded to a Cushcraft MA5B mini beam by then – if I remember right. I also remember getting more serious with a Force-12 LPT tower and C3SS and then an amplifier by about 300 or so entities – and it kept growing after that.

Today, the whole thing seems like a “Long, Strange Trip”. But I have no regrets – I really do think that starting in 2001 gave me access to entities on the DXCC List that I am 100% sure now will never be activated again. I truly feel like I was part of the end of an era DXCC Wise.

Of course, Ham Radio (by far) is NOT DXCC, so don’t let anyone tell you that. I may have switched interests back to music, but I have to admit, I like this KX-3 a LOT better than the K3 as far as how the rig sounds listening to the “Only Mode That Matters” (to me) – CW.

OK – enough repetitive, meandering old man reminiscing – lets get to the good stuff – antennas.

Just for laughs, I wanted to see how three antennas would model next to each other (actually superimposed over each other). The ladder line fed doublet up 50′ wins over an Inverted Vee when you compare them on 40, 30 and 20M, and the Mag Loop wins for Lowest Take Off angle, but the Mag Loop has no gain – whereas both wire antennas up in a “decent” height wins by a mile. The other issue – the Mag Loop is ONLY good on 40M.

So, because the Inverted Vee at 60′ and I can easily shoot a ladder line 44 or 88′ doublet up into the trees, the 88′ doublet wins.

Welcome me back to 2001 – but this time 100% solar battery charged QRP.


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