Last weekend the weather was good here so on Saturday I started some antenna work.
Currently one end of my HF doublet and my VHF/UHF vertical is supported by this pole.
I am not sure how well the picture captures it but that bracket and pole are not quite vertical!! When I moved here in my enthusiasm to get on air I put the bracket up on a cold wet autumn evening and well...........I could have done a better job.
I have now installed a T and K bracket and will be putting a thicker , larger diameter pole up as my new mast. The old fitting will then be taken down.
As part of the antenna work I will be installing a new vertical for 6m/2m and 70 cms. I thought I would assemble the new antenna in advance and set it up on a short pole in the garden just to test it. A local amateur had a similar antenna and found the SWR was high on 6 metres and in order to get it right had to shorten the 6 metre radial.
I used my Yaesu FT857 with an external SWR meter to test the antenna. This proved interesting, the 857 has a built in SWR meter, its not calibrated, just a series of 'blobs' on the lcd but its an indicator I suppose.
On 6 metres I had an SWR reading of 1.6:1 on the external meter, not brilliant but acceptable so I wont be trimming the radial on my antenna, oddly the 857 meter was showing a perfect match (no blobs) and 2 metres both the external and 857 meters showed a good match. On 70 Cms the external meter showed again a good match, the meter on the 857 indicating quite a high SWR. It seems that the built in meters are not really that consistent, something I also noticed with the Icom 706 I have in the car.
Anyway the vertical is ready to go up on a new mast once I have some more time and some decent weather!