NEWS FLASH New QRP RIG:
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VE7JBT/p operating from a logging road pull-out/chain-up area in the mountains up above the Okanagan Valley. John lives in the valley bottom, in Penticton.
John assures us there's an antenne there somewhere!
Actually if you look very closly, you will see the Spiderbeam 12m fiberglass pole beside of the front wheel to the right of the truck.
BELOW is a re-print of the comments John made to the Spiderbeam group about his experience with the Aerial-51 Model 404-UL Antenna:
I have a 404-UL and use it with my 12m HD fibreglass pole (also from Spiderbeam). Component quality is excellent, with a solid matchbox, wire connections to it, and top quality wire with tiny insulators at the ends. So quality and assembly are top-notch, in my opinion.
My experience with wire antennas is pretty good, as I love them for QRP/SOTA operating, and so have tried many, both produced commercially and built by my own hand.
So I can say with all honesty, that the ones I've built are nowhere near the quality of the Aerial-51, such that I would recommend this antenna on build quality. It's on par with the ones from LNR or HyEndFed, for example, in all fairness.
As far as the functioning part, I've had no issues. I use this with my KX3, so if the SWR isn't a perfect 1:1 match on one of the bands I'm on, its internal tuner will do that quickly.
I do mostly SSB, so with the KX3 that's 15w max, and learning morse now, have made numerous CW contacts at 5w or less.
I made my first ever PSK contact using this antenna; my 5w battery operated portable station (and me sitting in the snow), to a station in Illinois - so from the mountains of southern BC, that's ~3000kms, and no salt water between us, btw. He was running 100w and so I heard him perfectly, but he gave me 59 as well, and was surprised at my equipment power, and complimented me on it. Not too bad with today's band conditions, I reckon.
Regards: John Timmers VE7JBT
BELOW: an email John sent directly to me:
I'd be happy to provide my support for your antenna. It has met any expectation I could have for a wire antenna - multi-band (and wideband), minimal effort to erect/dismantle with its companion SpiderBeam 12m HD pole, top quality build & components that suggest durability (I love the technology that allows ultra-strong wire to be produced at such small gauge...), and for some people like me: its minimal weight and portability.