This section tells about the 'up and down' story about my
I say up and down because due to problems it spent more
time going up and down , rather than just staying up.
Now after a few years of working at it I now have a
very effective mono band vertical that allows me to QRP DX
the world with relative ease.
The antenna I first
installed at this location in 2009 was a commercially
made 4 band trapped vertical.
Its construction and design looked sound , but it
wasn't without its problems , in fact , it never
After assembly I checked out the antenna's quoted SWR
figures , they were way off.
They were WAYYYY off , even though the antenna was
assembled exactly to the dimensions given in the
instructions and a good ground plane was provided.
I played around with adjusting the various lengths of
the element , but no combination was found that
allowed operation on the 4 bands.
The first section that separates 10 and 15 meters had
to be collapsed over 30cm shorter than its specified
length before it looked anywhere right.
Between 15 and 20 that too had to be set considerably
shorter than normal , the 20 and 40 meter sections,
well , it didn't seem to make any difference where
they were set to.....
On the two bands that sort of worked the efficiency
I barely could make contacts with 100watts to the UK ,
a distance of a mere 2,000kms.
I knew performance was poor as with the same power
output from the car I had been regularly getting long
QSO's with JA and VK , so the land of G's M's and 2's
was just not good enough.
The other two bands were unusable.
So down the antenna came for inspection and to recheck
that I had done everything right.
I must say at this time that this installation is very
high and while its not really windy in Helsinki , the
antenna becomes very much of a handful to hold at the
base with 7 meters of it swaying around at top.
While I use a safety harness and rope , the idea of
slipping off the roof heading down 6 stories is not a
pleasant thought , even with string attached.
After it was down I noticed that considerable water
had collected in the base.
I had sealed the tube connections with silicone , so
this must have been from condensation.
It should drain out anyway as the tube at the bottom
is not sealed tightly on the plastic base , , but it
So I added a drain hole in the plastic base.
That worked a little , but water still collected on
top of the coax connector.
So I drilled a hole on the edge of the connector.
Each time , the antenna going up and down.
Still seeing bad SWR figures (backed up by pathetic
performance) I contacted the manufacturer.
They suggested two possibilities , first - that the
feed-point was too far away from the radial network ,
and second , that the radials network wasn't
In my view it was true that the base was a bit too too
high , but this was in my case restricted by the coax
feeding in from below.
So bringing the antenna down again , I made the mod as
This allowed the base to come down a few more
I also went with the N connector at this time for
better cable sealing properties.