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My shack
My Antennas
Leicester skyline

Since starting this wonderful hobby in October 2014, I decided  that I would try to concentrate on chasing DX and contests as I am not much of a rag-chewer. The traditional methods of exchanging QSL cards, namely direct and bureau, can be horrendously slow, I thought that I would try to concentrate on the electronic methods of QSL.

Much as I enjoy the hexbeam (and I still get a kick out of watching the SCAM12 mast go up-and-down) I have been looking for something suitable for the lower bands (40m/80m). 

Not wanting to antagonize my neighbours any more than absolutely necessary. I have been thinking about a vertical, something that can be partially masked by the trees at the end of my 35m garden. This should also remove the antenna far enough from houses so that RFI isn't a problem.

So, not being content with my OCF Dipole, I started to investigate alternative antennas. My basic criteria were as follows:

  • Support as many bands as possible
  • Directional so that the majority of European stations are not S9+20
  • Fit in my 7m (23 ft) x 30m (100ft) back garden

After experimenting with an UnUn fed long wire and having less than stellar results, I decided to try an OCF Dipole (aka Windom). The benefit of this is that it exhibits good multiband performance without taking up much more room than a random length of wire and without the need for ground planes etc.

I did quite a lot of research on which design to go for as there seems to be lots of (dis)information on the Internet about this particular antenna type. I finally settled on W8JI's design for an OCF dipole with the long leg being 80% and the short one 20%. The website describing his design is here.