I tried to span away 40 meters (120 ft) of wire in an effort to do some testing on a wideband antenna (the well known full-size 80 – 10 version) but I just don’t get away with the length. I have to zig-zag all over the place and when I tested it with one of my auto transformers, the resonance on 80m (half wave) was too low and on 40m (where it’s a full wave) too high. Shortening the wire would improve on 80m, but will move the resonance point on 40m even higher so that’s a dead end.
While I decided to opt for a dedicated 80/40 aerial AND a dedicated 20/15/10 antenna (wire or vertical), I’m taking the wire down again and will replace it with a single trap for 40m. Because I’m not sure how much inductance the trap needs to get a “practical” tail wire (around 10 meters long, that I can span away), I decided to make a quick and dirty trap just temporarily. When I’m happy with the performance, I might be making a more permanent solution but experience learns that in many cases, my temporary solutions become semi-permanent HI.
I took one of my old trap coils that’s wound on a Fritzel isolator. It’s about 40 turns of enameld wire .8 mm in diameter. Because I hate to remove and add turns to a coil to get resonance when using a Russian door knob type capacitor, I decided to just leave the coil fixed and cut a piece of normal 2 conductor home appliance wire to length.
The coil measured around 22 uH. With 31cm of wire that measured 22 pF (so .7 pF per cm) I found resonance around 7,646 MHz. I know my L/C meter measures capacitance pretty well, sometimes I doubt the inducatance measurements. Calculating back from the resonance frequency and the capacity, the coil calculates to 19,9 uH, not bad. I used that value to calculate required capacity for resonance around 7.3 MHz which is 23,9 pF. To get 24 pF, 34cm of wire required. It’s nice to see that – now and then – theory matches practice HI:
I think I had 20 meters of antenne wire lying around from my previous experiments, I’m going to hook that up to an auto transformer (for testing I mostly use the one with 2:14 ratio on single FT240-43 with single FT140-43 inside), hook up the trap on the other and and a random length tail of about 12 meters and let’s see if I can get it nicely in tune on 80m and 40m. First test looks very promising:
Going to cut the length of the wire between the transformer and the trap about 20 cm to get a dip around 7.1 MHz (now a little under 7 MHz), that will move the dip on 80m up as well, maybe it’s spot on.
Will keep you updated!
73 Pleun (PA3HHO)