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The 3Y0X 60 minute desperation dipole. 

30 Meters Inverted Vee style


inverted_vee_dipole.jpg (602x333 -- 343931 bytes)


I had worked  the previous Peter I Dxípedition (3Y0PI) on 15 SSB/CW years ago, so this time around with 3Y0X, the challenge for me was to fill in some of the holes.  Propagation to West Michigan was terrible as usual and my work schedule prevented me from hitting some of the best openings but I managed to work them everywhere by Feb. 17 except 80 CW, 160 SSB/CW, and 30 CW.  They never went back to 80 CW for us and the pending weekend contest pretty much assured that wasnít going to happen.  160 meters just wasnít in the cards for me this time around as I never even heard them on my GAP Voyager HF antenna


This left 30 meters but I had never built or bought an antenna for this band.  I guess the 15 year old radio operator in me woke up because I decided to build a 30 meter inverted vee dipole over lunch and give it a try.  This falls into the category of small space ham radio antennas as they require very little space to put up.  There was a bad ice storm in Michigan that day and it was hovering around 32 deg. all day.  I quickly calculated the length of wire needed (46.3 feet but I used a 47 ft. to accommodate the attachment length losses) and then I got with one of our maintenance guys while looking for a piece of scrap wire which he promptly produced.  Checking with another of our maintenance guys quickly produced a scrap piece of Plexiglas 4Ē x 4Ē.  I made a quick scribble on a piece of paper and I had what I needed for a center and two end insulators.  I assembled the wire I had now cut in half and with 10 minutes gone at this point from my lunch hour, I had all the basics of my dipole.


Once home that evening I realized that the scraps of coax I thought I had no longer existed, and a trip to Radio Shack was in order for a piece of RG8 but all they on had was RG58, so it would have to do.  I bought 30 feet for just over $11.00 with a connector.  That round trip took about 30 minutes.  I plugged in the soldering iron and while I was waiting for it to heat up, I prepared the ends of the coax for connection.  By then the soldering iron was hot and I soldered the center and shield conductors to the two wires, attached the coax connector the other end, and then added some scrap pieces of rope to the center and end insulators for attachment.  All ready to go! 


Just then thunder & lightning showed up from a passing storm so I had to wait 10 minutes for that to pass by so as not to be electrocuted and by now it was totally dark outside.  Once it passed I ran out side with an umbrella and luckily it was only raining and not hailing at this point as I scurried up the tower about 20 feet, locked on, tied off the center insulator rope and scurried back down (about 2 minutes) as I could hear more thunder in the distance. I quickly tied off the one leg of the antenna to an old satellite pole mount still in the ground and the other end to a tree near the tower. 


I attached the other end of the coax to my antenna switch and ran inside.  I fired up the gear, switched to the new dipole on the antenna switch.  It was alive!  I made a quick change to 30 meters on my FT920, dropped the power to 25 watts and hit the tune switch on the keyer and the SWR was 1.5:1, good enough!  3Y0X was going strong making contacts and I spent about 5 minutes listening (they were not even S1 on the meter but Q1 copy) to see exactly where they were listening "up" at.  Once I found the right place, I started firing out my call.  10 minutes later and about 15 calls they were in the log onj 30 meters!  Feb, 17th was the last contact I made with them on the Dxípedition (you can see itís the last entry for me in the Peter I online log) but absolutely the most rewarding contact for me of the whole Dxípedition!


Consequently, through all this my wife (N8YZI of 27 years) now thinks I have totally lost my mind, but I think Iíll leave my 30 meter inverted vee antenna up for a while.  Boy, do I love this hobby! 


Construction notes for the 30 meter dipole:  468/freq. in mHz = 468/10.1 = 46.3 feet total length.  A good calculator can be found here at Ham Universe's site


Material list:

  • 47 foot of wire (I used 12 gage stranded copper with coating but any would suffice)

  • any scrap piece of Plexiglas 4" square or larger.  In the end connector I made one 1/4" and one 1/2" hole.  In the center connector I made four 1/2" holes

  • Coax RG8 or equivalent (RG58 will work but is more lossy than larger coax for low power antennas)

  • rope - any type but nylon preferred for longevity

Ham Radio Call Sign Hats found here 

End connector Center Connector
end%20connector_small.jpg (150x216 -- 7679 bytes) center%20connector_small.jpg (150x85 -- 4558 bytes)

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