After hearing reports that 15m was starting to open up, I built a very simple T2LT antenna based on the dimensions from Tim G5TM.

The SWR measured okay, lowest around 1.5. Initial tests looked good, but it was hard to tell as I have S9+ noise at home.

(SWR with ugly balun and ferrite choke. 8m fiberglass pole)

To really test it I needed to away from my local noise, so late Sunday afternoon I headed up to John’s Hill Reserve to try it out. The reserve is quiet, with little rf, and is a little over 400m ASL.

First issue was my Digirig disconnected every time I started to transmit. It took 30min of testing to finally realise that the “ugly balun” was not only ugly, but wasn’t working as a choke either; I was getting RF back into the laptop. Adding a ferrite choke at the end of the feed-line fixed the issue.

In the future I will have to remove the ugly balun, add a BNC connector, and maybe make a choke for 21Mhz. I think I’ll also take the time to play with the lengths to see if I can achieve a better SWR. Callum, M0MCX, has a calculator with different length ratios rather than the standard 14 + 14 wavelength design.

As for results, I’d say they were good.

(PSKReporter, all day FT8 15m)

It was hard to pick out SSB (though I did hear a few Japaneses stations), so I spent most of my time on FT8. There were lots of stations, and I appeared to be able to get out alright. Only made 14 contacts but they were from countries I don’t normally see on 40m including China, South Korea, England, and Ukraine. Very happy.

Oh, and the view was pretty nice too.