I don't know if I have a problem or not. I have made several CW
contacts with my newly built K2 during the past week. Most of them, the incoming
signal goes in and out to a certain extent. For the most part, I can read most
of the message but some it gets lost in the mud. The problem is, I am
transmitting at 5-watts and everyone is giving me 559 reports. Could I have a problem
with my receiver or is the 20-40 meter bands really that flakey lately? I'm
using 100' of wire strung 12' off the ground at the balum going to about 30'
up a tree. The other side is about 70' of wire thrown over the roof because
there is nothing back there to connect to because my property ends 5' beyond.
The antenna is fed by about 50' of RG8X. My K2 has the antenna tuner built in
and gives me a 1.1:1. I can almost convince myself that there is no problem
becuase I am answering contacts that nobody else is coming back to. If only I
had more experience... If only I had started this 40-years ago... But then
again, IF a frog had wings, he wouldn't bump his butt on the ground...
Thanks everyone for the wonderful feedback when I was building my K2.
You may have better results with a dipole antenna, or at least you will be
able to tell if it is the band.
A very low antenna as you describe, 12 ft., radiates mostly straight up and
is only good within your state except for exceptional propagation
Try something from a tree to the peak of the house roof, if gable type.
You can forshorten a dipole to 60 per cent of normal and use a tuner and
ladder line to get it working not only on 40m but other bands as well. Thus
about a 40 foot antenna can give a good dipole at 40m if tuned with parallel
line and tuner.