After I did some looking around and talking to a fellow ham, I made some significant changes to my j-pole antenna. You may say to yourself, “self, what did Warren change on that antenna? It looks the same.” Well dear friends, I made it flexible. You see, an antenna is not naturally born tuned. There are fancy tools to let a builder know when the antenna is running on all cylinders. A big part of what makes my antenna work is related to measurements. In particular, that little wire that goes across from the long pole to the short pole of the antenna. Moving it up and down makes a difference when tuning in Taiwan as the kids say.
My original version was wrong on many levels but one of the biggest issues was that the little wire between the poles was fixed. Now, I can move the wire up and down when I get one of the antenna tuning tools (an swr meter if you care). I am not sure if I will be able to tune in Taiwan but I may get outside of Kanawha county!
I still don’t know what I am doing really but I am able to follow the FCC regulations and have met a number of folks on the air who have been fun to talk with and have been willing to help me with information and encouragement. Emily ad I sometimes sit on the couch and text each other. I think the next step is to get her licensed so we can talk over radio on the couch. What do you think?