*DX NEWS* Tom’s Tree Tower Installation

In my world, sometimes you don’t need a comms tower to get an antenna at good height.  You can simply make use of the natural environment around your home QTH to work some awesome DX and that’s something I’ve done with an IMAX 2000 vertical I’ve owned for the past 5 years here in the United States of America.

This exceptional 5/8 wave antenna by US Company Solarcon Research, which I bought off eBay for $124 US used, has been in more than 1 tree during that time and was appearing a little aged the last time we set it in the tree at our new home in Kalama.

The first mount, in my opinion, was a bad job.  The installer used rope to hold 20 foot of masting to the tree and it was soon choking the poor thing off.  Fortunately we caught it when we did too otherwise it would’ve died a slow death!

Over the past year, I’ve made a new friend who just so happens to own a local tree service.  Lucky for me?  Yes!

I offered to pay him mate’s rates to take the old fibreglass antenna out and put the new one in – this time on the end of a new length of LMR-400 feed-line.

According to my mate, this was his first antenna in a mighty coniferous tree like this, although he had set-up a wire antenna for a ham op a few years back and, luckily for me, was familiar with the radio comms hobby already.

This time, we downsized the mast from 20 to 10 foot.  I drilled holes in the mast and we wood-screwed it to the enormous fir tree, cum free free-standing tower, in my backyard.  As you can see by the pic with the IMAX protruding from the summit of the tree, it’s an effective installation.

This lovely evergreen tree, which will grow up to 80 meters in height, will grow around the mast in a few years in my experience so I’ll have to have someone out to go back up the tree every 5 or so years to do a clean-up of the branches, needle-like leaves and cylindrical cones.  This will ensure the 3 fibreglass section antenna is obstacle free and capable of some serious DX!

Now the 23 foot tall vertically polarized antenna is at 30.6 meters/100 feet from the previous 24.6 meters/80 feet.  An increase in just over half a wave length for 11m.  Already I’ve noticed that it’s helped a little bit too with the RX/TX.  On a local meter it got 1/2 db more on AM for instance.  I’m looking forward to seeing what it can do over longer distances on SSB when the 11m band is open and I can work some of my overseas mates in the Dx Adventure Radio Club (DA-RC).

73 de Tom, 2DA120