Get on 160m with your 80m dipole

I was recently reminded that I can use my 80 meter Dipole antenna to get on 160 meters. I have heard that in the past, but thought it would be shaky, narrow-bandwidth, RFI problems, etc. Well I recently acquired a MFJ-927 remote antenna tuner so I thought I would give it a try. There was a contest the following weekend and I thought 160m would be good to try in the late evening.

The suggestion made to me (by K7SV) was to tie the two ends of the dipole together. That becomes the center conductor on my Tuner Antenna connector. I drove a ground rod near the remote tuner, and used that as the ground at the antenna connector.

This tuner uses 12 volts DC which is supplied through the coax using a Bias Tee. To Tune the antenna, I applied a low-power carrier using the AM Mode on my Icom-7600. This worked quite well. SWR was between 1.4:1 and about 1.9:1 across the CW portion of the Band. Since the tuner was at the end of my ladder-line feeder, it took care of the mismatch there, minimizing losses in my coax. I also had zero RFI problems, probably because the last 50′ of feedline to the shack was the coax.

Since this was a CW contest, I did  not need a big signal to make contacts. I think I worked about 25 states in just a few hours. I plan to give it another run in the upcoming Stew Perry 160 meter contest this weekend.

 

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