One of my best
By John Weir, AE4CU
We were preparing to move, so I
had already taken all my antennas down. Maybe, I was a little too anxious
to get packed and ready to go. There was still a couple of weeks before we were supposed to actually move.
Having a burning desire to throw something up quick, and get on the air, I decided a random wire would fit the
bill nicely. I had a roll of #22 insulated hookup wire I bought for 2 bucks at a hamfest. There was a couple
hundred feet left on the spool. I started by standing outside my bedroom ham shack. I unrolled enough wire
to reach my tuner,and tossed the spool over a tree branch about 10 feet up. I kept doing this til I reached the
end of the back yard, where I cut the wire, and attached a lead weight to keep it from sagging too much.
No part of the antenna was more than
10 or 15 feet off the ground. It was just draped over tree branches.
The shack end of the wire was fished under the shingles and through a tiny hole in the ceiling over my desk and
down to my trusty MFJ Versa Tuner 2. I ran another wire to an outside spigot and to the chain link fence that
encircled our backyard for a ground. I was on the air in less then an hour.I really didn't expect a whole lot, but
at least I was "radio active". Was I ever surprised. Wow! It tuned up on all bands with ease. That night I worked
some of the best DX on 20m I have ever worked. The only band I did not try was 160m. I rarely operate there,
but I made plenty of contacts on all the other bands until it was time to leave. The antenna and ground system
came apart quicker then it went together.The tiny hole in the ceiling was not a problem. A dab of spackle rubbed
into the hole with my finger, and it became invisible. When we arrived at our new QTH, I used the lowly random
wire until it was replaced with various other homebrew wires.
I still use the random wire with a
home brew tuner, HW 8, and battery on the back porch.
It always nets me a contact or two. I'm not saying the random wire is the best antenna, but it will do the job in
a pinch. And, it might surprise you like it did me.