I wanted to try the SOTAbeams Mountain Tuner back here in the states. It had worked pretty well in England. So I cut a 67 foot length of 22 gauge wire, and found that outside at home I could attain VSWR of 1.5 on 40m, and 2.5 on 20m. It works as a half wave dipole on 20m, and a full wave on 20m.
Since this would be a test, I chose the easily accessible Peak 4202 (“Firefighters’s Hill”): about an hour drive from the house, and 525 ft elevation gain for a half hour hike. I was also breaking in some new hiking boots! I call it Firefighters’ Hill since the crew from the fire station at the base of the hill often put on all there gear, grab a chainsaw, and hike or run up the hill for physical training.
Propagation predictions using VOACAP on 40m and 20m. Peak 4202 has 6000 ft mountains to the north and east, so take off angles below 10 degrees or so are not possible; hence the 20m propagation prediction is probably optimistic.
It took about 45 minutes to get the antenna up; the hook at the top of the 13 foot mast kept getting pulled out by the tension in the antenna wire. This was frustrating as the regular dipole only takes 5 minutes or so. I think a 25 foot mast would work much better. I set up the mast down the hill on a scrub bush. I managed to anchor the tuner using string tied around some rocks at the surface nearer to the summit. The wire ran NW to SE. For much of its length the wire was only a few feet above the ground. I used a counterpoise about 2 meters long. I have seen Dan set up his EFHW; he uses a taller mast, and uses a braced trekking pole to anchor the feed end. .
I tuned the tuner for highest noise on 40m, and Dan NA6MG spotted me (we had been coordinating on 2m FM). After some good QSOs on 40m, switched to 20m and again tuned for highest noise. Made some good QSOs on 20m, though signals were weaker than usual, perhaps due to the QTH surrounded by mountains, lower antenna than normal, or both.
40m CW: W7RV NG6R NA6MG KH2TJ K8TE K6EL
20m CW: W0MNA N7WM W0ERI N4EX K4MF VE2JCW WB5USB NE4TN K0LAF K7FO K6HWD in Hollywood
2m FM: NA6MG N6HEG KB6WWI WB6POJ KE6QBV
Later, back at home, the RBN showed that the antenna had been working well, particularly on 40m. The 40m RBN skimmers are between 350 and 620 miles away (560 to 1000 km). The 20m skimmer is 1700 miles away (2700 km)
So a successful experiment with an end fed antenna, of course with a few teething pains!