A two week holiday in France was the perfect opportunity to test the PA3FYM Delta Loop in the wild. After 10 minutes of construction the loop was up. I did put the Spider Beam mast up an pole so top hight was about 13,5 meters as advised by Remco.
First run with the PA3FYM Delta Loop
First run with the PA3FYM Delta Loop turned out to be a little disappointing. Less signal then I expected and no SWR match on any band. I suspected the balun (unun) as the faulty one in this contraption because that was the only untested part after I put it in a case.
After some contact with Remco it turned out I indeed made a big mistake in de balun. I wounded a real 1:4 balun instead of a 1:4 auto trafo. So after some guidance I connected all the wires in the correct location and it was time for a second testrun. Now the signals blew out of my IC-7300 and it the Delta Loop was alive and kicking. When I tested the SWR it was a little low on 40m. I cut off around 1 meter of wire from the cold side. It was resonant on the whole 40 meter band.
Setup okay, first try on the band
Since it was a holiday setup, I was only capable of running the shack in the evening. So I had to wait for that evening to really give it a run. First station on the cluster was 5V7P (Congo). There was a huge pile up for him and I really had no idea where to take place in the pile up. Since it was my first testrun, I just turned the VFO beside the last signal in the pileup. Listen for 5V7P a view times and decide to just give it a go. First time: PA8E PA8E……
First call, any luck?
He wasn’t transmitting. Then again: PA8E PA8E….. Response: PA8E 599…. My jaw dropped on the ground. The very first try on 40 meters with Congo and he heard me immediately! This had to be a coincident. So I looked around on 40 meters and found 4S7VBG/P (Sri Lanka). Okay, let’s try it again! First try: he heard me! Okay, this is really really weird! I never build an antenna performing like this Delta Loop! Actually every station I could hear, I worked in one or two times calling. From Japan to Chile, one or two times transmitting and a clear copy! As Remco puts it: a arm chair copy!
A new dimension of the hobby
This saved me a lots of time calling and calling resulting in evenings watching a movie with my wife and when commercials where on, I looked at the cluster, tuned a DX station and worked it and back watching the movie. Totally new dimension of the hobby!