Several years ago, I had the good fortune to be introduced to Gene Bowman, WB4MSG, at the Winston-Salem Hamfest. I recognized Gene’s callsign because of his top place finishes in many contests. I was particularly interested in what kind of antenna he used on Top Band.
Gene told me that if I had a few minutes, he would be glad to have me come by his house so I could see his antenna farm. I was fascinated to learn that Gene had placed 1st Place QRP World during the recent CQWW160M SSB Contest with his 160M loop. Gene mentioned that a full write up of his 160M antenna appeared in Jan 2010 QST (160 Meter Inverted Delta Loop by Charles Kluttz, W4TMR, pp.40-41).
I built my own version of Charlie’s 160M loop shortly thereafter and was quite pleased with its performance. The vertically polarized loop showed noticeable gain over my high 160M dipole for stations beyond my local area, and after a short while I found myself no longer using the dipole.
As a result of a severe lightning storm in August 2011, all my antennas were damaged to the extent that I had to start all over from scratch. Fast forward to Jan 2016, it was high time to get back in the game. With the help of two local QRP friends Chris N4PBQ, and Dick N4HAY, plans were hatched to resurrect the Excalibur Antenna Farm, beginning with a Top Band antenna. It was decided to rebuild a version of the W4TMR Vertical Loop.
Chris, N4PBQ digging the hole for the support post