The 40 Meter Wrapper Antenna

Wrap Wrap Wrap They Call Me The Wrapper! One of my favorite parts of the ham radio hobby is messing with portable HF antennas. When running QRP, I have built and tried several antenna kits from QRPGUYS.

One of my all time favorite QRP antenna kits is the QRPGUYS Tri-band vertical. The antenna kit was adapted from the original design by Joe Everhart N2CX. My first CW contact was a station in Texas. Not bad for 5 watts from Long Island.

QRPGUYS supplies the enamel wire, torroids, switches and PCB board, you supply the wire for the vertical and counterpoise(s).  Find out more about QRPGUYS kits here.

Remembering back, to some of the other portable antenna contraptions I have tried reminds me of the time I wrapped about 33’9”of wire (cut it at 34 feet and trim) around a 20 foot Shakespeare Carbon Fiber Wonderpole which I got from Amazon. Cut the same length of wire for the counterpoise. Like any other homebrew antenna contraption, the fun is to see how many contacts you can log and the distance your signal has traveled.

Wrapping 33+ feet of wire around a 20 foot pole takes a few minutes but you end up with a light weight antenna that can be leaned against a tree or lashed to a fence for quick setup.

To bring the feed point impedance to around 50 ohms, I used an LDG 4:1 BALUN that had lying around from the time I setup delta loops. I think I bought from either DX Engineering or Amazon.

The BALUN got the impedance down to around 50 ohms on 40 meters but you will still need a tuner with this setup if you want to tune other bands. Like any compromise antenna, don’t expect miracles, just have fun.

I am not taking any credit for this antenna since I got the idea from this video by VE3BF some time ago.

73 de KE2YK

How to Update the Xiegu G90 Firmware and Comments

Xiegu G90 SDR Transceiver

Reviews seem to suggest that the Xiegu G90 is a fairly good Chinese HF transceiver. The G90 received an impressive 4.6 out of 5 rating from 33 reviews posted at

With an SDR structure, internal antenna tuner, flexible transceiver settings, highly configurable bandwidth filters and 20 watts of power, the Xiegu G90 is attractive at its price point.

My thinking is that the G90 might be suitable for my Parks on the Air operations, Field Day and other events. My primary concern would be the 15 second FT8 duty cycle and how the finals would hold up. I’d like to hear from you if you have used the G90 with FT8.

The Xiegu GSOC Controller / Panadapter

Just for the sake of mentioning it here, the new Xiegu GSOC external controller / panadapter is, in IMHO out of the question. I am not sure if the GSOC has been released in the U.S. yet but the suggested $500 list price sure scared me off. Here’s a link to a YouTube video with a quick view of the GSOC display.

Coupling the GSOC with the G90 would lead me right back to ordering a second ICOM IC-7300 for my portable operations. When comes to the GSOC, judge it for yourself.

Updating the G90 firmware is not exactly straightforward. The firmware has to be updated separately in the display head and main body. The firmware can be downloaded from various places.

I found the firmware, terminal program (yes… a terminal program) and necessary drivers on site in zip format. Some of the sites have downloads in the .rar format which requires 7Zip software on Windows. As of this post, the latest G90 firmware version is 1.74.

Here’s a video of the procedure to follow from YouTube. The video covers firmware version 1.73 but the procedure is exactly the same.

73 de KE2YK

Hurricane Watch Net Is Activated

The Hurricane Watch Net

9/15 Update on Paulette:

Paulette has decided to do us folks in the Northeast a huge favor. Paulette is moving Northeast at 20 mph. Thanks for taking that sharp right turn into the Atlantic Paulette!

On 9/13, as Hurricane Paulette bore down on Bermuda the Hurricane Watch Net was activated on 9/13 on HF frequencies 14.225 and 7.268. Paulette was expected to make landfall on Bermuda on Monday 9/14.

As of Sunday 9/13, Paulette was at Category 2 strength was moving northwest at 14 miles per hour. Click here for latest the National Weather Service Map of Atlantic disturbances.

View a live image of Paulette in the Atlantic here.

Hurricane Paulette Over Bermuda

As of this post, Bermuda is within the eye of Paulette as a Category 1.

Read the full ARRL report here.

73 de KE2YK