An antenna is an energy conversion device. It converts electrical current to and from electromagnetic radiation. I've been thinking about how antennas work for a while now, and I've been meaning to write down some of those thoughts. This has been driven, in large part, about questions that I had about why you could use a center fed dipole on the fundamental frequency or the third harmonic, but not the second harmonic.
I have two copies of this book, and I can't find either one of them. Dangit!
After months of wondering if anyone was using 80m at all, and finally shifting the frequency of my Ft. Tuthill 80, I have at long last heard strong signals aplenty. I must have copied at least two dozen calls around 3.530 MHz all frantic to work somebody. Unfortunately, I don't know if I could hear that other station or not. I certainly didn't copy any call that I would think would be rare.
I conclude from this that my antenna needs improvement. Since I already knew that and am planning to do something about it, that's a convenient conclusion.
I finally figured out that tuning the Ft. Tuthill from 3560-3600 (or thereabouts) put me higher in frequency than most of the people who are operating 80 meters these days. Since I'd lost the additional components that came with the kit, it took me a while, but I bought some 33pF capacitors at Fry's (and the guy there in the aisle who was looking at resistors told me about Tayda Electronics which is an amazingly cheap place to buy electronic components.
Or has 80m and, to an extent, 40m just sucked lately.