You may recall that I'm trying to build a compact whole-band antenna for 80 meters, and the simulations I've done show some odd results that I'd like to resolve. To that end I've built a scale model that should work for both 10m and 12m. Unfortunately, the scale model doesn't work and it doesn't work in interesting ways. In particular, it looks like the antenna wire wasn't cut to the right length. I've been wondering what mistake I could have made that would give me the results, but I hadn't been able to come up with anything.
A while back, I complained that I had misplaced my second copy of the Jerry Sevick's The Short Vertical Antenna and Ground Radial What I was trying to do was simulate one of the antennas that he had put in the book to see if I was getting a handle on NEC2. As an aside, I don't use EzNEC because I usually run Linux at home, not Windows, and EzNEC is pretty seriously a windows-only thing. I suppose I could get it to run under WINE, but I'm not really very interested in paying money for a product that could be rather difficult for me to use.
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.