The folks are Coffee and Ham Radio did it again! This time with their Ares End Fed random wire (non-resonant) antenna. What’s a random wire antenna and why would you want one? Let’s talk about that as we put this antenna together.
Coffee and Ham Radio (CaHR) Ares Random Wire End Fed antenna:
CaHR Ares Build Instructions: https://github.com/TemporarilyOffline/cahrtenna/blob/main/Ares%20Build%20Instructions.pdf
Ares is the Greek god of war. Also of courage. That’s a mighty high aspiration to name an antenna after. But it seems fitting for an antenna, that when used properly, can be uncompromising and savage on the bands. The Ares is a random wire, or non resonant end fed antenna. It uses a 9:1 transformer at the feed point to match the impedance of the wire to the transmitter.
Coffee and Ham Radios sent me this antenna in exchange for a build and review video. There’s no outside influence and my comments are my own.
But why a non resonant antenna? Don’t antennas need to be resonant to operate. That’s the cool thing about this style of antennas. If a radiator is not resonant on any of the bands it is intended for, it will have an impedance at the end of the wire of about 450-600 ohms. You can use an external tuner or matching device to resonate it on those bands. Back in the days of tube radios and open wire feed lines, it was easy to match the 450 ohm impedance of the random wire to your transmitter. Today, using 50 ohm coax, we use the 9:1 transformer and a tuner to accomplish the same task. It’s a really weird quirk that makes this style of antennas useful on a broad range of frequencies.
This is a pretty simplified explanation, I’ve got a video that goes into greater detail, I encourage you to check it out, the link is in the description below.
With that said, I have quite a bit of experience with and really love random wire or non resonant antennas, so I’m a bit excited to put this one together. Let’s head to the bench, unbox the Ares antenna, assemble it, and give it a test.
Let’s talk about wire length, because that’s the key to an effective non resonant antenna. If you look online, there are countless charts that give you preferred wire lengths based on which bands you wish to cover. These lengths have been mathematically calculated to not be resonant on any of the target frequencies you wish to use. But two lengths that are preferred are 41 and 71 feet.
With 71 feet of wire, and a tuner I can pretty much operate on any band between 10 and 80 meters. If my radiator is a shorter 41 feet long, then I have 40 through 10 meter support. There are other lengths that work. But these two lengths, 71 or 41 feet have the best mathematical combination for length vs band coverage.
The Ares now comes standard with enough wire for a 71 foot radiator along with a 28 foot counterpoise, approximately 100 feet of wire. Older models only came with 60 feet of wire. So the upgrade in wire length allows the freedom to choose between building an 80 meter or 40 meter antenna. I want 80 meter support, so I’m building mine with 71 feet of wire, but if you want an antenna with a smaller footprint, and 80 meters isn’t a big deal for you, cut your radiator at 41 feet for 40 through 10 meter coverage
Random Wire Antenna Lengths: https://udel.edu/~mm/ham/randomWire/
Optimal lengths of random wire antennas: https://sprott.physics.wisc.edu/technote/randwire.htm
Tiger Sauce: https://amzn.to/46UIH9G
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Minnesota Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup
1 cup wild rice
4 slices bacon
1 large yellow onion diced
2 large celery stalks diced
2 large carrots diced
1 pound mushrooms sliced
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp oregano
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
2 tsp rosemary
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp vinegar
salt and pepper
In a separate pot add wild rice and 1 tsp salt to 2 cups boiling water. Cook for about 45 minutes or until done (authentic wild rice may take less time, read package directions).
Cut bacon into 1/4 slices and cook in large pot until fat is rendered. Remove to paper towel. Add vegetables to bacon fat and saute until onions are translucent 3-5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook for additional 15-20 minutes until they develop a deep brown color.
Add butter, when melted add flour and oregano and stir until thickened. Add wine to deglaze pot. Add chicken stock, bay leaf, and rosemary. Cook for 20 minutes.
Add wild rice, heavy cream and simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Add vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with crackers.
00:00 CaHR Ares Random Wire Antenna
02:06 Unboxing the CaHR Ares Antenna
05:45 Assembling the random wire antenna
07:22 Non resonant Antenna wire lengths
08: 22 Deploying the antenna at Blue Mound State Park
10:09 17 meter contacts
12:15 15 meter contacts
14:08 40 meter contacts
14:47 20 meter contacts
17:10 Wild Rice and mushroom soup
18:10 How did it work?
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