So, is the VP2E Antenna Directional Enough?

Another fine day in February in Southern Ontario saw me out on a beach on the southern shore of Georgian Bay testing my unbalanced version of the VP2E antenna. In the previous post I shared my observation, from EZNEC modeling and a trial POTA activation, that moving the support mast towards the feedpoint end of the wire improved the VP2E’s directionality. This test, with the feedpoint directly at the top of the support mast, was intended to verify that.

View over Georgian Bay stretching nearly 200km (120 miles) to the north

Mud, mud, glorious mud – and snow

The day was warm (well above freezing anyway) but there was a mix of snow and mud on the ground at Christie Beach Conservation Area (VE-6004). Undeterred I donned my insulated snowboots and set up the antenna adjacent to a small shelter in the park. I was able to push an aluminum ski pole a few inches into the ground to support the antenna mast. The pole had a distinct lean and probably wouldn’t have stayed up much longer than it took to do the activation.

The antenna mast was the sturdy bottom 4 sections of what was originally an MFJ 33ft telescoping fiberglass mast. I built a cap for the top that also supported the SO-239 from which the coax hung down toward my station on a bench in the shelter. The short end of the antenna faced west and the long end faced east. If my previous results with the VP2E were to be vindicated I could expect most of my QSOs would come from the west.

Pounding the Red Button

It was a Sunday afternoon on the weekend of a major DX contest and POTA hunters didn’t seem to be around in the usual great numbers. I chose a frequency of 14113 KHz, well above where most CW contesters usually linger. The red button on my home made clone of a Yaesu FH-2 remote keypad is programmed with my CW POTA CQ message. I hit that red button at least six times before getting a response from the first hunter. Maybe propagation conditions weren’t too good I thought.

A few more unanswered CQs convinced me to abandon QRP for the afternoon and I cranked the power up to 25 watts. Either the added power, or just sheer serendipity resulted in a steady stream of hunters which lasted until 20 QSOs were in the log. Then dead air again so I called QRT and packed up my station.

Has the Jury Reached a Verdict?

Frankly, no. As can be seen from the QSO map, the results were inconclusive. Most of the QSOs should have come from the west, but in fact they were fairly evenly distributed west to east. I even had a DX contact in Italy off the “back end” of the antenna.

Further tests will be conducted over the coming weeks and months as I put this remarkable antenna through its paces. Even if it does turn out to be not quite as directional as I had hoped, I remain thoroughly impressed with its ease of erection, low stealthy profile and rock, solid reliable low SWR – without a tuner.

2 thoughts on “So, is the VP2E Antenna Directional Enough?

  1. Hi John,
    Glad to hear of your efforts with your modified VP2E however I need to make two comments:
    1. with the VP2E angles are critical for it to work correctly (so you may need to try lowering and raising the support mast to get the best performance).
    2. Unless I’m missing something, with the modified design, this antenna now looks to me like an off-centre-fed 40m dipole. (which can also resonate on 20m). This would probably give you an omnidirectional radiation pattern with a better signal north and south.
    I have been out with my 20m VP2E yesterday and am writing up my blog post at the moment. I’ll drop a link here when I finish it.
    73 Ed.


    1. Well I guess even the original design could be seen as an off-centre-fed 40m dipole but when I model it with EZNEC the propagation is NVIS. I have tried making lots of different modifications to the design in EZNEC but nothing seems to improve either the SWR or propagation pattern. I look forward to reading your post Ed; maybe I am the one who is missing something.


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