I love HF and my QTH is not that good for harbouring a lot of antennas so I can work each band. I do have a trap HF vertical but it is a pain in the … Corrosion makes this antenna untunable to resonate.The ideal antenna would be a vertical like the SteppIR BigIR that tunes from 40m to 6m. But with a limited budget that solution is not within reach. So I am thinking about replicating a BigIR vertical, not mechanically but the electrical properties.
Garden hose antenna
Some time ago I did an experiment with a liquid vertical for 10m. I used a length of garden hose and filled it with salt water, a relative good liquid conductor. The liquid antenna was resonant and the DX results were surprisingly good. That gave me an idea to use a conductive liquid as the radiating element.
Calcium chloride seems to have good conductive properties against very low cost. If I put the liquid in a 10m length of hose or PVC tube and use some elevated radials, I would have a quarter wave groundplane antenna. The key lies in making the fluid level variable, so I want to use a small DC pump and some valves.
A viable project?
The idea is only in my mind now, so in the next weeks I am going to make an inventory on the necessary materials. After that I can decide if the project is viable. Stay tuned!