Category Archives: Portable Operating

W4KGH end fed matchbox antenna overcomes poor site conditions

IMG_0856There’s no substitute for a real-life experience when it comes to a product testimonial, especially with ham radio antenna reviews. My multiband end fed antenna, a matchbox antenna based on the EARCHI (sometimes called EARC) antenna plans, is a great performer. I regularly hear from customers about how well it is working for them. If you are at all skeptical over what you are about to read, let me tell you up front that I do not offer anything in exchange for my customers’ feedback: The testimonials and reviews I receive are unsolicited. They are also published only with my customers’ permission which allows me to reveal their full names and call signs.

A recent customer asked me to expedite shipment so he could receive the antenna prior to heading out on a camping trip. I did so, and he received it on time (I do pride myself on providing the best customer service in our hobby). Here is his report on using the product during his expedition:


Just a quick note regarding the end fed antenna I ordered recently and took on my camping trip.

My location on the St. Lawrence River was in a shallow depression with solid granite rock rising about 12 to 100 feet all around me – NOT a great location to say the least.  Using just a small stone, I was able to get the end of the end fed wire up about 15 ft onto a tree branch, most of the antenna was only about 8 feet off the ground – lol!

The antenna loads up beautifully using my Yaesu FT-897 and associated LDG-100 tuner.  Flat VSWR!

I was able to run the radio at 100 watts and even though I was sandwiched in between solid granite rock and had power line noise that was pretty steady around S7, I did manage to work Spain, Denmark, Czech Republic as well as stateside stations!  I was happy!  I was able to keep my ham urges satisfied which was the goal.  My next camping trip is coming up in a couple weeks, the only thing I have to work on is getting an extension pole of some sort maybe that will reach 15 to 20 feet in order to get the antenna up a bit further.  BUT, the antenna does as I wanted it to, so I’m a “happy camper”!  It’ll be going with me to Florida also for my 2 month jaunt down there in late winter.

73 and thanks too again for the nice pen!

Gary Sroka
Utica, NY

This is the kind of testimonial that keeps this ham interested in making top quality products. And while you can find similar products out there by various other companies, you won’t find anyone with the passion and dedication to stellar customer service that I have.

Buy from me!

73, de Ken W4KGH

Memory Lane: My first rig

It’s sometimes hard to believe that I got my Novice license back in 1989–27 years ago. Even more amazing is that I made my first contacts on a station I built myself from Heathkit: the HW-9 transceiver, HFT-9 antenna tuner nd the PSA-9 power supply. Unfortunately, I am unable to locate a photo of my actual station, but here is one I found showing what I had:

HW9 station

I loved that rig and I often kick myself for having sold it to buy other VHF equipment after i got my Technician license. I loved QRP operating and I’m getting back into it. These days, I keep my eyes open at every hamfest and swap meet for a replacement for that great little rig.

73, de Ken W4KGH

Beach house portable installation report from Mike, ND4S

Thanks to Mike, ND4S, who recently purchased the W4KGH end fed antenna and took it along on vacation to operate portable. Here’s what he sent me:

I am home from the beach week and have a report of my portable operation using your antenna. I ran 100 watts from a Ten Tec Eagle w/ internal tuner. I could get a match on all low bands except 40 & 80 meters with just the internal tuner. Using the MFJ Tuner Extender I got a good match on 40 & 80 also. I used the antenna as supplied, I guess that is 55 feet, maybe I should have trimmed it to 53 feet. The far end of the antenna was up about 40 feet on a DX Engineering fiberglass telescoping mast. I am sending photos showing the mast, makeshift insulation (water pipe insulation) where the antenna touched the gutter & downspout, unun location & log page. I put a choke at the unun & ran two 32′ counterpoise wires, one opposite direction from the sloping antenna wire and the other running under the antenna wire, both about 8’above ground. My log speaks for itelf, considering the miserable summer band condx. The installation was somewhat of a compromise but then it was a compromise location, the beach cottage was only 34′ wide so the antenna sloped down and turned down the side of the cottage about 10′. I hope this info is useful, or at least interesting!

beach3 beach4 beach5 beach1 beach2


A special testimonial

Many thanks to Art, W6GRT, who had this to say about the matchbox:

Hi Ken,
Great device!  I enjoyed it this afternoon for the first time.  I used my Youkits
HB-1B, Elecraft QRP ATU, followed by 25 feet of RG-8X, your matchbox, and
64 ft of wire sloping up my back hill tied to a plum tree.
First QSO, Simpsonville, South Carolina, followed by Redmond, WA.  I hope you do
very well with this product.  You and Begali keys have the best customer service
in our hobby.  I wish I could say the same for every ham radio product.
God Bless you and 73,
Art, W6GRT, Santa Clarita, CA