Last night, 4W6A showed up on 80m. Piece of cake I thought. Switch to the 80m antenna – to find a high SWR. I eventually work them anyway, with a struggle (4W is a chip shot from here).
This morning, I go to troubleshoot the problem. I figure the same thing happened as always – the vertical wire contacted a wet branch, and arced. I pull the antenna down, but after an hour, I can find nothing wrong.
I keep looking for 20 more minutes, checking continuity with my meter, ETC – it must be a broken wire hidden in the insulation – could it?
Before I renew the whole section of wire, I look at the feed point.
You can clearly see that the 80m side of the ladder line broke.
I learned early on that I need to maintain heat control when soldering the copper clad steel. Too much heat, you burn away the copper, leaving steel that will rust and break. The feedpoint connection was made because I realized this.
5 minute fix, and I’m back on 80m with a working antenna.