A contest is always a good way to check your antennas, your radio and other equipment because you are making a lot of contacts in a short period of time.
This time I again tested all I could test and was again surprised by the effectiveness of my simple antennas!
My “main” antennas are 2 home made wire antennas. I made a fan dipole for 10m and 20m and an inverted V dipole for 15m. They are both hanging inside the house in the attic.
They are the least impressive antennas I have ever seen, made with some copper speaker wire, bought in a home depot store for about 10 dollars(!)
It took me an afternoon to get them tuned and ready to use and I have had a lot of pleasure from them! I worked stations all over the world with them from Argentina to Australia and from Greenland to Siberia, mostly with only 100 watt on SSB.
I also managed to get the DXCC award with it. This is an award that you get when you worked 100 operators in 100 different countries. They need to confirm the contact to be able to count for the award. This is always the most difficult part; getting the contacts confirmed.
During the PACC contest I was several times complimented with my strong signal. I also had several situations where other Dutch stations were trying to reach a far away station and weren’t able to contact them. I managed to easily get through to these stations and work them.
This for me is the nicest part of the hobby; if and when you’re able to do a lot with limited antennas and power! Anybody can talk to the world with a 20 meter high Yagi antenna and 1 kilowatt of power. It takes more effort and skill to work the world with some speaker wire as an antenna and (relatively) low power!
For most HAM operators the importance of antennas in radio communication is clear and wire antennas have been used for ham radio sucessfully from the beginning.
You can have a lot of power but if your antenna is bad you will have trouble reaching the end of the street. But on the other hand, if you have low power and a great antenna you can work the world!
So for me the statement is true; it’s all about antennas!