|mag antenna for top of car on the right, using baking sheet for ground plane, new ground plane antenna on the right, using just 12 gaugue wire and an SO-239 connector|
Just for grins, I decided to go further with the attenna experiments. I made another grond plane, using #12 AWG insulated wire, crimp-on ring connectors, and an SO-239 connector. Using the same dimensions as the one in this post but following +Martin Lorton more closely (e.g., no copper plate), I soldered the vertical and screwed the radials (via the ring connectors) to the SO-239.
I still get spotty reception, not much better (and sometimes worse) than the 15" antenna screwed on to the radio. I borrowed an SWR/Power meter. I need one more connector to test the mag, but I get beter than 1:1.2 SWR on the groundplanes. The power meter shows I'm getting 1W and 5W on the low and medium settings, and 7+ on the high setting.
I also made contact yesterday using the mag antenna on the car through a repeater ~15 mi away from where I was. That's the first time I had success with that antenna. I was getting what may have been reverse feed, so I'd like to check the SWR. I'll do that once I get the connector (need 2 days for Amazon Prime).
I may just have to live with the fact that my house is in a bad place, but I'd like to see if an alternate antenna will improve things. I may have to go to a J-Pole, mounted up high.