I am a member of a group on Facebook that shares and discusses antenna designs, usually of a portable nature. Recently the topic of the WonderWand WonderLoop antenna came up, particularly how expensive it is relative to its apparent complexity. A number of members had posted pictures of a torn-down control box, and it really seemed to contain little more than a transformer wound on a mix-6 toroid and a variable capacitor.
Now that the weather is improving, I decided to dust off the /P kit and ensure that all was working will in anticipation of getting some outdoor operation. I had bought a lightweight dual-band beam for this purpose so decided to put it on a pole and see how it performed.
The FT817 from Yaesu is still the most featured portable radio available. The Elecraft KX3 might have better HF performance, but for sheer spectrum coverage, it doesn't come close... unless you spend a few hundred more Euros for the 2W output 2m or 4m transverter. You will definitely have a world class radio, but it still won't do UHF, and would cost something between twice and three times what an FT817 would.
Yesterday, 17th March (St. Patrick's Day) was also the date of the first castle activation for CASHOTA-Ireland. We chose this day for a number of reasons... it was likely that there would be many stations eager to talk to an Irish station, and it was the first day I would have available.
The castle to be activated was Oranmore Castle, resident of World War II Submarine Commander and twice circumnavigator of the world, Commander Bill King. This Castle was designated EI/001/C for the CASHOTA Award.