For WPX CW I had planned to install a 15 meter mono beam or use the 3 band Spiderbeam as my SO2R antenna for high bands, but a tight schedule before and after the contest made me trash those plans. Instead I tried Vertical Dipole Arrray (VDA) of the type we plan to use for the CY9M St Paul Island expedition in July.
The VDA is basically a vertical 2-element beam attached to a single 12 meter Spiderbeam glass fiber pole. At the center the elements are spaced 3.4 meters but in each end the spacing is less than one meter. Bending the element this way makes it possible to use only one pole for the antenna.
The antenna was constructed in very short time using 1 mm CU wire for the dipole and reflector and almost a full roll of electrical tape and some cable ties to hold the antenna together.
The result? The VDA worked much better than expected and I was able to enjoy a few nice runs with it. When comparing with the SteppIR it actually produce similar signals but the Bi-Dir setting made the steppIR was fueling higher rates with DX in the front lobe and EU in the back.
To summarize this is a great antenna which can be built very light and portable without spending so much money. It works very well considering its simplicity and it is perfect for a DX expedition which have been proved by VP6DX and most recently by VP6T.
As with all verticals, they will perform best on the beach and the VDA is no exception. During my test the antenna was placed right above the waterline.
Thanks to contest team mate Vincent F4BKV who used this antenna for VP6T and his Pacific tours following the Pitcairn experience.