After weeks of searching for the "holy grail" of multi-band antennas, it does appear that it really doesn't exist!
In an ideal world, I would love an antenna that performs well with a low SWR on 80m-10m and fits into a reasonably small space but I fully understand that it probably doesn't exist.
My back garden is a fairly spacious 30 metres (100 foot) long and is only a bit wider than the house at about 9 metres (30ft) wide. It does have a saving grace though as at the end of the garden is a covering of 30ft trees just waiting for an antenna to be attached to them!
My first attempt was a simple 40M end fed long wire antenna from Radioworld. That comes with an MFTF weatherproof balun (actually an UnUn) and claims to support 80m to 10m.
I managed to erect a 2m pole attached to the side of my house, and connected everything up. As you will remember, my garden is only 30m long (a slight miscalculation on my part) so I was faced with finding somewhere to run the remaining 10M of wire.
I tried simply folding the wire over to make it effectively 30m long and also letting the remaining wire hang down (attached to fence) but neither of these approaches were massively effective so I suppose that I should really decide whether to cut the antenna in half and make it 20m long or just live with it?
As this was installed prior to me receiving my license, I only ever used it for listening but I did connect it to my Rig Expert AA-30 and received the following SWR readings.
As you can see, the Blue is when I folded over the remaining 10M and the green was with it hanging down which was a definate improvement on most bands but it also seemed to miss the "sweet-spot" more often than not with the lowest SWR readings being some way from the bands that I was looking at.
I know that I could have tuned the antenna to improve the SWR but as it was very much a 'stop-gap' it didn't bother me too much.
Stay tuned for more antenna adventures.