I measured my output on the 980 and AM was only 1.5 watts. I recalled that I had turned the power down for my KL-203 when I had it running last. So I dug deeper into my box of stuff and found the 203. Put it in line and measured the output. Much better than 1.5 now.When the skip is rolling you can make contacts with 12 watts. If say channel 38 LSB is too busy drop down to 36 or 37 and give it a shot. At some point if you want more power for less money check out a KL-203 amplifier. They match up great with a Uniden 980 and don't draw too many amps.
Big Stick was my first commercial antenna. I built a DIY half wave dipole and used it a year before getting the big stick. So when I found this avaliable I grabbed onto it. I do think you are right about the corrosion and will check it when weather improves.I was thinking more like bad or corroded connectors. But where the Big Stick screws together could have corrosion also. The Big Stick antenna was my very first antenna and if I could afford it back then it probably wasn't rated that high but it did shimmy up thru the limbs to reach above the top of that Old Maple Tree.
Thanks for the information. I will be doing just as you say when the weather improves a bit. Interpreted, when it gets warmer once again. It is dropping into the 20s here. Grabbing onto the metal mast isn't my idea of fun at those temperatures.I have a 27 year old Marine Big Stick, the 176-1. I also have a 40 year old Radio Shack Crossbow 1/2 wave base station antenna, which is a Shakespeare Big Stick with the fiberglass dyed in sky blue.
I have had SWR issues with both of them over the years. Each time those were resolved when I sprayed a little electrical contact cleaner on a Q-tip and cleaned off the connectors well. I do the same for the sections that screw together. The humid, high salt content South Florida environment requires this kind of maintenance at least once every other year, but it does the trick. Both antennas are stored in the garage right now. One is about to get back into service as I take down my IMAX and do the same maintenance on it.
These are not the best talking antennas. However, with a little maintenance, they can give you years of reliable service.
Is the PVC scorched? You must be putting the hammer down!Another antenna project for some HF antennas hiding in my tree. Being in a HOA and being interested in doing radio I have gotten quite creative. This group of antennas has gotten me some great DX around the globe. They are quarter wave verticals being fed from a single coax. Think of it as a fan vertical rather than fan dipole. They work just fine together.View attachment 61539