Thanks to several OMARC members including Frank, AB2ZO; Rich, AC2Mt; Dave, K2JLV; CJ, KD2IIN and a wonderful teacher and coach Norm, NZ5L who has been a Ham for over 57 years...I now am on the air with an End Fed 80 meter to 10 meter antenna from MyAntennas.com, the EFWH 80-10.
Dave and CJ checked out the QST review of the antenna and Frank came to my home and eyeballed the available trees for hoist this 133 foot antenna. Conversations on the OMARC repeater with Dave and others led me to several very practical and important decisions about how to hoist the antenna and what specific pieces and parts I needed.
Rich was the VE who scored my General Class license exam and encouraged me to pursue HF. He also loaned me a lightning surge protector and advised me on the 'best practices' for grounding my first outdoor antenna.
(I will admit being a little terrified about the lightning threat thing.)
Frank also helped me to understand how an antenna analyzer works and checked out my first antenna, an MFJ 17754 40 meter-20 meter, which I put up over the winter (December 2017) after earning my General Class privileges. Frank will be coming by soon again to help me make sure everything is properly weatherized.
Norm, whom I happened to meet when I checked in last November to the Southern Catskill Net, has been my 'Elmer' from the very beginning. He suggested a number of 'attic antennas' for me to consider including the MFJ 17754 which performed flawlessly with contacts in Europe and throughout the U.S. and Canada.
However I wanted to get on more bands and then Norm came up with the My Antennas EFHW 80-10. Turns out Frank had the exact same antenna and confirmed Norm's recommendation. It was an easy choice for me and probably save me hundreds of hours of research and hundreds of dollars of failed experiments. I still have a great deal to learn...at least I won't be able to blame the antenna.
I invested in an LDG Z-100 autotuner and even though the My Antenna folks say a tuner is not necessary I notice a significant improvement with the tuner. My radio is a Yaesu FT-857D. Yes, a little pricey, however as a septuagenarian, I had to consider that not only was it my first radio...it might also be my last. It performs flawlessly and makes scanning the HF channels extremely easy and fun.
So, as of several days on the air I can report contacts in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Spain, Hungary, California, Hawaii, several states and Ontario, Canada. I am elated and appreciative of all the help I received from fellow Hams.