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Hamstick Dipoles

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by kb9zcv, Apr 10, 2002.

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  1. kb9zcv

    kb9zcv QRZ Member QRZ Page

    I have recently been volunteering for antenna work in our local area trying to learn more about our hobby.

    I helped put up an antenna that I had never seen before.  We put up an antenna that was made of 2 mobile  antennas, 2-20 meter hamsticks, used as a dipole for 20 meters.

    I am new at ham radio and joined the local club. A fellow ham showed me how you can take 2- 20 meter hamsticks and convert them to a horizontal 20 meter dipole.

    I was quite impressed! We are going to put up a 40 meter dipole too.  I got the job of climbing the tower, of course, I am the "young-new guy".

    It was 36 degrees outside that day with a wind of about 20 miles per hour. (that is another story)  I actually learned quite a bit!  You can make low frequency dipoles from mobile antennas!

    This has become the "ultimate" antenna in our area now. This antenna has all the same results of the "big" antennas but takes up a lot less space.

    Can we get them in 160 meters?  I hope we can wait for warmer weather to find out!!

    KB9ZCV, Jeff

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Yes Jeff, 160 meters is possible.  When I was a newbie a bunch of old timers show me a can of eXtended Range Antenna Wax that they just raved about.  I got so excited I put it on my home TV antenna.  When I reported to them that "nothing happened" they told me that "it's only forumlated for ham frequencies".  Ah Ha!, I thought, this is going to be a lifelong learning experience.

    Welcome to the hobby!

    -fred  AA7BQ
    [/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
  2. KG4FJK

    KG4FJK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have to agree - those ham stick dipoles are the tops! I was running a vhf station at my club's hamfest w/ my 706 MKIIG. I took (and passed) the general and code tests, went to a vendor, bought the kit (about $50) and 15 minutes later was making psk contacts in Europe! I'll be getting a tower one of these days but for now I'm convinced.

  3. flyslow

    flyslow QRZ Member QRZ Page

    Sounds interesting. Is there a site that gives plans and layout for building these sort of antennas? Are they for towwers only or can they be hidden in an apartment?


    KG4RNB Mike
  4. N8YV

    N8YV Ham Member QRZ Page

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (ke5wj @ April 10 2002,18:22)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">As far as efficiency, shortened antennas are never as efficient as a full-sized one. The radiation resistance drops as you shorten the antenna and it also loses resonance. The resonance can be handled by loading it with a coil, tuner, or other impedance matching system, but there's not much to be done about the radiation resistance - which represents what actually gets radiated. When an antenna gets very short, the resistance in the wires, coils, etc. gets higher in relation to the radiation resistance, so the antenna efficiency drops.

    However, again, it's all relative. If you don't have room for a full sized antenna, at least the shortened version will get you on the air.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    I agree with the quoted portions of this post.  I also disagree with other points made in the rest of it.  Bottom line is this---if you have the room, make it count and use a well-designed, full size antenna. Otherwise, use what you can get away with.

    As far as the side note about six meters, I congratulate its author on his VUCC.  However, six meters is much more affected by one's location than many HF bands. I too, earned VUCC on 50 MHz, but I guarantee I could NOT have done so with the author's arrangement in the attic---so a Yagi was installed last year, which helped solve my problem of bad geographic location.  Without that Yagi, I could not have earned VUCC.
  5. W5ATX

    W5ATX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Bottom line: A compromise in size is a compromise in performance. A rubber duck will work just fine on your 2 meter walkie talkie, but move away from the repeater and it won't work as well as a 19" whip. Fact, not fiction. If the repeater is a mile away, you'll never notice. But that doesn't mean the duck is working as well as a whip would work.

    No sir, that hamstick dipole is NOT as good as a full size dipole. But if that's the only game in town, it beats not playing.

    Good luck,

  6. KC9AIC

    KC9AIC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have heard of hamstick Yagis. That would give you some gain, so you may be able to out-perform a dipole (of course,you would need a rotator, though). I don't know how they work, but I guess you proably change the size of the whip or otherwise make the reflectors longer and directors smaller. Hamsticks are 7 feet long, so the elements would be about 14 feet across. It may be better just to get a tribander.
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I use a variant of the HamStick dipole for 10M. My 10M rigid-rotatable dipole is made from 2 normal fiberglass CB whips, pruned to 10M, and works well with no more than 1.5 SWR across the 10M band. It is up at about 32 feet. Also, with the tuner, it will work 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20M. I also have experiment (at a JOTA event) with one made out of 1/4" diameter 304 stainless, with equal results. [​IMG]
  8. KA2VEY

    KA2VEY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I just recently tried this for 40 m, and it worked ok. I had the two elements up about 15 feet (one possible reason for poor matching) and the two elements are not identical. One is a Ham-Stick from about 10 years ago, and the other is an MFJ variant about a year old. The are of slightly different physical dimensions (coil size, whip length are a few inches different.) As far as the Yagi goes, shorter antennas have lower radiaton resistance, and using parasitic elements may likely compound this problem. My antenna support was a PVC mast that requires no guying and holds two pair of these dipoles, although to date I have only put one up in the air at a time. Since I live in a basement appartment, I wanted something that could be put up/taken down by one person in 5 minutes, in the dark, and this works fairly well.

  9. KC2JCA

    KC2JCA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Murphy's law has taken effect. Up until I read the original message yesterday, at least once a day I would come across the website that sold the required adapter to construct this Ham Stick Dipole.

    Of course, now that this info would be good to have, I can't find it.

    But I'm still looking.

    It's really quite easy to construct, two fiberglass whip bumpermount adapters put back to back...offset so PL-259s can be attached. But I wish I could find the website...

    73, Jim - kc2jca
  10. WA3WDK

    WA3WDK Ham Member QRZ Page

    For those interested, here is an article on the subject of the Hamstick Dipole.  Included in the article are several references, including one to what I believe must be the web site that Jim was looking for.

  11. N5PHT

    N5PHT Ham Member QRZ Page

    QUESTION PLEASE: I have one of these adapters that allow the two hamsticks to be used. What about then using them as a 'sloper dipole?' I have used 1/2 wave wire dipoles as slopers very effectively. Would this work for the two hamsticks? Any ideas appreciated.

    Please send to my email any responses. email is:

    I thank you in advance. If this would create a little gain (like a full wave sloper does) that would be excellent for 40 meters.

    73 de N5PHt, Gary
  12. KC2JCA

    KC2JCA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not what I was thinking of on, but if I can upload this graphic successfully, it will give you the idea of what I had seen several times somewhere else.

    73, Jim - kc2jca
  13. NQ4S

    NQ4S Ham Member QRZ Page

    I can't say enough good things about the Hamstick dipole.  Due to local restrictions I have to keep all my antennas indoor.  With a small townhouse, and an even smaller actic space, this doesn't leave a lot of room to work.

    My first (and still primary) antenna is a 58-foot wire loop run into a SGC SG-239 autotuner.  This work across all the HF bands from 80m to 10m.  80m and 40m tend to be rather marginal, but it works pretty well on 20m on up through 10m.

    To try and get a little extra boost, I put a Hamstick dipole in for 20m.  At 14' from end to end, it barely fit in the attic.  Still, on 20m, it gets about one S unit better signal than the loop does.  This has made a real difference several times.

    Of note, with either antenna, I've worked all over Europe and as far as Australia from Virginia using only 100 Watts. Even indoors, there is some serious DX to be had.

    If you are space limited, I highly recommend the solution.  HRO had the bracket with dual lugs for holding the two Hamsticks in place.  All that had to be custom built was a harness for the coax (two ring adapters).

    73 de NQ4S
  14. AC7RO

    AC7RO Ham Member QRZ Page

    HRO carries the mtg bracket that alows two of these HAMSTICKS to be mounted as a dipole.
    I wouldn't recommend this technique for a home QTH solution but for traveling, it will work.
    Just remember that a shortened antenna will have a very narrow bandwidth.
  15. AD4C

    AD4C Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes Jeff like the other guy wrotte,you can use them anywhere you like,but remember the wavelenght of short antennas for low bands(160,80,40) is not enough to have decent gain,,so when you put them up,they work certainly but they are low profile antennas,also,the lower the freq you are,the narrower bandwith you will have and then you MUST use a tuner,having them less gain when you are off the resonant point,I have used that combination of hamsticks in dipole configuration for some years now,and the do work fantastically well on higher frecuencies over 20M,but poorly below 40M,the one I had for 80 it just had 20Khz bandwith and the results were too poor in terms of signal radiated at 45 feet over the ground,always remember that the shorter the antenna is in terms of wavelenght the less efficiency it will has,right now I do have for 15 and 10M hamsticks dipoles as antennas and I am pleased with them,but for 80,40 and 20M I use the famous double bazookas.
    Have succes,73 and good DX's
    Hector AD4C
  16. KC8PPD

    KC8PPD Ham Member QRZ Page

    How interesting. I've been thinking about this and I'm glad to hear your experiences with it. My 40m ant. is a single hamstick with a counterpoise wire on my 17th floor and it is a terrible perfomer. I'm considering to use it in this configuration.

    This subject is probably not so foreign. My 1990 ARRL Amateur Radio Handbook explains this in the Antenna Chapter under a paragraph that describes "Helically Wound Shortened Dipole". Maybe this can give you additional info on the subject.

    I only wonder if one would need a balun transformer since it is a dipole.

    Have fun!
    Ketut, KC8PPD
  17. N2EA

    N2EA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hamsticks actually work quite well as short dipoles.
    They're not overly efficient....but very convenient.

    Radio Works has blocks which allow you to screw
    two of these together. I think there are also
    brackets which can clamp on an apartment balcony

    You have to be reasonable in your expectations, though.
    On 20, it's a 33' piece of wire, compressed down to...
    what..10'? On 160, it'd be a 256' piece of wire
    compressed to something like 14'. The former will
    work with reasonable efficiency. The latter will not.

  18. K9IDX

    K9IDX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Honestly, I've just put together what I honestly think is the best you can do from an apartment with a balcony.
    A combination of the Hamstick dipole, an Alumiglass retractable pole from Home Depot and a coax wound in 6 loops at the feedpoint (balun), this thing rocks!
    With the help of the Alumiglass pole, I can jack the dipole up over the roof of the apartment and then ease it down and hide it under the eaves when I'm done.
    If anyone wants pictures, drop me a line.
    Regards - Jim K9IDX
  19. K0XU

    K0XU Ham Member QRZ Page

    The adapter is sold by the Lakeview company for their ham stick line:

    Jim, K0XU
  20. W8OKN

    W8OKN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Much has been said on this thread.  

    Food for thought...  I once read an article about 20 years ago that said this,  "The more wire in the sky, the better."  That's true to a point.  I am sure that the smaller whips work.  I've used them.  I also know that my dipole works better.  It's simple math.  

    This is a great thread, though.  These discussions are fantastic for learning about this great hobby.
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