Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by WA6MHZ, Jan 4, 2012.

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  1. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I bought a Hamstick CLONE (think it was by JETSTREAM) at the TRW Swapmeet for 75 Meters. Leif KT7DAD and Sue AF6LJ are on there frequently, and I was unsuccessful at getting my 40M hamstick to load up on 75. Cost me a sizable $17. Had I not spent the money on it, I coulda come home with that Yaesu FT-980, but oh well...

    The Hamstick was put on the mount and to my great disdain, it was not resonant at ANY frequency. Did I get RIPPED OFF???

    Today, on the way to work, I tried it again and noticed that depending on the speed I went, the noise would shift on and off. At work, I turned up the volume loud and flexed different points on the Hamstick to find where there was a problem. Finally, I found a point, right at the base, where the noise level would change depending on pressure. I took the antenna into the plant.

    The antenna has a thick heatshrink tubing over the affair, and I cut away a small area over where the wire from the coil went into brass housing that connects to where the mount is. Sure enough, there was a cold solder joint on the wire and brass housing.

    The wire was scraped down to bare copper and fluxed. Now I could try and resolder it.
    The problem is that the brass housing is such a big heatsink it was very difficult, even with a high wattage soldering gun, to get it hot enough to take the solder. But finally enough solder melted around the junction to make a good solder joint. They must use a TORCH at the factory to solder these, or they should. Maybe one of those little BUTANE Torches would work.

    Now the antenna was solid and flexing it did not change the noise. Putting it on the MFJ antenna analyzer showed it resonant at 3650, a long ways from where I wanted it, so I used my Dremel cuttoff disk to chop a couple inches off the metal whip shaft.
    The remaining would now go down into the tube and I was able to adjust it for precisely 3843, the freq Leif and Sue hang out on. Using my LDG Auto tuner for the ICOM 706, I could now tune the range of 3750-4000, the Phone band. I don't do mobile CW.

    Maybe this is what is wrong with my 40M intermittent Hamstick. And perhaps many of U out there are tearing your hair out cuz the antennas work great when stopped but flaky when driving. That solder joint is critical and almost impossible to heat up enough.

    Now I need to find a 12 meter Hamstick. So far no luck. MFJ is supposed to make them but none at HRO.
  2. KB2CRK

    KB2CRK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think the title should read hamstick clone misery. The only time i had an issue with a hamstick it was 8 years old and going on its 4th mount. while turning it in by hand the glass twisted in the base and broke the wire. alot of heat to unsolder and then the old weller gun to solder it back did the trick. I have found that the lakeveiw hamsticks, even the newest ones i have , to be very good antennas. I use one of their 10m ground planes on the house for the shack with great results. I hear people put them down and have even had operators call me a liar when i said i was mobile with the kenwood ts570 and hamsticks as antennas. Most of the clone are cheap copies and not well built. I think it is a shame that lakeveiw is gone or going.
  3. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes, by all means, I don't wish to bash the HAMSTICK company. Guess I am using "HAMSTICK" the same way people use "Jello", "Xerox", "Coke" and other brand names for the general thing they represent. Wonder what they are SUPPOSED to be called? "Antenna"?
  4. VE3FMC

    VE3FMC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'd like to know how you could have brought home a FT-980 if you had not spent $17 on that mobile whip?

    Seventeen dollars makes or breaks the deal on a FT980? :eek: I would have been buying the FT-980.........
  5. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I went to TRW with $300 cash. Thought that would have been enough. Bought the Hamstick for $17 and the 1920s coffin radio for $25. THEN saw the FT-980 for $300. Only had $258 left. Offered $250 and was turned down. Went home with the coffin radio and Hamstick only. Pays to have LOTSA money when going to a Swapmeet. Also saw a FT-902DM, SP-901P and YC-901 all for $300. That was a DEAL!!!! Didn't have $300 for that either. Rats!
  6. W0LPQ

    W0LPQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    A 40M stick will not work worth a hoot on 75M, and a 75M stick won't work on 40M. Just a fact of life. UYou might be able to tune them with an external tuner ... but losses will be very high and radiated power will be less than a standard stick on it's own band. I had some of them but sold them when I got my N9JMX Predator screwdriver.
  7. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I really want a Screwdriver, and actually HAVE one I can't use. It is one of those Hi Sierra's. But you SURE aren't going to hold up a MONSTER like that on a Trunk lip mount!!! The BEST way to hold one of those is with a Trailer Hitch. The ideal mountings I have seen have a Hitch with the heavy metal square tubing also coming out the side, and mount the Antenna there. Don't want it right where you would have a Trailer hitch ball as that limits access to the trunk.

    But you can't just mount a trailer hitch on a Town Car. Already checked it out. The whole back of the TC is PLASTIC! And what metal frame there is doesn't have any mounting holes for such. A place like U-Haul will WELD a hitch on, but it costs almost THREE HUNDRED BUCKS!!!! So, my Screwdriver is not mounted yet. Those work great and really get out. All the top mobile DXers use the Screwdriver. But 2nd choice is the Hamstick. The PAIN with them is having to stop and get out to change them for different bands. I have the 40M sitting in the back seat. (long antenna!!)
    I am considering removing my 6 meter whip and installing the 2/450 antenna in that location; and then installing a 2nd 1/4 inch trunk mount with spring on the Port side of the Trunk so I can have the 40M whip there. I find the 6M whip doesn't work very well.
  8. KB2CRK

    KB2CRK Ham Member QRZ Page


    Just a couple pics of a working multiple hamstick setup. I worked multiple stations in europe on 20 and 80. also worked quite a bit of local on 60 and 10.
  9. NY3V

    NY3V Ham Member QRZ Page

  10. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    12M hamstick?

    Just get a ten M stick and extend (replace) the top whip a foot or so until it resonates ??:eek:

  11. KA7RRA

    KA7RRA Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Have you ever thought about a little tarheel antenna? I have one and it fits on the trunk lid mount with out any problems,and I have talked all over with it
  12. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'll check that out, thanks!
  13. W5DQ

    W5DQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sounds like you had the $300 but blew $50 of it on a piece of crap whip and a old dust collector boat anchor. Should have used the 300 bucks to put your trailer hitch on the TC and then you could have pulled a trailer on your next trip to Dayton and you and the wife could have camped out to save even more money. Ya gotta think outside the box on these money matters :)

    Gene W5DQ
  14. KG4NEL

    KG4NEL Ham Member QRZ Page

  15. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That would do nicely, and add $150 for installation! (welding)
    Then you need a right angle pipe to fit in the square receiver to bring the antenna out on the side of the car, preferably the Drivers side. Gotta know someone in a metal shop that can WELD. I solder, I don't weld.
  16. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Also, I would NEVER even THINK of towing anything with my Town Car. The transmission works great. Tow something and it won't be good for long!
  17. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    You could always install a hexbeam on the roof of the town car, then you wouldn't need to install a trailer hitch.
  18. N0WYO

    N0WYO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Time to drill another hole, Pat.
  19. N5PVL

    N5PVL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I wouldn't put the antenna on the trailer hitch, though...

    I'd get a trailer of some kind, preferably the open kind, made of steel...

    You could put an auxiliary generator on the trailer, a few batteries, a junk box with a fold-out solder station, not to mention the antenna farm you could grow there.

    After a while, you would get really good at backing it up... Make sure it's a sturdy trailer, to get you through that learning period.
  20. KG4NEL

    KG4NEL Ham Member QRZ Page

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