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Portable QRP antenna

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by KE5PIH, Apr 12, 2008.

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  1. KE5PIH

    KE5PIH QRZ Member

    I have a Yaesu FT-817 ND which is a Low Power HF rig. I am trying to understand what I can use for a portable antenna. I have a Buddipole, but was looking to use something even easier to deploy that that.

    What would be some ideas to look into or consider....?
    I enjoy 40 & 20 meter.:confused:

    Jeff / KE5PIH
  2. NK2X

    NK2X Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi, Jeff.

    Some info might make any answers more useful.

    What are your operating modes (i.e., are you looking for portable, semi-portable, back packable, or home use)?

    Also, what are your expectations as far as performance? With antennas that are more easily deployed (that usually means smaller or less efficient), efficiency becomes a factor (especially with QRP).

    It's pretty hard to beat an end-fed half wave wire with one end tossed up into a tree and it only requires a simple matching circuit for low power. They're easy to make but if you want commercial, then the Par EndFedz are hard to beat (look for the low-power 3-bander). There are any number of usable short verticals out there ... take a look at the HFPack site ( for their shootouts on verticals and horizontal antennas for portable work.

    And finally, the Buddipole is pretty hard to beat for efficiency...not too hard to deploy, especially in the vertical configuration...maybe too much for backpacking, though.

    Hope this helps some...

    Larry - NK2X
  3. W4HAY

    W4HAY Ham Member QRZ Page

    There's a design for a 40/20/15/10 trap dipole in the ARRL Antenna Book. Depending on how you make the traps, it could be very lightweight. The traps consist of 27 pF capacitors in parallel with 4.7 uH inductors. The inside elements are 16-2/3 Ft. and the ouside legs are 10-1/2 Ft. It's fed with either 50 or 72 Ohm coax.

    When (if?) the sunspots begin to increase, 15 could wind up being your favorite band!
  4. KC9ECI

    KC9ECI Ham Member QRZ Page

  5. KE5PIH

    KE5PIH QRZ Member

    Thanks Larry, I was looking for something backpackaple. The end fed half wave wire looks like it would be easy to use.



  6. KE5PIH

    KE5PIH QRZ Member

    Thanks to all who responded....


    I did not want to sound as though I ONLY appreciated Larry's comment.


  7. W5DXP

    W5DXP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I backpacked a lot when I lived in Central California and there were always trees around. If one has trees available, a twinlead-fed dipole is hard to beat. The twinlead length can usually be adjusted so that no tuner is needed. To get ideas about such an antenna:
  8. K3WRV

    K3WRV Guest

    ME? I use a hunk of Baygard(tm) wire wound up on a spool and just toss it over a tree branch - weighs less than 8 oz. Feed it thru an L network tuner (in my case, MFJ 16010). Weighs a couple of oz's.

    Alt: Have used a "twinlead" ribon cable dipole and fed it withj RG-??? (58 or 59) and no tuner. Think mine was cut for 40/20 or 20/15. Could feed it as a momopole and it worked on 10 too. No tuner, bnut the COAX was heavy (~30 Feet).

    Have heard RG-174 works FB if the run is fairly short.

    de Bob
  9. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    My rule of thumb is the smallest (QRP) rigs need the BIGGEST antennas. Just to make it fair.
    That halfwave of wire thrown up into the tall tree is an idea that I had when I started taking a QRP rig camping.
    No feedline to carry, no ground counterpoise required and the results usually are good just using a small tuner to match the high Z to the radio..
    A small NiCd battery and some kind of charger, my old J-38 key, a few hand tools, tape measure (for tuning) and a notebook and pencils for logging completes the kit.
    Have Fun !
  10. KC9ECI

    KC9ECI Ham Member QRZ Page

    But it's tough packing in that SteppIR and Rohn25 to the campsite.
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