I've been thinking about a portable antenna that I can use from the deck of my summer house for a few weeks. Has anyone had any experience with the MFJ 1622? If so, please let me know. Thanks.
MFJ sells very nice stainless steel whips (MFJ-1979), which extend up to 16 feet. Grab some wires for radials/counterpoise and use tuner. You'll get much better results than with MFJ 1622.
Two of MFJ-1979, configured as giant "rabbit ears", will work even better (you can go without tuner even, just will need to manually adjust for each band), along with some directivity/gain.
I looked into this antenna a while back and didn't find out much, but what I heard was similar to the above. I went with the wires in the trees route. If the tree thing is not an option, consider a Ham-stik dipole type arrangement. I have a friend who has used them in his condo with good results (40m).
I'm currently working out how to use a 24ft aluminum painters extension pole as a vertical ground-plane antenna. Just started though, so no results yet.
I currently have one on my porch at a second story apartment in VA. The antenna works; its not a pileup buster but it will get you on the air if you are restricted. The only issues i have are as follows:
1. Constant having to change tap on inductor coil for given bands you want to work
2. Constant changing of the length of the counterpoise - i mean if using a tuner you can leave the same extended out for lowest band of interest and just change the tap. The tuner will handle the rest.
If you were lets say a 17mtr buff and thats all you cared about than setting the tap and counterpoise for lowest SWR and leaving it - issues 1 & 2 would be a mute point.
I did notice however that given the current settings per the manual i cannot work 6 or 2 mtrs. The internal tuner on my rig (for 6 as the tuner does not work on 3mtrs) stays in a loop. I emailed Kenwood thinking it was a tuner fault but it wasnt. It was recommended to add lenght to the coax and try again. You have to keep in mind that you have to take a large portion of the coax from antenna to make a current balun. So what you are left with is maybe 15 ft or so of coax to rig. I decided to just make an indoor dipole for 40mtrs to an mfj tuner for all HF and i can tune 40-10mtrs without any problems in fact i did a side by side on 40mtr comparison and the dipole out received the mfj1622. That might just apply to my situation however you might have better luck.
You might want to consider an MFJ loop or better still make a magnetic loop - FYI thought get a good vaccum variable cap as the air caps i purchased gave me trouble. Other folks had better luck than i on that front but the loops are nice - small footprint and quieter receive.
Good luck and i hope this helps.
73 Frank KG4ULT
Why not use a fibreglass fishing pole on the balcony? It can be set at 45 degrees or lower with a wire dangling from the end, just as if you were fishing with it. Cheap, simple and it works fairly well.
If you only have a balcony there are few choices. If you have some garden space a folding Hexbeam looks ideal:
I use the fibreglass fishing pole with my backpack kit and just change the wire element depending on the band, I recently spent a month working in SPain and made a small centre load monoband version of the fishing pole antenna, six feet overall length and built with my FT817 in mind, again it's no super DX antenna, but enabled me to work VK long path most mornings with 5W, here's a video of the whip and with it in action:
Originally Posted by G4AON
Homebrew 20m whip
EA3 portable to VK6 long path
Big Ear or Big Stick
A newer and better solution is the MFJ Big Stick or Big Ear. Each uses either one or two stainless steel telescoping whips. The monopole with QRO loading coil comes with a radial kit. I use it for temporary or portable ops with great success. The big ear is what Martin Jue has mounted on his personal car for HF work.
Originally Posted by 4L4AGU
What about height above ground with these antennas?
The higher, the better. For sure.
Originally Posted by KK4ASA
Problem is they require physical adjustment when you change frequencies, so if the antenna is "out of reach" that may be difficult or impossible.
Again, I've used that same antenna from the upper deck of a cruise ship at sea where it was at least 100 feet above the water and clamped to a brass rail and it worked great. Same antenna clamped to the window of the cabin sucked -- couldn't even hear anybody. But the cabin was 50' lower and blocked for 180 degrees by a few million pounds of steel (the ship).
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