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Thread: What antenna(s) do you use for HF QRP portable operation?

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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Jacuzzi
    Posts
    11,415

    Default

    For portable operation, I made a 6 band rotatable HF dipole out of some aluminum painters extension poles.

    I like it better than "wire" antennas, because you cant always find trees to install the ends of a wire antenna. The other reason is because you can rotate the dipole in different directions for better coverage and it also functions as a "flat top" antenna which also helps to improve things. No coils or traps are used in the build to reduce any losses and the antenna elements are near full sized, so I can achieve a maximized signal when working QRP power levels.

    Also, since these poles are "telescopic" by design, I can tune them to work on any band I like between 6m-20m. These aircraft quality aluminum painters extension poles are very rugged yet lightweight, cheap and they pack well too.

    I made the feed point using a hardware store variety PVC electrical junction box. I think the whole thing cost me around $35 bucks to construct.

    ..You need pictures?






    Here below it is thrown together in under 2 minutes and attached to the fence line at a park using another painters pole rigged up as a makeshift mast...

    As you can see, it wasn't very high but it had no problem working many stations that day using QRP levels...





    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by KC8VWM; 01-23-2013 at 05:25 AM.
    73 de Charles - KC8VWM
    North American QRP CW Club #3159, SKCC# 5752

  2. #12

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    For my FT 817ND portable operation running qrp, I use a yo yo inv vee antenna...it works the best!....easy to throw up and have the wire marked for the bands 40 to 6 meters....I just wind the wire to the band markings...have tried the mfj all band adj ant for the 817, miracle antenna, telescoping indiv band bnc connecter type antennas, the MP 1 super antenna, and ham stick antennas...the yo yo inverted vee is the best performing qrp portable antenna out there in my opinion...had many good solid qso s running 5 watts with it....good luck...de K8ESE Harold

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Ocean Springs, MS (often portable from Moss Point)
    Posts
    1,837

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by K8ESE View Post
    For my FT 817ND portable operation running qrp, I use a yo yo inv vee antenna...it works the best!....easy to throw up and have the wire marked for the bands 40 to 6 meters....I just wind the wire to the band markings...have tried the mfj all band adj ant for the 817, miracle antenna, telescoping indiv band bnc connecter type antennas, the MP 1 super antenna, and ham stick antennas...the yo yo inverted vee is the best performing qrp portable antenna out there in my opinion...had many good solid qso s running 5 watts with it....good luck...de K8ESE Harold
    I used a Yo-Yo antenna from around 2001-2004 until it had a bad encounter with a lawn mower. Now I have a Superantennas YP-3 yagi and the matching 21 foot portable mast. Definitely on the expensive side, but truely a great portable antenna system. Covers 20 - 6 meters. Assembly time is 15 - 20 minutes (and that's in Mississippi summer heat and humidity).

    73, Jim N3AWS

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Commerce MI (Detroit area)
    Posts
    8,077

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    For my campground portable operation, over the last decades, I tried using some random long wire lengths thrown up in trees with a MFJ versatuner but the results were also random and the tuner sometimes would not get close to a low SWR.
    I finally cut some halfwave dipoles for my most reliable bands of 40 and 30M.
    I used light insulated wire and a length of RG58/u coax, some heavy twine to support ends with a weighted end to toss over high tree branches..
    My dollar investment for the antennas is pretty much Zero, using odd scraps of wire and coax , the connectors came from the junkbox.
    Most of the places we camp have enough trees to hang antennas in.
    With the 5 W MFJ 9030 and the 3 W 40M MFJ Cub I always make plenty of contacts. I tried my using my MFJ 9017 on one long weekend but only got one Russian station to answer my calls but nothing in the US. Very frustrating on 17M. I recycled the wire from that dipole.
    I find with QRP the biggest antennas work best with the littlest radios.
    I would not ever consider using a small, loaded antenna like a buddipole or miraclewhip for QRP. Maybe if I took a 100 W rig in the camper.
    Last edited by K8JD; 01-24-2013 at 11:54 PM.
    73.....JD, FISTS #3853,cc 455,SKCC # 1395,tribune #12,
    Official US Taxpayer

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    In Missouri Ozark Mountains
    Posts
    5,692

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KC8VWM View Post
    For portable operation, I made a 6 band rotatable HF dipole out of some aluminum painters extension poles.

    I like it better than "wire" antennas, because you cant always find trees to install the ends of a wire antenna. The other reason is because you can rotate the dipole in different directions for better coverage and it also functions as a "flat top" antenna which also helps to improve things. No coils or traps are used in the build to reduce any losses and the antenna elements are near full sized, so I can achieve a maximized signal when working QRP power levels.

    Also, since these poles are "telescopic" by design, I can tune them to work on any band I like between 6m-20m. These aircraft quality aluminum painters extension poles are very rugged yet lightweight, cheap and they pack well too.

    I made the feed point using a hardware store variety PVC electrical junction box. I think the whole thing cost me around $35 bucks to construct.

    ..You need pictures?






    Here below it is thrown together in under 2 minutes and attached to the fence line at a park using another painters pole rigged up as a makeshift mast...

    As you can see, it wasn't very high but it had no problem working many stations that day using QRP levels...





    Hope that helps.

    Charles very slick I really like that how long are the painter poles you use when collapsed for travel. By chance would you have a complete set of directions for building that complete antenna with approx dimensions for length of elements? How high are you able to go with a set of guy wires in very mild wind conditions. This appears to be superior to anything I have been using for the high bands for QRP portable. If you have something could you please email them to me if not to much trouble?

    What I have been using with my KX3 the most for an antenna is a 31' fiberglass telescopic windsock pole with an eyelet on the tip. Mostly I use as a vertical with 6 33' radials will tune 10-40m most of the time using the internal tuner in my radio. It works great on 40/30m as would be expected and 20-15m a good job but lacking on 10/12m some. It's a vertical and to be expected I guess when I have another support I rig it in an Inverted L and also in an Inverted V but the ends are close to the ground usually.

    The downside to this setup is that I do have to have guys with it unless I setup very low then the antenna doesn't work well. When I ordered the poles in the beginning I ordered 4 of them with big ideas of a 4 sq loop after one time of setting it up I decided that even though it worked very well it took to much time (3 hrs for me) and was a pain with all the guys.
    73 de Fred N0AZZ

    _____________________________________

    The License is Only Your Starting Point in Radio!
    MVDX/CC of SW MO., DX Hogs, OARS, NARC, NCDXF
    ARRL member, ARRL and W5YI VE
    DX the thrill of the chase

    ""D-STAR making use of the 2/ 440m repeaters for real world Digital Voice usage around town and around the world""

    " Not one of us can do what all of us can do " ** Max Lucado

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Jacuzzi
    Posts
    11,415

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    Hi Fred,

    Sorry for the late reply, I haven't been on here much lately.

    I don't specific dimensions, but I can approximate the whole thing folds up into a 4 foot thingy that fits nicely inside a portable fishing rod holder.

    I have more pics and design details posted here.

    http://forums.qrz.com/showthread.php...97#post2669797
    73 de Charles - KC8VWM
    North American QRP CW Club #3159, SKCC# 5752

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    In Missouri Ozark Mountains
    Posts
    5,692

    Default

    Thanks Charles!


    I have been using a 31' telescoping fiberglass windsock pole with an eyelet on the top and a Par End Fed 10/15/20/40m dipole. My QRP rig is an Elecraft KX3 most of the time using a 7AH battery or the self contained ones in the radio with them 5w max.

    73,
    Fred/N0AZZ
    73 de Fred N0AZZ

    _____________________________________

    The License is Only Your Starting Point in Radio!
    MVDX/CC of SW MO., DX Hogs, OARS, NARC, NCDXF
    ARRL member, ARRL and W5YI VE
    DX the thrill of the chase

    ""D-STAR making use of the 2/ 440m repeaters for real world Digital Voice usage around town and around the world""

    " Not one of us can do what all of us can do " ** Max Lucado

  8. #18

    Default

    I use numerous antennas depending on the location.
    Simple dipole, multi band dipole, true off center fed antennas, table top verticals and even a magnetic loop. My home brew loop covers 12 to 40 meters.
    My setup can be seen on the following web page:

    http://www.ku3x.net/portable-qrp

    Barry, KU3X

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