2m/440 Portable Antenna Indoor/Outdoor

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KN4THX, Mar 28, 2020.

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  1. KN4THX

    KN4THX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good Evening,

    Hope everyone is doing well in this time or craziness. I am looking for some sort of solution for an antenna for home and travel/camping. I purchased a roll up JPole to keep in my bag but I wanted something more robust I could keep at home and then take on the road. To give you an idea of what I found I like, the Elk 2m/440 antenna is a great size for what I am leaning towards. Not too big, not too small, packs up light and small, gets decent results based on reviews. I have an Anytone 878 and the antennas for HT just don't impress me at home and I am not ready to install a full size antenna anytime soon.

    Does anyone have any recommendations that may fit this or ay input on how well the Elk would perform for repeaters (hopefully some satellite traffic one day)? I would assume compared to the HT antenna it would be light year ahead.

    Thank you.

    EDIT: If there is an omnidirectional antenna that can be broken down to a similar size that would be better suited for mostly repeater use I am open to that too.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
    AB7RU likes this.
  2. EA5HDX

    EA5HDX Ham Member QRZ Page

  3. N5AF

    N5AF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    KC2THB and KN4THX like this.
  4. AB7RU

    AB7RU Ham Member QRZ Page

    KN4THX, Here is what I did with the Elk...


    Tripod is a Range-Experts $34.50

    With the Elk you have to use a non-conducting mast so bought a 1" x 5' sch 40 black pvc on for $13.70 shipped (although ebay doesn't show it now, you can find some at home depot or Amazon might have something. I wanted black just for cosmetics!)

    I picked up these hose clamps to clamp the pvc to the mast on the tripod:
    It isn't elegant but it works. There might be a way to nest the pvc into the tripod somehow but I couldn't figure out how, so I just used these hose clamps from Amazon:
    (pack of two for $5.96)

    Then you'll need to split the back pvc at the top and insert a 1/2" x 1" T fitting, and some 1/2" pvc as shown below. Those I found a local Ace hardware for a few bucks. The Elk's feedline has to extend out away from the antenna to avoid de-coupling, and then loop down if you are using the antenna in a vertical polarization. I cut a notch in the end of the 1/2 pipe for the feedline, held in place by a small length of velcro strap :

    I haven't tried it outside but it should work okay as long as you don't extend it too high, then you should guy it. But the setup works well indoors. Hope that gives you some ideas.
    KN4THX likes this.
  5. WF7A

    WF7A Subscriber QRZ Page

    How compact do you want it to be? If you don't mind using up a little space, you could buy/build either a groundplane or discone antenna with detachable legs/elements. Store the unassembled parts in a PVC tube (with end caps) and you're good-to-go.
    KN4THX likes this.
  6. KF5FEI

    KF5FEI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I used a PVC pipe union so the antenna could be quickly / securely attached to a camera tripod, mast, etc..
    KN4THX likes this.
  7. WF7A

    WF7A Subscriber QRZ Page

    Speaking of PVC, if you want to add some pizzazz to your setup you can buy it in color: https://formufit.com/
    KN4THX likes this.
  8. KN4THX

    KN4THX Ham Member QRZ Page

    @N5AVF That is a nice, compact build, and I do have some plexiglass leftover. Do you have any experience with the range of this?

    @AB7RU That is exactly what I was leaning towards before I decided to look around before I pulled the trigger. Are you using this for repeaters as well as satellites? Do you find the Elk to have any issues on either band when communicating with repeaters or simplex?

    @WF7A Fairly compact when packed up, I don't want it to be an extra trip just to carry it, preferably something small enough to pack or throw over my shoulder. As far as when it is put together, something along the size of the Elk or Arrow handheld or backpack antennas would be as big as I'd want to go.
  9. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Please note the Elk "log periodic 2m/70cm antenna" is actually a 2m beam, period. On 70cm, it's working on its third harmonic and the radiation pattern is offset from the "front" of the antenna, so you get two signal peaks, one on each side of the front (where the 2m main lobe would be). This notation applies to using it horizontally polarized.

    When using it vertically polarized, that same antenna produces gain about 30 degrees above the horizon, and also about 30 degrees below the horizon, on 70cm. Neither is usually desirable, although the 30 degree upward tilt could be helpful for satellite work; the issue is, the other lobe which is 30 degrees downtilt is just lost as it's aiming into the ground.:) As such, the gain on 70cm is quite small.

    Some hams don't seem to get this, and AFAIK Elk is silent on this subject.

    I've used that antenna and "it's better than nothing" for sure, but not by a lot.:p
    KN4THX and K4AGO like this.
  10. K4AGO

    K4AGO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Why not just build a tape measure antenna? It will probably work just as well as the Elk and will give you something to do during this routing of the geriatric segment of humanity.
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