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Fishing Rod Vertical

Discussion in 'QRP Corner' started by KC8VWM, Jun 5, 2017.

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  1. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Very nice video by EB5EKT showing the easy and practical construction methods used to build your own portable fishing rod vertical.

    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
    N7BDY, KA3CTQ, KK6NOH and 4 others like this.
  2. N4PJA

    N4PJA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Super cool! I never thought about using corrugated pipe to space out some inductors.
    KC8VWM and N7AGA like this.
  3. N7AGA

    N7AGA Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The fishing pole look is a cool concept. I liked his approach to building a coil too. The time-lapsed photog made it for a quick view, potentially a fun build.
    K5VZD and KC8VWM like this.
  4. K7WFM

    K7WFM Ham Member QRZ Page

    That is a really neat build. Is that silver coated wire he's using for the coil?
  5. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's probably solid silver plated copper buss wire. Here's some at this link.

    Quite frankly, you could just use plain old solid copper wire to construct this coil with no issue at all whatsoever. The difference in wire resistance, conductivity and performance is so insignificant it's like measuring the different sizes of gnats and it's just not worth bothering.

    Also the coil dimensions are not in any way especially critical either. The coil just has to be wound with enough number of turns to achieve operation on 40m and be able to fit around the PVC tubing and that's about it.

    This antenna will work on other bands too, it just depends where you place the alligator clips on the coil. This is done by experimenting with the alligator clips on different locations on the coil until the noise level increases in your receiver and you achieve a decent swr. Mark the spot on the coil with a magic marker or something for future reference.

    Also, the more windings you put on this coil, the lower in frequency the antenna will be able to operate. However, more windings also equates to more losses, so the antenna coil design in the video appears to have found an acceptable amount of coil windings for all the bands he desires to operate on from 40m and up for the length of antenna wire he's using on the fishing pole. It's important to try and keep the radiator element long as practical as this will help to reduce the number of windings required on the coil. It's kind of a balancing act sort of thing between antenna element length and number of coil turns, but it's not too difficult to figure out and achieve. :)
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
    KF7RH and K7WFM like this.
  6. K7WFM

    K7WFM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think I'm going to try this for my crappie pole vertical using some solid copper ground wire I have laying around.
    KC8VWM likes this.
  7. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just finished building mine today.

    Coil wrapped on low cost automotive split loom tubing similar to what is shown used in EB5EKT's video.


    The antenna is based on a lightweight fishing pole design approx. 12' long. Carefully remove all the fishing line guides from the pole sections as we will no longer be needing them. They are glued to the fiberglass rod and will break free if carefully rocked back and forth. Then remove the cap at the bottom of the fishing pole and remove all the individual telescopic sections and put them aside.

    Next remove any metal clamps typically used to hold the fishing reel in place on the fishing pole handle. A dremmel tool or similar method can be used to cut them off the pole handle.

    The fishing rod handle itself is going to be used as the coil form. Place the automotive loom tubing around the fishing pole handle. This will result in an approx. 1" diameter coil. Wind some #14 AWG bare solid copper wire - 30 turns around the split loom tubing. (room remains available to add more coil turns if desired.) you may run some hot glue along the coil to hold it's shape in place to prevent it from slipping out of the automotive loom tubing grooves if desired, but I found I didn't need to.


    Coil wire taps as shown in photo is presently configured for 20m band operation.


    Covers 2 through 40 meters.

    Not much larger than 3 dollar bills long, this antenna will cover 2m through 40m and will perform very efficiently on all these bands. It will be the perfect portable antenna companion for an FT-817 while travelling anywhere.

    This antenna is a full 5/8 wave antenna on 2m for maximum gain and performance.
    The telescopic radiator length is adjustable for 1/4 wave 6m operation.

    It is a full sized 1/4 wave antenna on 10 and 12 meters and it's still a pretty efficient antenna from 15 - 40 meters.

    So how does this small portable antenna fair in terms of efficiency on bands like 14 MHz though?


    Not bad at all really. :) We are going to use this antenna as an inverted L configuration on the 40m band so efficiency should approach 90 % (more on that later.)

    Total antenna size ready for travel:


    The attached bag on the fishing rod handle is originally intended to hold safety glasses.

    Re-purposed the bag to hold 6 radials for the antenna instead:


    Individual antenna radials wrapped on black plastic forms as seen in center of photo:


    Fishing pole sections was individually wrapped in aluminum tape. It is now an all aluminum antenna !


    It is required to cut the aluminum tape using a box knife to size the tape for a good fit. Carefully wrap the tape on the fiberglass tubing sections ensuring there are no wrinkles in the tape. It helps to use a cloth to rub the tape perfectly flat. It's a little bit like installing window tint on glass, but I completed all the sections in a little over an hour.


    Portable 2m-40m vertical antenna weighs only 0.8 lbs!



    However, when you install aluminum tape on all the fiberglass sections, it no longer physically extends as far out as it originally did, because you are adding additional thickness to the fiberglass tubing sections.

    Also the red wire, inductor coil and blue wire add to the overall radiator "electrical" length, so keep that in mind when looking at the physical measurements below...

    The aluminum taped covered pole sections (the main radiator section) extends for a total of 104" (8.6 feet)

    The red wire attached to the hose clamp on the radiator is exactly 7 1/2" inches long.

    The blue wire which is attached to the SO-239 connector is 4 1/2" inches long.

    The coil is 4 1/2" long. The circumference of the coil also measures 4 1/2" The diameter of the coil is approx. 1"

    The collapsed length of the portable antenna is 20" long. (1 - 1/2 feet long)
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
    K5VZD, K7WFM, KC3RN and 1 other person like this.
  8. N7AGA

    N7AGA Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That is sweet!
    KC8VWM likes this.
  9. KJ4VTH

    KJ4VTH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Neat! I've had success with a BuddiStick which is similar principle.
    KC8VWM likes this.
  10. K7WFM

    K7WFM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wow! Nice job.
    KC8VWM likes this.

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