List your favorite SOTA antenna

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by W4SEX, Nov 10, 2015.

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  1. W4SEX

    W4SEX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've spent lots of hours reading pages of reviews on eham in the portable antenna section trying to narrow down which antenna to use for future SOTA use. I generally find the ones with the most reviews, and with the highest ratings. This system doesn't always work as the 2 guys I went to Dayton with, both bought Buddipole systems and neither one could get them to work on anything but 20 meters. Needless to say they were both very unhappy with their choice of product. They bought them due to all the hype and reviews.

    So list your favorite SOTA antenna that you don't mind lugging up a mountain, setting up, and getting results with. Yes, I did a search on here for this, but came up with almost nothing.

    Some of the most popular on the web seems to be:
    1. Buddipole
    2. Alexloop
    3. Alpha loop
    4. Chameleon V1
    5. Par End Fed
    6. SuperAntennas MP-1
    7. Transworld TW2010 vertical
    8. Ventenna Hfp vertical
    9. QSO King End Fed

  2. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    But if those are the only choices, I would choose:

    7. Transworld TW2010 vertical
  3. W4SEX

    W4SEX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Those are just the most popular. the thread title says, List your favorite one
  4. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Mine is homebrew - high performance.

    6m-20m lightweight portable dipole.

    Constructed from lightweight telescopic painters extension poles.

    Bundled together using 4 stainless hose clamps.
    35' of low loss Times Microwave LMR 200 feedline.
    The 30' tall telescopic mast to hold the antenna up is in there too (green colored thing)

    The entire thing is approx. 6ft tall but is lightweight and easy to carry with a strap attached.


    Note the markings for operation on different bands on the tubing sections. Assemble for the desired band.

    Holes in the tubing line up and a screw and wingnut is used to secure sections into position.



    Simple feedpoint construction. PVC hardware store junction box. $2.99


    Portable antenna Installed on portable telescopic mast:


    30' portable telescopic mast:


    I also have a portable tripod I could use with it too.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2015
    KB2SMS, KD6RF, WB5YUZ and 2 others like this.
  5. K9ZMD

    K9ZMD Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I made a 66' doublet for SOTA, center fed with cheap, indoor TV twin lead. I connect an LDG 1:1 current balun between the twin lead and the KX3 antenna jack. The built-in antenna tuner finds a match on all bands 40-10 meters.

    I support the feed point with a 20' telescoping bream pole (inverted vee), or string the wire horizontally between trees when possible. This lash-up gets out great, and the whole bundle of antenna wire, twin lead, and para-cord zips into a re-purposed Johnson & Johnson first aid pouch. The mast? It telescopes down to become a hiking stick.
    KC8VWM, K5VV and W4SEX like this.
  6. W4KJG

    W4KJG Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't do "actual" SOTA" but I live where I have access to a lot of peaks. I have made a collection of these:

    Cheap Yagi Antennas

    The booms of my two meter antennas are made from 1/2 inch CVPC pipe. AA 25 foot roll of #6 bare copper wire makes great elements. I put a T-joint at the boom's center of gravity but I don glue it. I hold it in place with two 10-32 nylon screws. This allows me to mount it vertically or horizontally.

    My usual mast is a 25-foot telescoping painters pole. I only extend the upper-most section less than half-way up. I slip about an 8 foot piece of 1 inch Schedule 40 PVC pipe over the upper section of the pole, and the antenna mounts to it. The reason for the PVC pipe is to make about the upper four feet of the mast non conductive.

    I also use these at our beach home where we have the HOA police. I have sunk a 1-1/2 inch PVC pipe into the sand. After dark the painters pole gets put into the pipe.
    KC8VWM and W4SEX like this.
  7. N4STG

    N4STG Ham Member QRZ Page


    By far the easiest to deploy here in the southeast.
    W4SEX likes this.
  8. W8ZNX

    W8ZNX Ham Member QRZ Page

    most of my qrp field work has been in the woods where there are handy trees
    to support wire antennas

    SOTA antenna where there are no trees
    don't buy a over priced antenna
    build one

    may i suggest a tried and tested QRP favorite
    The St. Louis Vertical
    lots of info on the internet on how to build one

    yours truly
    W4SEX likes this.
  9. AA9SD

    AA9SD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have an LNR Endfedz 40/20/10, a Buddistick and an S9v18. The LNR Endfedz is the fastest to deploy when there are trees available and it works really well. Next would be the S9v18. It can be attached to a fence post, tree, picnic table or whatever with a couple of bungee cords. With 12 radials and a 4:1 unun it will tune (a tuner is required in this configuration) from 40 meters (pretty low efficiency but it works) up to 10 meters. Finally the Buddistick. It can do anything from 80 meters up to 10 meters but can be fiddly to tune (you really need an analyzer to do it well) but you won't need a tuner either external or in your rig.

    I was actually quite surprised at how well the S9v18 worked, my first contact on it was 20 meters, SSB, 5 watts from my FT-817nd from near Chicago to California with good reports both ways. It is inexpensive but isn't made any longer. I think has a few on closeout for $35 plus about another $24 for the 4:1 unun if you don't want to build your own.
    W4SEX likes this.
  10. K5VV

    K5VV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Never done SOTA, but plenty of portable.

    1. Doublet with ladder line to auto tuner.
    2. 1/4 wave vertical with a some radials.
    3. End fed to auto tuner (with 1 counterpoise or some radials)

    Trees or telescoping poles for supports.
    WD5IKX and W4SEX like this.

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