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Portable dipole

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by KA8MNP, Mar 11, 2014.

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  1. KA8MNP

    KA8MNP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    This may be the wrong place for this post but I have a question about operating on the road. I will be attending a conference at a very nice hotel/resort. This place is very large and has a large parking area. What I'd like to do is take my HF radio along and operate from my car. I don't have a mobile antenna because I typically don't operate mobile.

    What I thought I'd do is find some kind of mast approximately 20 ft tall and stretch out a wire antenna (inverted vee) to two shorter masts on each end. I would pre-cut the antenna for an 80 meter frequency. There are large grassy areas adjacent to the parking area that would be perfect. I'd use a tuner to work what other bands I could. I'm trying to figure out what to use to hold the mast in place. I thought a automotive tire and rim but that might look tacky and draw attention from the hotel management. Is there something better I could use? Needs to be inexpensive and easy to set up and take down because this will be pretty much a one time thing. Also, I just replaced the transmission in my pick up truck and funds are limited.

    My questions are:

    Is there a better solution than the temporary dipole?


    Should I ask permission from the hotel or just go ahead and set up and operate? I doubt anyone would even notice the activity but of course I'd be as inconspicuous as possible anyway.

    Any ideas or comments will be appreciated.
  2. NK7Z

    NK7Z Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would ask... Also consider the liability if someone touches something, and gets an RF burn...
  3. KA8MNP

    KA8MNP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Very true, hadn't thought of that. If I do end up doing it I need to make sure the ends are about ten feet off the ground then. The reason I hesitate to ask is most likely there won't be any hams on staff and therefore from a lack of knowledge they'd likely say no. I searched QRZ biographies for anyone with the hotel's name in their bio and no luck.
  4. K5HRA

    K5HRA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Implying a 20' mast with wire strung all over their parking lot would be stealthy? Not to sound like "that guy" but I would definitely just call the hotel and ask to speak to the manager. Worst he says no. Best he's open to ideas.
  5. KA8MNP

    KA8MNP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks. At this stage just bouncing ideas, appreciate the feedback. Not stealthy but probably better than the auto tire and rim idea, that's why I asked for ideas about how to accomplish this little "DXpedition" of mine. I emailed several ham clubs and some hams that are in the area of the resort for information. I'm hoping they may know of a point of contact. Who know's there may even be a ham on staff.

    They may also know of an alternate location nearby that allows such operation.

    I'm most interested in predawn operation and operation in the early evening hours, what ever antenna I would finally choose to use wouldn't be left in place but taken down after each use. That's why I asked if some one could think of a better idea than the portable dipole. I suppose some kind of temporary vertical would have less of a footprint but I'm guessing that efficiency would suffer.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014
  6. M3KXZ

    M3KXZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    One pole, some bright coloured cord for guying and 3 tent pegs is all you need. The antenna wire with cord added to each end makes up two of the guylines, and you just use a length of cord for a back guy. Simple and quick. G3CWI, Richard of, has the perfect video on Youtube showing you how to get it up easily. Here it is

    Another option is to secure the pole to a fence post or similar, or to throw a line over a branch of a tree and hoist the centre of the dipole up.
  7. KA8MNP

    KA8MNP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks Pete

    Very interesting video. I think I could make something like that work. Definitely food for thought.

    73 - Randall
  8. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page


    L.B. Cebik's great little book "An-10-10-nas" is careful to distinguish "mobile in motion" installations from "mobile" installations. You have a LOT more options for great mobile antennas when you're parked! There are a lot of "rest-stop mobile" operators who do great things. Your portable dipole is a great idea.

  9. KA8MNP

    KA8MNP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks....a nearby rest stop could be the solution to the problem.
  10. WF2V

    WF2V Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just operate. Do you think the kid behind the desk will even have a clue?
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