Small antenna for a small place

Discussion in 'RV Operating and Camping' started by K2AMF, Jul 3, 2017.

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  1. K2AMF

    K2AMF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have an all band radio (857D) and wanted to use it out at a state park where I had safety and performance considerations. I had to keep the antenna inside the small space where my RV fit and of course couldn't have it falling on anyone.

    I went with a pair of MFJ hamsticks on a tripod and extending mast. I was able to raise it to 18 feet and then I secured the mast to the side of my travel trailer tip out.

    I was very pleased with the performance. I did have to flip the breaker on the RV internal battery charger due to extreme QRM.

    I have placed some beads at the feed point and that small loop of coax at the top is only for strain relief.

    Inside the rig

    N5NPR, K7WFM, KK5JY and 2 others like this.
  2. K0VWA

    K0VWA Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Nice rig! We have a similar setup and love it for camping.
    K2AMF likes this.
  3. K2AMF

    K2AMF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I check in daily to the "Noon Time Net" which was one goal. Last night I was able to join the round table on 7.204 out of Reno.
    Yesterday I talked to one of the 13 colony stations out of Rhode Island a trip of some 2,262 miles with this ham stick dipole and 100 watts.

    It's not ideal but it's an easy and safe setup.
  4. K0PIR

    K0PIR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Great idea!
    K2AMF likes this.
  5. K2AMF

    K2AMF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  6. WD5IKX

    WD5IKX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I picked up one of those MFJ mounts at HamCom and I plan to try it out for some portable ops. What kind of bandwidth do you see on 40 meters?

    John WD5IKX
    K2AMF likes this.
  7. K2AMF

    K2AMF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I tuned them with my antenna analyzer for 1:1 on 7.200 and it will stay under 2.5:1 up to 7.300 but I would recommend an antenna tuner either internal to the radio or the small little autotuner I use. A quick push of the button and she is tuned. More of a problem than bandwidth is the fact you have to switch hamsticks when you go from 20 - 40 - 75.
    K0PIR likes this.
  8. K2AMF

    K2AMF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I clicked on the photo to see it full size and it appears my antenna is just slightly higher than the moon. Might explain my QSO to Rhode Island the other day. Hi Hi
  9. N4MU

    N4MU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I fulltime at a park north of Tampa and have had great results with hamstick dipoles on a 25' fiberglass push up mast attached to a shed behind the RV. Many folks talk these things down but for an easy, inexpensive, reasonably broad, rotatable (yes they do have directivity) antenna they're great. I keep the extra antenna sections in a PVC tube in the shed to protect them from damage. Hamsticks can be tuned and disconnected (the whip portion from the coil end) to store without having to retune. BTW, for higher power "Hamsticks" see the ones sold by American Radio Supply. Same basic construction and rated up to 500 watts PEP so I also have an assortment of those to use with the ALS-600.
    K7WFM and K2AMF like this.
  10. K2AMF

    K2AMF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page


    Thanks for taking the time to describe your setup. I have a question for you. It seems we both use fiberglass pushup masts. I have read that over time you can "crush" a little at the top of the mast section which is of course the thinnest.

    I have read that some folks have used a very small bit of garden house (sliced to fit) to mount the hamstick connection point to. The idea that the extra rubber bit around the tip of the mast helps protect it from damage from being squished.

    The MFJ tripod/mast directions state you should NOT leave the system up over night due to water condensation from "morning dew".

    I would lower it during high winds or possible rain but wonder if these fiberglass masts are really all that sensitive?

    I have run a security cable through one of my RV wheels and around and through the legs of the tripod to make it a little harder for it to do a runner (it does have 3 legs after all).

    I was really happy with this setup last night as I actually had a 5 - 10 min ragchew with a ham in Rhode Island on 100 watts (my end) at around 3am his time. Of course he had a fantastic antenna system that could hear as good as it could transmit but overall I was pleasantly surprised at just how well this works.
    K0VWA likes this.

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