Small antenna for a small place

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

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  1. K0VWA

    K0VWA Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's a really capable setup. Wish I knew about the fiberglass mast in the morning dew. They do make boats out of fiberglass (and cars) so it's odd that water would be detrimental.

    I once worked Hawaii with a setup like yours - granted there's a bit of a help with our elevation here. :) Took a photo a few minutes later after my hands had stopped shaking. The dog in the photo is very much alive - she was just getting some solar heating.

    Hoping I can make that noon net and hear you on the radio some time. 73.
    K2AMF likes this.
  2. N4MU

    N4MU Ham Member 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.[/QUOTE]

    AMF: I don't know about the "don't leave it up over night" stuff. Never saw that. And I agree with other responder that water/moisture is bad...maybe over a LONG term but otherwise no.
    I use the MFJ-1904HD here. It extends to about 23' and the bottom section is what is secured to the shed. Seems to work fine. I am in the process of making a "portable" mast to take on trips. This will be bungied to the RV ladder and uses all but the bottom section of the 1904 mast (the one that is secured to shed). I used a 3 1/2" PVC with a reamed out reducer on top for the bottom section. Overall antenna height is the same - 23'.
    I have left this permanent one up over night a lot...even through some storms (probably shouldn't have) and see no impairment with mast or antennas. BTW, I also use a Tarheel screwdriver antenna on the roof of the same metal shed...that works great and takes all the power that the "600" can deliver. The addition of the dipole hamsticks was to see what a horiz antenna would do...understanding its shortcomings of length, etc.
    The other route I take is the MFJ "Big Ear" antenna mounted on its own 10' telescoping mast tripod. That is really a good antenna...a bit unwieldly at times but properly tethered is a great performer - I use it mostly with a QRP package I have. Have not used it yet on the road...or for that matter the hamsticks either but that will change with our planned lengthy trip coming up. Let me know what you do. Take a look at the MFJ it what you are using? I can see where some strengthening might be required on some of the smaller top sections of masts MFJ has available but the 1904HD is 1/8" wall and 1" O.D. at the top and hangs on to the dipole assy very well. Good luck!
  3. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    You are living the dream, my friend. Well done.
    K2AMF likes this.
  4. K2AMF

    K2AMF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Wow great photo of a great operating location. I am glad you told me about the dog as my wife was concerned. We RV with cats and the positions they find to sleep in can be equally concerning. More than once I have made sure I saw his chest move while he was breathing.

    I have found their Noon Time Net (actually it starts at 10AM PST and goes to about 14:00 PST daily) a great net. No membership requirements, fees, or any special requirements. The NCS guys work relays to help with the weaker stations. From Washington State I usually hit Reno daily.
  5. K2AMF

    K2AMF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    [QUOTE=" Let me know what you do. Take a look at the MFJ it what you are using? I can see where some strengthening might be required on some of the smaller top sections of masts MFJ has available but the 1904HD is 1/8" wall and 1" O.D. at the top and hangs on to the dipole assy very well. Good luck![/QUOTE]

    Mine is the slightly cheaper MFJ 1919EX which extends 18 feet and easily supports those ham sticks. They could be mounted vertically of course which could put up the 20 meter sticks some 25 feet plus. Of course I would guess a 1/2 wave wire doublet would be better and even cheaper but that would be out of the question at the state and private RV parks we go to.

    This system is safe and secure and could be made to stay completely on your own assigned space. have reached from the west coast to the east coast on both the 20 and 40 meter sticks.

    I had a guy write me that he has used the sticks without a mast by using them vertically by launching a rope over the highest tree he can find and simply hauling it straight up. No ground or counterpoise required.

    I have not been a ham very long but it seems every antenna is some kind of compromise. I am enjoying experimenting and building different types of antennas. One of the first test equipment I purchased was that MFJ antenna analyzer (MFJ259C) ... I thought it was a lot of cash and it is but man does it make tuning and testing equipment and coax such a time saver and the confidence what you have built is safe for your transmitter and obtain the lowest SWRs possible.
  6. K2AMF

    K2AMF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Well I drifted over to your bio and was blown away by your antenna designs and descriptions. Those loop antennas also seem like something that would be good for RV operations.

    As far as living the dream .. I can't lie ... retired a few years ago riding the computer boom starting in 1975. The amount of money I invested in tape drives, then SSSD 5.1/4 drives and eventually 100 MB hard drives for $300 still haunts me as I look at 256GB thumb drives now for $66!

    Oh well .. I plan on enjoying the next third of my life blending in all the hobbies.

    KK5JY likes this.
  7. N4MU

    N4MU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Glad to hear that you're having fun! Hope to work you someday...maybe RV park to RV park! LOL 73
    K2AMF likes this.
  8. NM1I

    NM1I Ham Member QRZ Page

    also have a px3 to help the old man. run this all out to a shakespeare 393 marine vertical mounted to rear ladder.. antenna is 3 pieces abt 23 ft tall. load it with an atu inside the amp with a balun at base. works very well, when asked about it by neighbors I show them the marine label and hook up a HT to the ant and listen in on marine radio freqs. deception seems to work ...been running it for two yrs now....NM1I Butch
    K2AMF likes this.
  9. NM1I

    NM1I Ham Member QRZ Page

    oops, hit a key to soon, shud hav said running kx3 and kpa100 w/atu in addition to I said system works well and no rfi complaints ....but I do run qrp most of the time
    K2AMF likes this.

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