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Soliciting opinions for antennae

Discussion in 'QRP Corner' started by KC3JIN, Dec 31, 2018.

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  1. KC3JIN

    KC3JIN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Background - FT-817, CW and SSB, park portable. I own a STL (good for listening not for sending) and a 4:1 balun with tuner for wires. Wire heights are limited by how far up I can toss a water bottle on a rope.

    After some tooling around, I've managed to find a spot at my local park where my signal seems to get out some - nice unobstructed horizon, down slope to a freshwater lake. It's won me my only two HF contacts, SSB no less, with the random wire up around 20 feet. Both contacts were pretty marginal.

    Anyway. After Christmas I've got just a few bucks to spend how I like (gift cards!) and am mulling over how to improve my position and reach.

    To me, it looks like a two-way choice. I can buy or roll my own vertical รก la MFJ-1899t or single band variant. Or I can buy or make a way to get my wire higher (crossbow, atlatl, trebuchet.). I know nothing beats a dipole in low earth orbit but by my own soft math it'd be more money for a longer feedline and rope and I've still got to get it up there each time.

    Your thoughts please!
  2. NK7Z

    NK7Z Ham Member QRZ Page

    Is this antenna you are asking about going to be portable, or permanent?
  3. N8TGQ

    N8TGQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hey Jordan, welcome to QRP! I operate from local parks a lot and have to walk or bike to them, so small lightweight gear is desireable. I use 70' of 28 gauge wire with a SOTA tuner from QRPKITS. There are other companies that sell the same tuner circuit, but I like the box they use. It has an SWR indicator built in. I roll the wire out to the length needed for the band I'm on and leave the extra on the reel at far end of antenna. Rig is connected to tuner with 2' of rg-174 with no ground or counterpoise. The park people frown on using trees for antennas so I use a 13" telescoping fishing rod from Walmart to make an inverted vee. I drilled a hole in tha bottom cap of pole and slide the pole down over a driveway marker stuck in the ground. It supports my lightweight wire easily.
    Using my MTR-3 at about 2 watts and cover the country on 20m and 2/3 country on 40. I have also used a kids fishing rod to get a wire up in trees. Slingshots and bows are frowned on in some places!
    Have fun!
  4. KC3JIN

    KC3JIN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Portable. Part of the reason I operate in parks is because we don't yet have a house!

    I love the fishing pole idea. Re: trees, I have not had any issue. Likely because folks can't see the wire! Haha.

    Now: I use a counterpoise, but I wonder if rolling up the extra (related to the band) would make a difference. You still use a tuner, correct?
  5. VA3VF

    VA3VF Ham Member QRZ Page

  6. N6MST

    N6MST Ham Member QRZ Page

    20 foot Shakespeare "Wonderpole" from Amazon, a 100 foot role of speaker wire from Home Depot (it's zip cord so you actually end up with 200 feet), a bnc to binding posts adapter, and a 25 foot piece of the coax of your choice bnc connectors and you're cooking with gas. Cut a radiator for 20 meters and as many 1/4 wave radials as you can from the rest of the speaker wire and you'll be rocking 20 all day long. I wouldn't bother with 40 if most operation is from the park during daytime hours.
  7. KC3JIN

    KC3JIN Ham Member QRZ Page

  8. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    that's close to the same rig I use..... except it's 18', and uses both 80 & 40 meter wires. Since our ground here is soft, I use a sand auger / fishing rod holder as a base. The whole thing is so light, I carry it on my bicycle.
  9. N8TGQ

    N8TGQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    The SOTA tuner has the matcher, tuner and SWR indicator all in one package. The tuner, wire and 2' coax will all fit in my shirt pocket. The wire is pre-marked for bands from 40 to 10 meters. The 40 meter length also tunes up well on 20 and 10 meters.
    W7CJD and KK4NSF like this.
  10. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've looked at that antenna, and similar ones by QRPGuys.... they look quite good to me. That, combined with a lightweight pole would make a great QRP set-up

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