Ultralight Portable Antenna Quest

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by KC8VWM, Jun 18, 2017.

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  1. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks Jeff.

    I was also thinking it kinda looks like a cattle prod.

    Incidentally, there is actually room under the red plastic cap to hide a small Spy Pen Camera or even a James Bond Laser Beam device now that I think about it. :)

    AK5B likes this.
  2. AA7EJ

    AA7EJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Very nice, but looks familiar


    I have done SOME "backpacking in the wilderness" after carrying x pounds of battery up the Oregon mountains.
    Got few laughs from my teenage kids.
    My "wilderness" always included plenty of simple antenna supports, fishing line is not only good for breakfast trout catching, so I really question a need for sturdy vertical mast.
    Granted your design is great mutiband, but horizontal or almost horizontal wires are adjustable using another wilderness tool, Swiss army knife , therefore easier to match.

    73 Shirley
    KC9UR and KC8VWM like this.
  3. WG8Z

    WG8Z Ham Member QRZ Page

    I love the split loom coil form and powerpole taps. Seeing that I work at a custom automotive shop and we have boxes of
    loom of various dia. Already working on winding a load coil for my 21' sunnypole.
    Also picked up a 31' windsock pole at a hamfest sat.
    Good stuff Charles, thanks for posting.
    KC8VWM and AK5B like this.
  4. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Haha, yeah I remember the old pocket fisherman. :)

    I normally just throw wire in the air and hang it from tree branches too, but I was looking to design something for the "there's no trees" anywhere and only a pile of rocks situation during a backpack / SOTA excursion.

    This could be while in the Grand Canyon rocky terrain, or while in the Arizona desert or something. The main benefit of this design is that it's quickly deployable to setup and use. I just remove the red plastic cap on the end of the "cattle prod" and give a simple flick of the wrist which will instantly fully deploy all the telescopic vertical antenna sections. Quick and easy. It's just as easy to tear down and pack away while on the go. It's basically a 1-2 minute portable antenna. Additionally, a vertical avoids the idea of dragging around an antenna pole or any portable tripod too. Just stick any old tent stake in the ground and unscrew the plastic cap on the bottom of the antenna pole and place it over the tent stake. It holds to the tent stake just fine because the antenna hardly weighs anything at all.

    The other thing you can do with this portable vertical is attach the antenna directly to a back pack frame for pedestrian mobile operation or install it on the side of your boat or canoe etc..

    Another situation is when I am wearing a business suit while travelling and staying somewhere like at the Hyatt Regency. They have nice balconies I could attach this antenna to very quickly and easily. Drape a counterpoise or two along the length of the floor of the balcony and it's done. If it's a bad location and if HF is too noisy to operate, I can switch the antenna over into 2m mode.

    It's really just a very versatile and quickly deployable portable antenna to use on the air from any kind of location with minimal fuss involved.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
    AK5B likes this.
  5. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Greg.

    Yes the automotive split loom tubing is really the best way to go. Despite it's lightweight composition, it's actually extremely rugged material to use in the outdoors. I found #14 AWG solid copper wire fits in the grooves perfectly. I never used any hot glue on my coil at all and found the split loom tubing really hangs on to the coil quite nicely. There's no coil slippage whatsoever.

    Heck with a 31' tall windsock pole you could probably get this to work on 80m too!
    AK5B likes this.
  6. AK5B

    AK5B Ham Member QRZ Page

    Those PP connector bits must be pressure fit between the loom and wire, correct? Serendipity and brilliance working hand in hand, for sure if so.
  7. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    That is correct. You can try small alligator clips, but the snub nose will have to be pressed into the loom tubing using more physical pressure. Sometimes (not always) the alligator's bite let's go. :)

    You can also try larger diameter coil wire, like #12 AWG, but then you're introducing the potential for coil slippage. So hot glue along the length of the coil becomes a mandatory requirement. I didn't use any hot glue on my coil - didn't need to.

    The curved PP connector wedges in there pretty good and holds to the backside of the coil wire very well.

    Besides, it just works so who am I to argue with myself? lol :)
  8. AK5B

    AK5B Ham Member QRZ Page

    The PP connectors seem perfect for this. Besides, the alligator clips always let go of things whenever you inadvertently tickle their bellies.
    KC8VWM likes this.
  9. WG8Z

    WG8Z Ham Member QRZ Page

    "Heck with a 31' tall windsock pole you could probably get this to work on 80m too!"

    I actually was able to work 80m on the 21' center loaded in a invert L config. Talked to my buds in Ohio from S. Florida every morning and eve. Was hot hot on 40M. Amazing what you can do with proper matching rather than relying on some lossy 4:1, 6:1 or 9:1 network.
    AK5B and KC8VWM like this.
  10. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    You know it must be a good antenna, when the very first contact you make with it is a station located in New Zealand. :)

    0413 14246.5 USB KC8VWM 59 ZL4IR 57 ED

    We actually had a 1-2 minute QSO and I was describing this antenna I was using to him.

    Thanks for the 5/7 signal report Ed!
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2017
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