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Ultralight Portable Antenna Quest

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

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  1. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Charles, what is your whip overall length on 20M? From your first post it looks like it may be 10.5 ft?
  2. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Charlie.

    Yup, let's get some exact measurements down. :) Firstly, the fishing pole started it's life as a 12' fishing pole.

    However, when you install aluminum tape on all the fiberglass sections, it no longer physically extends as far out as it originally did, because you are adding additional thickness to the fiberglass tubing sections.

    Also remember, the red wire, inductor coil and blue wire add to the overall radiator "electrical" length, so keep that in mind when looking at the physical measurements below...


    The aluminum taped covered pole sections (the main radiator section) extends for a total of 104" (8.6 feet)

    The red wire attached to the hose clamp on the radiator is exactly 7 1/2" inches long.

    The blue wire which is attached to the SO-239 connector is 4 1/2" inches long.

    The coil is 4 1/2" long. The length of the coil also measures 4 1/2" The circumference diameter of the coil measures approx. 1"

    The collapsed length of the portable antenna ("the cattle prod") is 20" long. (1 - 1/2 feet long)
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2018
    AK5B likes this.
  3. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not only the lightest, but also the fastest portable antenna to setup in the West! :D

    WD0BCT likes this.
  4. AK5B

    AK5B Ham Member QRZ Page

    En garde! (I realize after seeing it in action that the Cattle Prod Antenna can also serve in rapid-response swashbuckling endeavors)
    KC8VWM likes this.
  5. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, I can hear the sound of steel ringing as I draw my formidable weapon from my backpack and fight gloriously in the DX pileups.
  6. AK5B

    AK5B Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good for you, Charles. Some of these modern-day pileups can get pretty nasty very quickly so it is wise of you to be well prepared. Not so sure that the sound of aluminum springing into action is as formidable or daunting as steel against steel but don't let this minor detail inhibit you in your dx quest.

    I'm still kind of amazed by your clever use of 30-amp Power Pole connectors as coil taps, too. This Cattle Prod Antenna is no cattle product, for sure! How about a writeup for QST? I betcha they'd go for it unanimously.

    73, Jeff
    WD0BCT and KC8VWM like this.
  7. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    How's your laundry reel antenna coming along?

  8. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm getting in some operating time with the FT-891 and monitoring battery drain before taking the laundry reel dipole out for a trial. Perhaps tomorrow or Friday. I hope to use it on Saturday for field day activity.
    Unfortunately conditions lately have been very poor.
    I did set up the dipole and tested with an antenna analyzer. I did not want to keep the tripod and pole set up too long in the back yard and worry my neighbors.
    I have a stealth dipole that neighbors have been very good about.
  9. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I used mine on field day a few years ago. Had it setup as an inverted V up around 30' on a portable telescopic pole and tripod. Using only a 100 watts, the laundry reel antenna was slamming many people with a 10-20 dB over S-9 signal and it was busting through pile ups like a boss. I suspect the only thing that can beat it is a Yagi.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017
  10. AK5B

    AK5B Ham Member QRZ Page

    Reminds me of the soon-to-become often heard advertising slogan;

    "If you can't corral the dx with a VWM Cattle Prod, reel in loads of clean, static-free signals with a VWM Laundry Reel Antenna!"

    (Charles, if you decide to use this let me know and I'll send you a contract and bill you my consulting fee.)

    73, Jeff
    WB5YUZ, AC8UN and KC8VWM like this.

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