Whats the strangest thing you have loaded up as a HF antenna ??

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by N5FOG, Dec 21, 2009.

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  1. N5FOG

    N5FOG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've loaded up 100+ foot tall flag poles and light poles at the mall, the whole 3rd floor railing at my old apt complex in the early AM. But the weirdest was a couple days after Hurricane IKE.

    I was able to "borrow" use of the 3000 foot long wire that runs from one end of the street to the other and is 30 feet in the air.

    With no electrical power for miles there was just about zero RFI and between that and the saltwater on both sides of the "borrowed" wire the results where really amazing on 160, 80 and 40 meters.

    So what is the strangest or weirdest thing you have loaded up for HF ?

  2. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    At a Field Day in the mid-70's, I was involved in loading up two Volvo 245
    station wagons parked back to back as a "thick dipole". It involved
    the use of the towing hooks as connectors, and jump start cables as feedlines.

    The arrangement worked reasonably on 7 MHz.

    Another was the use of a steel railway bridge as a "shunt fed grounded radiator"
    during my military service. The antenna matching units used in the Ra620
    mobile radio shelters had a tremendous matching range.


  3. WA6ITF

    WA6ITF Ham Member QRZ Page

    A True Wet Noodle -- er Spaghetti Dipole

    Circa 1959 when 6 meters was almost like 20 with DX most of the day, my buddies Larry Levy, WA2INM, Johnny Peterson ex-WA2FMF, decided to see if the ham radio folk law was true that said that when 6 meters was open you could work DX with a wet noodle. So Larry and I built a 6 meter dipole made out of cooked spaghetti tied end to end, laid it on some newspaper in his driveway, connected it to his rig with a length of RG-58 and some alligator clips and tuned the band. (My job was also to keep the spaghetti wet with a garden watering can,)

    Anyhow, we chose a bad day for the experiment. No DX -- either on the "wet noodle" dipole or Larry's 5 element Telrex beam. So we called Johnny on the phone and asked him to meet us on 50.4 Mc (MHz had not yet been invented). He did and using the "wet noodle" we actually held a QSO with 5 x 9+ signals both ways. I should note that WA2FMF lived less than 2 miles from WA2INM and had a Gonset G-50 into a 5 element Hi-Gain aimed at Larry's QTH. They could hear one another on the fillings in their teeth!

    We also decided to do a scientific study of the propagation of a wet noodle antenna as it dries. As it did, Johnny's signal went from meter pinning to about an S-8 -- probably the aligator clip being the only antenna. When I went outside and watered the antenna, signals returned to meter pinning.

    And for skeptics -- we recorded the QSO audio on tape using an old Webcor recorder with its blinking green tuning eye level indicator. I think he still has the recorder and maybe even the tape.

    And so ended our experiment to prove only what a pair of teen hams would try: Hold a QSO using a wet noodle.

    Larry went on to do a lot of other interesting 6 meter experiments including using his 1960 VW "bug" as a chassis to build a clone of a Heathkit HW-29 "Sixer" transceiver. The tubes were plugged in under the dashboard in spring locked sockets and all the wiring was in the front "trunk." Worked as good as any other Heath Sixer but there was no rig to steal.

    de WA6ITF
  4. KB2CRK

    KB2CRK Ham Member QRZ Page

    the top barbed wire on a cow pasture fence. it worked great most of the time and once in a while i would hear an angry cow make a hell of a racket.
  5. KY5U

    KY5U Subscriber QRZ Page

    A metal shop stool with backrest to a marine SSB. The guy working on it had been annoying me all morning.. He came from the restroom, sat on the stool then whistled in the SSB's mike. Shut his butt up for a few days while the burns healed.
  6. WS2L

    WS2L Guest

    Chain link fence and a metal garbage can.
  7. N2RJ

    N2RJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I prefer not waste my RF. I have only used real antennas. Quite honestly "loading up" things that were never meant to be antennas is more trouble than it's worth.
  8. W0DV

    W0DV Ham Member QRZ Page

    a guy wire to a telephone pole
  9. KD0EAH

    KD0EAH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Field Day 2007. Had a rented carnival like 20X40 tent shelter that was supposed to be set up for the weekend. In the process of setting it up, the rental company decided to lift the up-wind side first to put it on that stands. Nor did they bother to secure it to the ground.

    In and of itself, rather harmless....Unless you take into account the 20 mph wind coming across the park at the time.

    It lifted the tent UP and OVER the shelter we were next to, and left the tent and metal frame structure in a 50 foot oak tree suspended about 1 foot off the ground.

    A couple of true OF extra's loaded that as an antenna and made about a half dozen contacts with it during the field day event.
  10. WM3O

    WM3O Ham Member QRZ Page

    disconnected coax to the 40m dipole - forgot i disconneted it - it's about 40m long - busted a pileup with it running 100w

    i have also loaded up a lawn chair - worked a dozen stations with it at 5w.
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