Your portable HF setups

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by M0MJH, Apr 4, 2008.

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  1. M0MJH

    M0MJH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am going on a mini DX-pedition to the island of Jersey IOTA EU-013 with a friend of mine in a couple of weeks time and was wondering what kind of aerials that others use when setting things up /p for a short amount of time and also in possible limited area. I am experimenting with some 1/4wave verticals at the moment (1/4 wave wire up the side of a fibreglass pole - sold in the US as a crappie pole I think- and multiple 1/4 wave radials)

    If anyone has any designs of aerials I would be most interested.


    (MJ0MJH whilst on Jersey)
  2. KC9ECI

    KC9ECI Ham Member QRZ Page

  3. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you can find a section of Airdux or wind a coil using number 18 wire about 6 turns per inch 4 or 5 inces long you can use it to base load the pole antenna you described. Add an air variable capacitor and this will allow you to change bands and set the SWR by moving the tap on the coil.

  4. G0GQK

    G0GQK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello Mark,

    What you are using at the present time is probably the best you could do for portable HF operation. Its simple, its effective. I use a similar antenna, an aluminium tube vertical, resonant on 40 metres with four resonant 40 metre raised radials, and I use this with an ATU to tune bands from 15 metres to 160metres. Mostly it is used on 30 metres and contacts have been made all round the world using 30 watts of PSK.

    I would suggest you call into either Lidl's or Aldi if you have them locally, one of them is selling pole screws for supporting garden umbrella's, should there be any sun ! Use one of these to support your SOTA pole anywhere where the ground is firm and use the thin cable to support the pole. Check which one is selling them on the internet, they're £4.99

    Perhaps it will be pointed out that the radiation pattern on some of the bands will be poor but you will still make contacts, all we need is some half decent radio conditions, and some decent weather, like sunshine ! Its nice in Jersey, have a nice time.

    Mel G0GQK
  5. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    When I go on camping trips I take my MFJ 30M rig and 48 ft of wire to throw up in trees.
    I chose this halfwave end fed because it needs no radial field on the ground that a quarter wave vert does. The small MFJ 16010 tuner does the matching quite well.
    I have been using 2 small 6V nicd batteries that came from a very old cellfone to run the station. At 5W the batteries last several days before recharging is required.
    During low sunspot years I still routinely make 1000 mile QSOs.
  6. M0MJH

    M0MJH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, I had my first run of QSOs on my new homebrew 1/4 wave 40m vertical last night and got some good reports from all stations. Most of them were in Europe until at 2110hrs I spoke to Chris VO1TX. I think I can safely say that the aerial is working OK. :D
  7. AI4IJ

    AI4IJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    If there are trees available to use as supports, I would definitely find a way to take advantage of them to support some wire antennas.

    On an island, I would think that verticals would be your best bet for DX. What you propose should work well for you. But, if you have the trees available, I can highly recommend a Half-Square antenna to provide modest, bidirectional gain at a low angle of radiation. It's essentially one full wavelength of wire at the design frequency - two 1/4 wave vertical legs with a half-wave phasing wire between them at the top and fed in the corner between one of the legs and the phasing wire at the top.

    It's a very portable antenna that can be coax fed and easily installed at low heights, while still providing good low angle performance. Here's a link to a 20M version designed for QRP using two fishing poles for support:

    I often use a pair of guyed 10M military masts for support - which are, of course, much larger and heavier, but provide far greater flexibility in antenna choices, than the fishing poles.

  8. M0MJH

    M0MJH Ham Member QRZ Page

    As far as I can see from Googlemaps in the kind of area we will be in, I can't see any trees that will be available to us. I tried making a 17m 1/4wave this morning but it seems to tune better on 15 than 17... hmmm... I was sure I got my measurements correct... oh well... try again!

  9. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have hiked, camped, and traveled to the Caribbean with a ICOM 703 or Yaesu 857, and either a PAC-12 antenna ( or a end fed half wave (piece if wire out a hotel room or in a tree) All of this stuff packs up real well, the PAC-12 antenna breaks down into 12" sections.

    Have fun!

  10. W4INF

    W4INF Ham Member QRZ Page

    My best experiences have been these...

    All band doublet, for 80-10m should be *90 ft long*, for 40-10m, should be *66 ft long*, these measurements are from my actual experience and work very well! Inexpensive too! I suggest the LDG (or other) 4:1 BALUN at the rig with an LDG Z-100 for easy tune and great performance.

    I built this 20m vertical, which ended up loading on a few other (lower) bands.
    The measurements are 16.5 ft for the radiator and radials, for 40m, just make them all 33 ft.

    On the vertical: Ive already had 2 go out of there way to e-mail me and tell me they used my plans from my site, and were thrilled with how well it worked, and how easy it was to build!

    Hope you get something up and running, best 73s-
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