I bought a Hamstick CLONE (think it was by JETSTREAM) at the TRW Swapmeet for 75 Meters. Leif KT7DAD and Sue AF6LJ are on there frequently, and I was unsuccessful at getting my 40M hamstick to load up on 75. Cost me a sizable $17. Had I not spent the money on it, I coulda come home with that Yaesu FT-980, but oh well...
The Hamstick was put on the mount and to my great disdain, it was not resonant at ANY frequency. Did I get RIPPED OFF???
Today, on the way to work, I tried it again and noticed that depending on the speed I went, the noise would shift on and off. At work, I turned up the volume loud and flexed different points on the Hamstick to find where there was a problem. Finally, I found a point, right at the base, where the noise level would change depending on pressure. I took the antenna into the plant.
The antenna has a thick heatshrink tubing over the affair, and I cut away a small area over where the wire from the coil went into brass housing that connects to where the mount is. Sure enough, there was a cold solder joint on the wire and brass housing.
The wire was scraped down to bare copper and fluxed. Now I could try and resolder it.
The problem is that the brass housing is such a big heatsink it was very difficult, even with a high wattage soldering gun, to get it hot enough to take the solder. But finally enough solder melted around the junction to make a good solder joint. They must use a TORCH at the factory to solder these, or they should. Maybe one of those little BUTANE Torches would work.
Now the antenna was solid and flexing it did not change the noise. Putting it on the MFJ antenna analyzer showed it resonant at 3650, a long ways from where I wanted it, so I used my Dremel cuttoff disk to chop a couple inches off the metal whip shaft.
The remaining would now go down into the tube and I was able to adjust it for precisely 3843, the freq Leif and Sue hang out on. Using my LDG Auto tuner for the ICOM 706, I could now tune the range of 3750-4000, the Phone band. I don't do mobile CW.
Maybe this is what is wrong with my 40M intermittent Hamstick. And perhaps many of U out there are tearing your hair out cuz the antennas work great when stopped but flaky when driving. That solder joint is critical and almost impossible to heat up enough.
Now I need to find a 12 meter Hamstick. So far no luck. MFJ is supposed to make them but none at HRO.