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Showing posts with the label portable antennas

A simple, portable 40-10 meter vertical antenna with counterpoise. Post #232

How would you like to build a 40-10 meter vertical antenna that could be used in portable or emergency situations?  For the relatively low cost of some housewire, a length of 450-ohm ladder line, some clip leads, a few insulators, a 4:1 balun, a small length of coaxial cable, and an antenna transmatch, you could have a simple multiband antenna that will give you hours of fun on your next mini DXpedition to the nearest public park or in your own back yard.  With a  QRP rig, a deep cycle marine battery, and a few solar panels, you can enjoy a few carefree hours without increasing your electric bill. I have such a station placed in my Odyssey van.  I can operate when the mood strikes me or when a local emergency is declared.  During the quarterly break from my teaching duties, I decided to unpack my portable station and give it a brief "shakedown cruise" at my new homesite in the Puna District of Hawaii Island. I wanted to relax a bit after a day's work of clearing t

Simple Antennas for the Amateur Radio Operator--a continuing series

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog Post #179 Portable antennas for the unexpected I've made it a habit over the past few years to keep an emergency "go" kit in my van in case I'm needed to provide communications backup for our local civil defense agency and the Hilo office of the American Red Cross.  Other than the 11 March 2011 tsunami (the one that damaged Japan and its Fukushima nuclear reactor), I haven't used my portable equipment that much, except for weekend operations in a local park or beach area.  When I worked at Pacific Radio Group, I kept an old Kenwood TS-520 and a Kenwood HT at the station for emergency backup to the Hawaii County Civil Defense office in Hilo.  But, since I retired, my forays into portable operation have been subject to personal whim or to opportunities I get handed to me. Such is the case this weekend, where I revert to my 22nd year as the tower announcer for the Big Island Auto Club's monthly points meets.  I'm under

Simple Antennas for Amateur Radio Operators--a continuing series.

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog Post #178 Portable antennas One of the things I like to do when the weather is nice (such as today) is to drive my van up an old sugar plantation road and set up a low-power emergency station at a clearing above Laupahoehoe town.  At an elevation of 1,200 feet on the east slope of Mauna Kea, I have a clear view of the Pacific Ocean off to the northeast and a fairly good shot at Japan over the summit of Hawaii Island's largest mountain. Once I reach the clearing, I retrieve my homebrew 40-meter helix (see last post), 50-feet of 450-ohm ladder line, a 4:1 balun, the trusty Drake MN-4 tuner, about 10-feet of RG-6 coax, and the venerable Yaesu FT-7 qrp rig, which can be used for both cw and SSB contacts from 80 meters to 10 meters.  The vertical helix is comprised of two, 5-foot schedule 40 pvc pipes, which are joined by a pvc connector.  Sixty-six feet of #22 gauge hookup wire is wound in a spiral to the top of the vertical pole.  A 48-inch &qu