Re: Fire In The Wire
On 3/14/2020 2:32 PM, Joshua Wood wrote:
any advice for a portable (i.e. small packed size) multi-band HF antenna (40-30-20-15)Well I didn't believe it when a mil radio buddy who does a lot of portable operation first told me, but after giving it a try I am a firm believer that it's very hard to beat a 31 ft. telescoping fiberglass Jackite (kite) pole with a wire run up the center, a small autotuner like an SGC-235, and three or four 30 ft. long counterpoise wires. There are many ways to hold it up including a drive-over base and the kind of "quad pod" used for highway signs, or light paracord guy wires. Mine fastens to the back of my RV and I can have it up and be on the air in 5 minutes. With a little ingenuity a mount can be figured-out for any kind of operation and some radios with built-in tuners will match it directly.
Vertical real estate is usually easier to find than horizontal, and no natural or manmade supports are needed so you can set up on pavement, bare rock, or any surface. The antenna is a quarter wave on 40 and easily tunes to the higher bands and as low as 80 meters, and signal reports are consistently "as good as your home station". Jackite poles collapse down to 46 inches and even have a place to wind up the antenna wire for storage. Tie a big fishing sinker on each counterpoise wire and attach them with alligator clips so when (not "if") you trip over them they won't kill you. The best part is the 31 ft pole will cost about $80 and the rest is just wire and hardware store parts (conduit hangers fit perfectly).
So many hams have used them for antennas that Jackite has added an "antennas" page to their website: https://www.jackite.com/antenna
By they way some have used them as permanent antennas - just wrap a few turns of electrical tape above each joint so it can't work loose with temperature cycling.
73, Bob W9RAN