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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth

Dave (KD3V) on January 26, 2003
View comments about this article!

I have been having great success using the 'hamstick' type helical whips which I mount dead center on the roof of my car. Completely above the car body! If working repeatedly into India (VU2ELJ) and South Africa (ZS6AN and others) on the long path is any indication then I do well... all barefoot! My 706 'G' model and the hamsticks link me to the world quite nicely....

BUT...

The narrow 70Kc (2:1) BW on 75 leaves me wanting a better option since there is so much room to talk down there... a full 250Kc for we Extras.

I had a small brainstorm the other day... Since I have 7 hamsticks (75 to 10, no 30m) for the car... each one with a custom tuned 'extension' that all end up with different lengths... well... different lengths!

I can just swap out the extensions on the 75m coil base and work a different 70Kc range! I made a chart and I now cover ALL of the 75 band with a 30 second swap of the extensions. This mean NO tuning of the lengths, just a quick swap of the extensions and off I go.

Initially two of the extension resonated above 4000 BUT they were the 15 & 12 meter ones and they had plenty of BW there that I retuned them so that when used on the 75m coil I covered to 3900 range in 2 sections. 3970+/- and 3930+/-

Now I can move quickly and I spent all of ZERO DOLLARS to get this option....

Just a little thought! I wonder how many other mobile users are already doing this. I wish I had thought about it earlier.

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by N6JSX on January 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
At first this sounds good but I've been using HAMsticks for years and it isn't that simple. Not to mention how easy it is to loose one of the two insert screws that holds the stinger into the body of the antenna.

Everytime you want to work a different part of the band you need to stop, unscrew the antenna from the car, dig out a flat blade screwdriver, loosen two insert screws and replace the stinger. (Hope you don't do what I do in slipping out of the slot and begin stripping the screw head).

If the stinger attachement to antenna body had a firm quick disconnect method to slip stingers in and out you may have a resonable chance - (such as a threaded slip clamp like Hustler coils have). But I found that small movements of a stinger will have rather large movements in VSWR vs frequency.

The only way I can see doing this is in having multiple stingers made for that 75 antenna - not sharing amongst the other HAMsticks. Tune up each stinger for a selected area of frequency coverage. Precisely cut the stinger so it bottoms out in the antenna body establishing the precise dimensions or put some tape around the stinger to limit it's insert into the antenna body. Replace the insert screws with a wingnut type threaded screw (such as the type that come with my IC-706 mobile bracket).

The problem I have found is even the HAMstick (that has a wider band width over a Huslter) is just not long enough on 75m. What I've done is put the HAMstick ontop a Hustler 5' extension. This lil extra real helps my performance - but the antenna top measures 12' off the ground - I require a guy rope to my roof rack.

My opinion, 73, Kuby, N6JSX/8
 
Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by N4ZOU on January 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Another Good way to tune your Hamstick or other mobile HF antenna including a Bugcatcher is to add a roller inductor with an optional motor drive to the base feed point. Simply set the inductor to minimum or no inductance and tune the antenna to the very top of the band and then drive the roller inductor for more inductance as you move down the band. An ARRL handbook from 1977 shows how to build one and operate it. A small inductor will work fine and I have seen them at local Hamfests for just a few dollars as there too small for use in antenna tuners or amplifiers but for just adding a little more inductance there fine. With a simple motor drive you can move all over the band that your antenna is made for or with a Bugcatcher you dont need to get out and connect to a second tap for that same band. If you dont use a motor drive a turns counter and log book makes changing frequency fast but you would still need to stop and get out of the vehicle to change frequency.
 
RE: Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by K7LCS on January 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
WHY NOT JUST BUILD OR PURCHASE A SCREWDRIVER ANTENNA AND ALL PROBLEMS SATISFIED. I HAVE THREE OF THEM, TWO MOUNTED ON REAR OF VEHICLES(TO FRAME, WITH ANT. MOUNT) AND ONE RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOF ON A OLDER CAR (92 FORD SEDAN) ALL OF THEM WORK GREAT, NO GETTING OUT OF CAR TO CHANGE, RETUNE, GET WET FROM RAIN, ETC...I WENT THROUGH ALL OF WHAT YOU GUYS ARE DOING ABOUT 18 YEARS AGO, IT AINT WORTH IT...
 
RE: Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by WA6RF on January 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I use an Amcom screwdriver controller to qsy to most every band; talk about elegance! Dick WA6RF
 
Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by N0AX on January 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Here's something even easier - get a heavy-duty alligator clip and attach "stingers" of stiff wire (like #14 or #16 solid copper) at the point where the whip enters the body of the antenna. You can have a whole collection of stingers for the different parts of the band. Make the alligator clip a strong one so it won't blow off. If it's clipped on so it can pivot a little, then it will automatically line up towards the back of the vehicle while in motion.

I tuned my Hamstick for 75-meter phone and then add a stinger (a few inches long - your stinger will vary with placement on the car, etc. etc) to work 80 CW. Changes over in about 10 seconds, assuming you can find the right one under the seat, hihi.

73, Ward N0AX
 
RE: Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by KE1MB on January 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
If someone has managed to mount a screwdriver on their roof, please more details. Hamsticks are cheap, just buy two or three of the 80M versions. You do not want to be using a hamstick on any other band that what they are made for. You want as little coil up there as possable.
 
Hamsticks on the roof  
by KF6IIU on January 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I've seen a couple of cars going down the freeway with hamstick-sized antennas anchored with one of those huge 3 to 5 - magnet mag mounts you see advertised. The Hamstick (tm) particularly is significantly lighter in weight than the similar 3/8 Comet and cheapo CB antennas.

I put mine on the spare tire mount of my Honda CRV - with a Diamond lip mount, and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. See http://www.wsanders.net/mobileant.htm
 
Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by KC4YLX on January 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I have been thinking of using my longest hamsitck antenna by removing all of the wire wound on it. Then using 1/4" copper and making a loading coil of about 3" dia. by 6" long and mounting it close to the top of the fiberglas pole. Next using the longest whip I can put in the top and a wire running from the botton of the coil to the base of the antenna. Feeding this to my AH-4/706MKIIG combo. Letting the AH-4 work all bands. What are your comments on this?

Kinda a smaller version of the Texas Bug Catcher but run with an AH-4.
 
Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by N4ZOU on January 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
You will understand why I would never mount another screwdriver antenna to my truck after you find yours missing the next time you return to your vehicle from shopping and find it also gone! Hamsticks are cheap! Screwdrivers are not!
 
RE: Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by WR8Y on January 27, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
KC4YLX:

I like your idea, enough that I'm gonna copy it. Sounds like it'll need guying above about 35 mph, unless I don't understand what you are saying.

73,
Mark
 
Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by KD3V on January 27, 2003 Mail this to a friend!

To answer some of the comments.

1. Hamsticks are cheap! and they do get out well despite what the 'experts' like to indicate with 'efficiency' calculations. I have worked Namibia with mine on 40 meters with 100watts!

2. Hamsticks can be taken off the car very quickly with the quick disconnects! The magmount is almost never noticed with no whips on it! There is a drasticly LOWER 'worry' level about them being taken! I put a pair on in 10 seconds when I get to the car.

3. It is this simple! The stingers swap out easily! I do NOT need to tune any stingers! The various stingers from the other bands can be screwed on in 30 seconds and do provide quick frequency changes... it is MUCH faster than tuning a stinger and raises the utility of the 75 whip by a factor of 5 at least. Instead of a 50Kc usable BW, I get a full 250Kc.

4. The center of the roof mounting provides a perfect position for hamsticks that is not very practical for ANY screwdriver antenna! I bet I get out better than any screwdriver that is mounted on a hitch or bumper.

It is much easier to get started on HF with the inexpensive but highly functional hamsticks than a screwdriver and thay do not have any moving parts to go bad. I DO like the screwdriver but it is much more expensive to get than a $20-20 hamstick!

Additional info: Get the VP-1 triband adapter that Hustler makes.. put it at the base of a magmount... This gives me 4 bands. While driving I use 2 hamsticks and can easily screw in 4 when I park. They will tune just fine (except 12 causes a shift in the 10m CF) and allow for fast QSY-ability. This little hamstick array can be made for $100, is taken down easily for saftey and does work very well.
 
Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by K1MKF on January 27, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I know I've said this before on other similar topics - If it works don't knock it. This guy used what he had on hand to solve a problem, like a true HAM. Sure a screwdriver is a better antenna or perhaps a bug catcher or hustler or whatever. But, if it's working it's good enough. A kW works better than barefoot but you don't always need an amp. A Quad works better than a wire but you don't aways need it. Use what you have to do what you want. If it doesn't work then go looking or start building.
 
RE: Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by WB2WIK on January 27, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Sure seems like a good idea to me.

But, Dave has a fairly low-profile sports car, and he's tall enough to reach to the center of its roof and quickly add or remove the Hamstick. For those with taller vehicles, or shorter drivers, where one's arms don't quite reach to the antenna mount, this is a whole different proposition!

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by K7LCS on January 27, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I HAVE BEEN RUNNING SCREWDRIVERS ON MY CARS FOR 12 YEARS, NEVER LOST ONE, NEVER HAD ONE SWIPED, DRIVE 65-85MPH. BUT,,,,,NEVER,,,,NEVER,,,,GO TO A MALL WITH ANY KIND OF ANTENNA ON THE VEHICLE. I ALWAYS POP MY OFF AT MALLS, TAKES ME ABOUT (IF I AM SLOW) 10 SECONDS TO REMOVE. PLACING A SCREWDRIVER IN THE MIDDLE OF A CAR ROOF IS EASY AS CUTTING PIE. IF YA'LL JUST THINK ABOUT IT A LITTLE. AND I AGREE, USE WHAT YOU HAVE, PLAY WITH IT, BUT IF YOU CAN AFFORD THE BEST, BUY A SCREWDRIVER, OR BUILD IT...REAL SIMPLE. 73 DE K7LCS SK
 
Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth & Bui  
by WA4BWO on January 27, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Any one with info or ideas on building a screwdriver antenna post it here. I'd like to try that but until, great idea on the hamstick. 73's
Dave WA4BWO
 
Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth & Bui  
by WA4BWO on January 27, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Any one with info or ideas on building a screwdriver antenna I'd like to try that but until, great idea on the hamstick. Maybe email me at the address on the search or start a new post. Thanks 73's
Dave WA4BWO
 
Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by K5LXP on January 27, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I've played with a similar concept when I used to run huster coils. I discovered that by using a 15M coil and a long whip I could cover almost the whole 20M band without adjustment. The overall antenna length is longer, to be sure, but not unduly so. Since it was longer, I'm sure efficiency was a bit better. I wrote about it at my website:

http://www.qsl.net/k5lxp

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
k5lxp@arrl.net
 
RE: Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by N7JI on January 27, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Hamsticks are great in a pinch.

Tell you what, though - a permanently mounted screwdriver isn't terribly attractive to steal. Cables to cut, studs to remove, and then you get a big antenna to carry off, as if that isn't terribly obvious...

Put a quick disconnect on the whip and you're set (this is what I do with my Neon).

Scott N7JI
 
Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by NW0LF on January 27, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I tried the Hamsticks and the Hustlers and never really was satisfied. The screwdrivers are nice, but not on a Chevy Cavalier. I use an OutBacker Perth/ICOM 706 and get all the bandwidth I want without mutiple antennas/stingers. Several of my Ham friends here in South Florida who use the same combo, and we all get great signal reports. This is Amateur Radio experimentation at its best, but I would rather adjust one tap point and a truely adjustable stinger, without worrying about losing setscrews. Whatever flavor of HF mobileering you like, just GET OUT AND DO IT!!! It is a blast!!!!! Listen for K9WLF, the wolf on the air.

73, Tom, K9WLF/4
 
RE: Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by N5LXI on January 28, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
With the AH-4 you simply need a 10-meter stainless steel whip. I bought a CB whip, cut it for 10-meters. The AH-4 with my 706 loads from 6 to 75-meters.

I am having trouble with RF getting in the remote cable on 20-meters and shutting the rig off though. Any ideas?

joel / N5LXI
 
RE: Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by N5LXI on January 28, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
With the AH-4 you simply need a 10-meter stainless steel whip. I bought a CB whip, cut it for 10-meters. The AH-4 with my 706 loads from 6 to 75-meters.

I am having trouble with RF getting in the remote cable on 20-meters and shutting the rig off though. Any ideas?

joel / N5LXI
 
RE: Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by WA4PTZ on January 28, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I use the SGC 237 antenna coupler ( autotuner) and I
switch off between my screwdriver antenna and the
Hustler with the 40 meter resonator. I can work
6 through 160 with the screwdriver and 6 through 80
with the Hustler. If I change to the 80 meter coil
I can work 10 through 160.
For rf in the control cables....try wrapping them in
aluminum foil . I had a similar problem where my
control cable went through the headliner it past by
the vhf/uhf dual band antenna. The foil solved the
problem.
Simplicity in mobile operation can prevent accidents
and fatalities. I want to be a HAM for many more
years. A good driver has enough to do without adding
radios, cellphones and other distractions. I have
operated mobile for 25 years and have had many
"close calls" so I try to determine how to reduce
these as much as possible. The set-up I currently use
is the result of these years of "trial and error" .
73 - Tim
 
RE: Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by NE2I on January 28, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I have had a few S/D antennas
I use a funky socket head cap screw to affix my antenna
to the truck. There is a reason that the factory uses
funny fasteners on new vehicles.

George Ne2I
 
RE: Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by N1KK on January 30, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Has anyone tried mounting the Pro-am PHF-160B
on top of their 80-10m Screwdriver antenna
for the 160m band. I was thinking the lower
adjustable coil might allow tuning of the
160m band.

Ken
N1KK
 
Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by WA1RKS on January 31, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
This is what I love abt our hobby! lots of input and ideas. I have looked for info lots of times on various mobile antennas,and discovered lots of commercial info,but limited "homebrew" or technical sites/pages for ready referencing,and technical "How To's".We need that kind of an localle. Put all these comments together with your knowledge and schematics and pics on a site! then we could really enhance the hobby. Tnx fer the slot! 73 Gud dx. de Ellis.
 
Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by W6RA on February 1, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
With the Pro-Am antennas you can change whips very quickly using a pair of wrenches, and the whip length does not change from
what you had it pre-set to. That not only makes it a very convenient antenna to break in two for storage in a small cars
trunk, but allows you to have several whips of pre-set length for the same antenna base. I use 2 whips each for 20 and 40 meters, one whip for cw and one whip for phone. It only takes a minute to disconnect the antenna, unscrew the whip and replace it with another pre-set whip for a different segment of the same band. A drawback is that I had to buy two antennas for each band. Maybe Pro-Am would sell extra whip sections if asked.

Hamstick antennas do not have the feature of unbolting into two pieces like the Pro-Ams, although the Hamsticks Ive owned have been more reliable. The heat-shrink wrap has cracked near the antenna base on two of my Pro-Ams, and a third one came new from the factory that way. Another Pro-Am cracked its internal wire after only a few months use. My Hamsticks could really take a beating, however, and survived lots of brush and low limbs, even while mounted on top of the bed rail of my 4x4.

I use an MFJ 910 mobile match inside the car, located very close to the feedpoint of the antenna. It only cost $20 and has allowed very low swrs on all bands.

In spite of their drawbacks, I am currently enthused with the Pro-Ams because of their quick stow-away ability, especially when used with quick disconnect bases. The setup I have works well with my small Ford Escort, a car that I do not want to have a large screwdriver antenna mounted on. I use a standard 3/8 ball mount on the right rear fender. Ive worked lots o dx using both Hamsticks and Pro-Ams.

Randy Tomer, W6RA
 
Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by VE7LGT on February 1, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I have done somthing similar I have soldered a aligator clip to as stiff piece of wire and extendid the whip fully cliping this cap hat to the tip of the whip I am resonant at 3.729 our BC public service net freq. if I was to make longer or shorter wires it would alow me to move up and down the band extremley fast by unclipping one and clipping on a new one of a different length

73 Larry
VE7LGT
 
RE: Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by KL7IPV on February 2, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Lots of ideas. I used a Hustler mount with 4 antennas on the mast. I used an 80 meter coil to hold the multi ant adapter to the mast and then used 10, 20 and 40 meter coils on the adapter. I pointed the coils up and also down. It made no difference to them. I used a MFJ mobile tuner and worked every band from the vehicle without getting out or changing coils. It worked for my TenTec Delta II, the TS-440, the IC-706 and others. It was simple and once done, stayed that way until I moved it to another vehicle. It has worked on 2 pickup trucks and 5 sedans. I've adapted a 75 meter hamstick type with little tabs attached to the coil on the fiberglass and tested each tab using the MFJ259 tester. Now I can use JUST the 80 meter hamstick with a tuner and go every where once again. Try everything. Just because someone says it won't work does not mean it won't. It really means they haven't tried it yet. The worst you can do is learn about antennas and their limitations. The best you can do is work the world on a mobile antenna. Not bad for just fooling around.
73
Frank
KL7IPV
 
RE: Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by K9MLD on February 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
In October 1988 I published an interesting article in Ham Radio (Weekender) about a motorized tuner component to allow you to tune any mobile antenna for 75 and 40 meters from the inside of your car. I used a tuner component from an old WW2 tuner Fair Radio (Lima Ohio) had and still has available. They most recently offered yet another motor driven inductor for even more bandwith. By tuning your Hamstick or Hustler mobile antenna for the top end of the band (with no inductance added) you add inductance from the tuner and a small cap shunting the antenna and wa-la you can move down the fone band from the comfort of your front seat. Take a look !!! joelwi@dwave.net
 
RE: Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by K0BG on February 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Joel, N5LXI, I tried to e-mail you the answer to your problem but the mail came back.

The RFI problem with the remote mounted IC706 is well known especially with the longer cable. Palomar Engineers, Surplus Sales of Nebraska, and others sell ferrite split beads in Mix 43?the correct mix for this application. Snap one over each end of the remote cable, and presto, the problem will cease.

Alan, KBG
 
Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by AJ1G on March 19, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Read this thread with great interest. I have had very good luck on 40 and 80 meter CW using Hamstick type clones using a 500 pf shunt capacitor across the feed point for impedance matching, and using a stinger section made from the 1/8 " diameter stainless steel whip sold by Radio Shack as a base loaded CB/10M mobile antenna. I don't know the Radio Shack part number, but it is the one that uses a small helical coil for base loading. The RS antenna whip section is about a foot longer than the stingers supplied with the 40 and 80 meter sticks, and allow them to resonate all the way down to the bottom of the CW bands.

The SWR on 80 is still a little high - 3 bars on my FT-100D SWR indication at resonance, about 1.7 to 1. I suspect I could bring this down to near unity at resonance by using additional capacity say up to 1000 to 1500 pf total, across the feed point.

I mount my sticks on a Thule bike carrier pedestal that bolts into the trailer hitch receiver that I have mounted on my 1997 Taurus GL wagon. The top of the pedestal and the antenna feed point are about 3.5 feet off the road surface, about at the middle of the rear cargo door window, and about a foot behind the window, due to the arrangement of the Thule pedestal. I use a heavy L shaped bracket mobile mount bolted to the pedesatal at the antenna base. I removed the Thule bike hanger brackets from the pedestal, but this is not necessary. This mounting arrangement keeps the antenna up and in the clear away from the car, which greatly minimizes losses and changes in tuning resulting from interaction between the loading coil on the lower half of the sticks and the car body. I originally mounted the sticks with the feed point at a ball mount bolted directly into the trailer hitch instead of the hitch ball. This resulted in a lot of the signal getting abosorbed into the car body, and detuning as the stick coil moved relative to the car. On 40 CW I now consistently receieve 599 and 599 plus, can't believe you are a mobile signal reports, and work lots of DX, even in response to CQs.

The pedestal arrangment does seem to electrically lengthen the antenna somewhat relative to mountng the base closer to the car body, but the antennas all can be resonated using the supplied stingers, or the longer one for 80 and 40 CW, with the exception of the 6 meter stick. I have not been able to get that one to resonate on the Thule pedestal, probably because the pedestal length of about 3 feet is a significant fraction of the wavelength.

The feed point of the antenna is terminated in a small plastic project box bolted to the Thule pedestal. This provides a weather prooof enclosure to house the shunt capacitors when needed. Be sure to use lock washers on the mechanical cable connections in the box, as a lot of vibration will cause them to loosen over time. The only goof I made with the box is that I installed it on the front face of the pedestal, which causes interference when opening the cargo door. Putting it on the side or back face would have bben a better idea.

I originally used heavy string trimmer monofilament for guying the sticks, but don't anymore. The freestanding sticks have done fine over about a year and a half under all sorts of road conditions and speeds. The thin profile of the sticks have low windloading, and the helical loading coils dont give you a big heavy pendulum out on the antenna to whip around like a Hustler or Bugcatcher, which would require guys. And they have a much lower asthetic "nerd factor" than some of the bizzare looking center or top loaded HF antennas.

One thing I have noticed during this awful winter of 2002-2003 is that road salt spray deposits on the whip, especially over the loading coil section, can really detune the antenna. Wiping the antenna with a wet cloth or paper towel easily corrects this.

Another odd phenomenon I have seen is that SWR will change significantly over certain types of road surfaces. This is most notable on steel decked overpasses, or bridges, which is hardly a surprise. However, is also is observed on certain types of pavement, particularly in areas around here where I-95 has recently been resurfaced with the new type of asphalt that drains off rain better. You can see a step change in SWR as you transition from older pavement to the new stuff. If anyone knows for sure why this would happen, I wqould be interested in hearing about it.

Another hint worth noting is that the longer stinger section can be used to allow coverage of 17 meters, 15 meters and 12 meters using the 10 meter stick.

One thing to watch out for in the Hamstick clones is the quality of the stinger set screws. The ones in the
sticks I bought from Lentini in late 2001 are rugged stainless, but ones I have bought recently from them made by another supplier, have cheeey soft setscrews that easily gall and strip, as well as RUST! From now on, I will buy only the original Hamsticks.

73,

Chris, AJ1G
Stonington, CT
 
Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by AJ1G on March 19, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Read this thread with great interest. I have had very good luck on 40 and 80 meter CW using Hamstick type clones using a 500 pf shunt capacitor across the feed point for impedance matching, and using a stinger section made from the 1/8 " diameter stainless steel whip sold by Radio Shack as a base loaded CB/10M mobile antenna. I don't know the Radio Shack part number, but it is the one that uses a small helical coil for base loading. The RS antenna whip section is about a foot longer than the stingers supplied with the 40 and 80 meter sticks, and allow them to resonate all the way down to the bottom of the CW bands.

The SWR on 80 is still a little high - 3 bars on my FT-100D SWR indication at resonance, about 1.7 to 1. I suspect I could bring this down to near unity at resonance by using additional capacity say up to 1000 to 1500 pf total, across the feed point.

I mount my sticks on a Thule bike carrier pedestal that bolts into the trailer hitch receiver that I have mounted on my 1997 Taurus GL wagon. The top of the pedestal and the antenna feed point are about 3.5 feet off the road surface, about at the middle of the rear cargo door window, and about a foot behind the window, due to the arrangement of the Thule pedestal. I use a heavy L shaped bracket mobile mount bolted to the pedesatal at the antenna base. I removed the Thule bike hanger brackets from the pedestal, but this is not necessary. This mounting arrangement keeps the antenna up and in the clear away from the car, which greatly minimizes losses and changes in tuning resulting from interaction between the loading coil on the lower half of the sticks and the car body. I originally mounted the sticks with the feed point at a ball mount bolted directly into the trailer hitch instead of the hitch ball. This resulted in a lot of the signal getting abosorbed into the car body, and detuning as the stick coil moved relative to the car. On 40 CW I now consistently receieve 599 and 599 plus, can't believe you are a mobile signal reports, and work lots of DX, even in response to CQs.

The pedestal arrangment does seem to electrically lengthen the antenna somewhat relative to mountng the base closer to the car body, but the antennas all can be resonated using the supplied stingers, or the longer one for 80 and 40 CW, with the exception of the 6 meter stick. I have not been able to get that one to resonate on the Thule pedestal, probably because the pedestal length of about 3 feet is a significant fraction of the wavelength.

The feed point of the antenna is terminated in a small plastic project box bolted to the Thule pedestal. This provides a weather prooof enclosure to house the shunt capacitors when needed. Be sure to use lock washers on the mechanical cable connections in the box, as a lot of vibration will cause them to loosen over time. The only goof I made with the box is that I installed it on the front face of the pedestal, which causes interference when opening the cargo door. Putting it on the side or back face would have bben a better idea.

I originally used heavy string trimmer monofilament for guying the sticks, but don't anymore. The freestanding sticks have done fine over about a year and a half under all sorts of road conditions and speeds. The thin profile of the sticks have low windloading, and the helical loading coils dont give you a big heavy pendulum out on the antenna to whip around like a Hustler or Bugcatcher, which would require guys. And they have a much lower asthetic "nerd factor" than some of the bizzare looking center or top loaded HF antennas.

One thing I have noticed during this awful winter of 2002-2003 is that road salt spray deposits on the whip, especially over the loading coil section, can really detune the antenna. Wiping the antenna with a wet cloth or paper towel easily corrects this.

Another odd phenomenon I have seen is that SWR will change significantly over certain types of road surfaces. This is most notable on steel decked overpasses, or bridges, which is hardly a surprise. However, is also is observed on certain types of pavement, particularly in areas around here where I-95 has recently been resurfaced with the new type of asphalt that drains off rain better. You can see a step change in SWR as you transition from older pavement to the new stuff. If anyone knows for sure why this would happen, I wqould be interested in hearing about it.

Another hint worth noting is that the longer stinger section can be used to allow coverage of 17 meters, 15 meters and 12 meters using the 10 meter stick.

One thing to watch out for in the Hamstick clones is the quality of the stinger set screws. The ones in the
sticks I bought from Lentini in late 2001 are rugged stainless, but ones I have bought recently from them made by another supplier, have cheeey soft setscrews that easily gall and strip, as well as RUST! From now on, I will buy only the original Hamsticks.

73,

Chris, AJ1G
Stonington, CT
 
Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by AJ1G on March 19, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Read this thread with great interest. I have had very good luck on 40 and 80 meter CW using Hamstick type clones using a 500 pf shunt capacitor across the feed point for impedance matching, and using a stinger section made from the 1/8 " diameter stainless steel whip sold by Radio Shack as a base loaded CB/10M mobile antenna. I don't know the Radio Shack part number, but it is the one that uses a small helical coil for base loading. The RS antenna whip section is about a foot longer than the stingers supplied with the 40 and 80 meter sticks, and allow them to resonate all the way down to the bottom of the CW bands.

The SWR on 80 is still a little high - 3 bars on my FT-100D SWR indication at resonance, about 1.7 to 1. I suspect I could bring this down to near unity at resonance by using additional capacity say up to 1000 to 1500 pf total, across the feed point.

I mount my sticks on a Thule bike carrier pedestal that bolts into the trailer hitch receiver that I have mounted on my 1997 Taurus GL wagon. The top of the pedestal and the antenna feed point are about 3.5 feet off the road surface, about at the middle of the rear cargo door window, and about a foot behind the window, due to the arrangement of the Thule pedestal. I use a heavy L shaped bracket mobile mount bolted to the pedesatal at the antenna base. I removed the Thule bike hanger brackets from the pedestal, but this is not necessary. This mounting arrangement keeps the antenna up and in the clear away from the car, which greatly minimizes losses and changes in tuning resulting from interaction between the loading coil on the lower half of the sticks and the car body. I originally mounted the sticks with the feed point at a ball mount bolted directly into the trailer hitch instead of the hitch ball. This resulted in a lot of the signal getting abosorbed into the car body, and detuning as the stick coil moved relative to the car. On 40 CW I now consistently receieve 599 and 599 plus, can't believe you are a mobile signal reports, and work lots of DX, even in response to CQs.

The pedestal arrangment does seem to electrically lengthen the antenna somewhat relative to mountng the base closer to the car body, but the antennas all can be resonated using the supplied stingers, or the longer one for 80 and 40 CW, with the exception of the 6 meter stick. I have not been able to get that one to resonate on the Thule pedestal, probably because the pedestal length of about 3 feet is a significant fraction of the wavelength.

The feed point of the antenna is terminated in a small plastic project box bolted to the Thule pedestal. This provides a weather prooof enclosure to house the shunt capacitors when needed. Be sure to use lock washers on the mechanical cable connections in the box, as a lot of vibration will cause them to loosen over time. The only goof I made with the box is that I installed it on the front face of the pedestal, which causes interference when opening the cargo door. Putting it on the side or back face would have bben a better idea.

I originally used heavy string trimmer monofilament for guying the sticks, but don't anymore. The freestanding sticks have done fine over about a year and a half under all sorts of road conditions and speeds. The thin profile of the sticks have low windloading, and the helical loading coils dont give you a big heavy pendulum out on the antenna to whip around like a Hustler or Bugcatcher, which would require guys. And they have a much lower asthetic "nerd factor" than some of the bizzare looking center or top loaded HF antennas.

One thing I have noticed during this awful winter of 2002-2003 is that road salt spray deposits on the whip, especially over the loading coil section, can really detune the antenna. Wiping the antenna with a wet cloth or paper towel easily corrects this.

Another odd phenomenon I have seen is that SWR will change significantly over certain types of road surfaces. This is most notable on steel decked overpasses, or bridges, which is hardly a surprise. However, is also is observed on certain types of pavement, particularly in areas around here where I-95 has recently been resurfaced with the new type of asphalt that drains off rain better. You can see a step change in SWR as you transition from older pavement to the new stuff. If anyone knows for sure why this would happen, I wqould be interested in hearing about it.

Another hint worth noting is that the longer stinger section can be used to allow coverage of 17 meters, 15 meters and 12 meters using the 10 meter stick.

One thing to watch out for in the Hamstick clones is the quality of the stinger set screws. The ones in the
sticks I bought from Lentini in late 2001 are rugged stainless, but ones I have bought recently from them made by another supplier, have cheeey soft setscrews that easily gall and strip, as well as RUST! From now on, I will buy only the original Hamsticks.

73,

Chris, AJ1G
Stonington, CT
 
Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by VE4HQ on May 4, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Try a heavy paper clip on the end of the whip- slide it up and down for best swr-works on my 40M whip.
 
RE: Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth &  
by KA3VVV on February 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
You can use a Don Johnson DK3 10 thru 80 in 6m. Go here www.hamradiotoys.com
Or go to Don Johnson W6AAQ direct in by one for around $100.00
 
RE: Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth &  
by N1CJG on May 19, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I've used "Hamstick" clones for a couple of years now and found them to be ok for portable operations (vetical as well as dipole configurations). However, I am a little confused. When referring to the stinger, do you mean the actual whip or is this an add-on to the whole hamstick? Like a counter poise for instance.
Thanks in advance!!!
Andy - N1CJG
 
RE: Hamstick Option on 75 For More Bandwidth  
by VE3RET on April 28, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Chris:

A friend and I experimented with increasing the bandwidth of an 80 meter hamstick. We came up with a cheap, simple method that worked quite well. We took two pieces of #14 solid copper wire, folded in half and inserted them under a small hose clamp (on opposing sides) clamped to the metal collar securing the stinger to the antenna. Then bent the wires out at the four compass points forming ground plane like radials. We discovered that by changing the pitch angle of the radials by bending them upward and downward, the resonant frequency could be changed, thus shifting the operating portion of the band. It worked well, simple, cheap and effective, no need to move the stinger and minimal additional windload. A winning combo. Apparently it acts like a tunable capacitance hat. My friend designed a motorized version that works like an umbrella. Might be worth a try? You also might want to consider using quick disconnects on your antennas. F.Y.I.

ALAN
 
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