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Author Topic: MP-1 Antenna in Hotel Portable use  (Read 594 times)
WB5MJT
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Posts: 3




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« on: January 31, 2009, 01:32:03 PM »

I recently bought a Superantenna MP-1 antenna to use a a portatble antenna as I travel in my job.  In reading the reviews, a recurring complaint was that the supplied couterpoise was insufficient and sure enough, I can't seem to get a match period.

In the reveiws I've seen recommendation of from 1 to 32 radials of 1/4 wavelength per band to a single 10 meter long one for all bands.

I do have some constraints to work with.  An Ic-703+, brick power supply the MP1, counterpoise and laptop and accessories must fit in a roll aboard compute bag - preferably without driving TSA nuts with 32 rolls of 18 ga wire.  I also plan to use in a hotel room, on 40 and 20 meters now but up to 6 meters as the year progresses.

Any suggestion on what seems to work for you, if you have one, and tips on tuning it would be appreciated.  This will be my first attempt to work HF while travelling.  Used 6 meters portable in the past but the antennas are smaller and single band.

Thanks,

Rick Price
KC4RP (ex-WB5MJT)

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K0BG
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Posts: 9839


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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2009, 02:28:34 PM »

About the only way you're going to get the resonant point close, is to try and adjust it using an antenna analyzer. Even with radials, efficiency will be rather low, and since you're running QRP to start with, it is far from ideal, no matter the mode.

At a minimum, use two radials per band, cut to 1/4 wave length. A little luck will help too.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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K5LXP
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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2009, 09:06:14 PM »

The MP-1 is kind of a joke for an antenna, much less for QRP use.  Any loaded contraption is going to have pretty low efficiency and cost a lot to boot, not to mention be a PITA to transport, set up and use (as you've discovered).  

What works well for me is a couple of ziplock bags with lengths of 24ga wire, some monofilament fishing line and an Elecraft T-1 tuner.  Depending on where you operate from you have a lot of configuration options with just wire and a tuner.  TSA has never had an issue with my setup.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20542




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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2009, 06:13:00 PM »

I have an MP-1 for which I paid $99.95.

It's in my garage workshop along with a lot of other stuff that never worked worth a darn.

I hope to tackle this as a "project" one day, to figure improvements, but haven't gotten to that yet.

In the interim, when I go portable/hotel operating I use the MFJ "Super Hi-Q Loop" products which work amazingly well in their very small size.  No counterpoise, ground, or adjustments required.  Just sit it near a window, and operate.

WB2WIK/6
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WW5AA
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Posts: 2088




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« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2009, 10:23:59 AM »

When at a motel on vacation I usually just use the mobile. If I'm off without the car, I go remote with the laptop and Ham Radio Delux. The home radio, antennas, amp, Cluster, digital modes, CW or SSB make it a lot more fun than anything you can set up in a motel room.

73 de Lindy
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W0FM
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Posts: 2052




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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2009, 12:54:12 PM »


 I have an MP-1 that I've traveled with a few times. I find that everything for the antenna fits nicely in a percussionist's "stick bag" or "mallet bag". Mine is made by Tuxedo, is padded black nylon with a zipper on three sides. It has several pouches and a carry handle. I use the MP-1's optional telescoping element that fits the bag nicely along with the tripod, some RF adapters and 30' of RG8-X.

www.steveweissmusic.com/product/29901/

Also, if you split the provided multi-conductor ribbon cable used for the radials along their length, you should get a *bit* better performance (and you're not carrying 32 balls of wire).

The stick bags are available at most muscial instrument stores. The are usually around $25 and travel quite well.

Both work...... but I like the stick bag better than I like the antenna.

Terry, WØFM

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N0RZT
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Posts: 105




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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2009, 09:51:14 AM »

WB2WIK: "I hope to tackle this as a 'project' one day, to figure improvements, but haven't gotten to that yet."

I purchased an MP-1 after winning an FT-817 in a drawing.  The first, obvious, improvement was to add extra radials.  Between QRP voice and the antenna, the closest I came to a contact was someone calling CQ stating that they thought they heard someone but couldn't make it out.

The next improvement was replacing the 4-foot telescoping whip with a 12-foot telescoping whip (http://mfjenterprises.com/Product.php?productid=MFJ-1956); I also added a few strings to guy the now-top-heavy antenna.  I haven't tried this arrangement QRP, but when I moved it worked FB with my base station until I could erect my 6BTV.

73,
Chris N0RZT/4
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