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Author Topic: Antenna question  (Read 3043 times)
KI4HNN
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Posts: 63




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« on: July 13, 2008, 07:06:57 PM »

Hello, I have been looking at ham sticks for some time now.  I have a question.  I have 2 four foot fiberglass rods that are wound with wire currently for the 11 meter band, would it be possible to unwind the wire that is currently on the fiberglass rod and rewind one of the rods for the 80 meter band and the other for the 40 meter band?  I don't know how much wire to wind on the rod to make it work on these bands?  With the ham stick antennas are they based on 1\4 wavelength? Any instructions on making your own laying around? Also would anyone know where I can buy a complete set of ham sticks for all the bands, that way I could just pick the band and screw on the correct stick and go for my mobile?  Also any one used the OPEK HVT-400 multiband antenna?  I was looking at one of these to use for portable ops as well as on my mobile.  

Thanks,
Joey
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2008, 07:28:44 AM »

No matter what you wind on a four foot antenna, it will still be a four foot antenna, and VERY inefficient. The Opek is in the same category as hamsticks. It's very ow Q (<10), and isn't much more than a dummy load on a stick.

Length matters. A nine foot antenna will be twice as efficient as a 6 foot one will, all else being equal.

All of this said, the most important part in any HF mobile installation is minimizing ground losses.

If you want the whole story, spend some time reading my web pages.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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W3LK
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Posts: 5644




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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2008, 07:49:55 AM »

(1) you're wasting your time and effort, unless you just want to experiment.

(2) After you've bought a hamstick-style antenna for every band, you will have spent about half what a good motorised antenna will cost - and you'll still have lousy performing antennas. Helically-wound antennas are next to useless on 40m and 80m. And if you want to change bands in the rain ...

If you are serious about mobile HF, spend the money on a good antenna, properly installed, in the first place. And none of the helically-would antennas, no matter who makes/sells them, falls into the "good antenna" category, including the very overpriced Outbacker antennas.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
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A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.
AA4PB
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Posts: 12686




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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2008, 10:36:27 AM »

I agree that Hamsticks are pretty lossy on 75M and 40M. On 20M and above they start to perform pretty well if properly installed. They'll never be as good as a full sized screwdriver antenna but they can certainly yield plenty of DX on 20M and 15M when the bands are open and they are a lot less obtrusive on the vehicle.

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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20546




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« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2008, 08:40:18 PM »

The Hamsticks work terrific on 40 and 80 if you operate from the right place, like maybe Nepal.

From here in the States, they're pretty poor antennas.

I wound enough wire on a "hula hoop" to get it to resonate perfectly on 1.82 MHz.  Its SWR was nearly 1:1 but I had a hell of a time making any contacts with it.  I finally ran 500W into it and melted the plastic hula hoop.

I wonder if those things are UL licensed?

:-)

WB2WIK/6
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KL7IPV
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Posts: 984




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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2008, 03:01:36 PM »

Look at my web site for ideas: http://www.antenna-to-go.com

They work for me and they may work for you too. Email me if you want more info.
Frank
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KI4HNN
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Posts: 63




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« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2008, 06:18:11 PM »

Thanks for the link,
This has made the wheels start spinning in my head for a solution I do have some extra stuff just laying around I could use.  

Thanks again,
Joey
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N0EQ
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Posts: 74


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« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2008, 05:44:14 AM »

WB2WIK wrote:
"...The Hamsticks work terrific on 40 and 80 if you operate from the right place, like maybe Nepal.

From here in the States, they're pretty poor antennas...."

I operate hamsticks as verticals, dipoles
and all sorts of weird combinations. All on 5w,
SSB Phone, 20-40-75m from the Arizona desert.
Contacts all over the US, Central/S America,
Hawaii, Canada.

I will now await the usual two retorts -
"But that was when band condx were great"
and/or
"Making contacts is not what counts"

Stick metal in the air, tune it, talk.


Craig 'Lumpy' Lemke

www.n0eq.com
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KB8JNE
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Posts: 19




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« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2011, 10:57:42 AM »

I'll add too that yes, it's all conditions.  I can prove it.  I have recently talked to Netherlands, Norway, Jamaica and Utah on the way in to work in my Jeep from the Columbus, Ohio area using a Shark (local hamstick variant) on 17m and - wait for it... my older rescued basket case FT-817 (non ND).  Yep, 5w and a fiberglass hellically wound resistor in the air.  No matter how it works, I'll take it for the price and the QRP contacts thank you.

I also have pairs of sticks I use with the MFJ dipole adapter thingy and make dipoles from pairs of 6m, 17m, 20m, 40m and 75m sticks.  I put these dipoles on a 12' photo lamp stand out in the backyard, at the park, on hilltops, etc and work the world with the FT-897d or the FT-817.  A lot less than an Outbacker and their outrageously overpriced portable tripod thing.

I'm happy, and it all works fine.  You want to spend money and put up a full sized 160m 5 ele beam, cool.  Let me know when you get it up so I can work you from my car.   Wink

Sean
KB8JNE
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KB3QWC
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Posts: 5




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« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2011, 04:56:10 PM »

I purchased a set of five Workman Hamsticks from R and L Electronics for the all the major bands.  The cost for this was around $70 a few years ago. 

I read all this bashing of hamsticks on a daily basis on this Forum.  I use the hamsticks to make good HF mobile contacts almost every day.  Have used them on all bands from 40 to 10 meters depending on my mood and which band is opened at that part of the day.  I have worked a lot of DX and many stateside contacts with these antennas.  I can be received on any of the CARS type nets on 40 meters at all the times when checking in.

Yes, I know that this not the strongest HF signal on the ham bands.  I am making contacts and having fun, this is the spirit of ham radio in the first place.  Maybe if all used the minimum power to make a contact, rather the starting with 1000 watts or more everyone one would have more fun on the HF bands.  You really don’t need much to make contacts when propagation is good.       

 In closing I will sit back and continue to read all these negative comments on hamsticks from hams posting on the website and knowing that these low cost HF mobile antennas do work.

Larry
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KB8JNE
Member

Posts: 19




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« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2011, 10:34:37 PM »

Added CO6LC to my contacts on the way home tonight - 1232.0 mi (1982.8 km), 2.5w same setup, 5/8 received.
Added PA3GSU on the way in at 5w this morning - 4053.7 mi (6523.8 km), same setup, 5/7 received.

Can't quite blame that on the sun spots yet.   Wink

Sean
KB8JNE
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W5DXP
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« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2011, 06:16:15 AM »

I agree that Hamsticks are pretty lossy on 75M and 40M.

Here's how to turn a Hamstick into a decent antenna for 40m. See picture at the bottom.

http://www.w5dxp.com/bugstick.htm
--
73, Cecil, w5dxp.com
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73, Cecil, www.w5dxp.com
The purpose of an antenna tuner is to increase the current through the radiation resistance at the antenna to the maximum available magnitude resulting in a radiated power of I2(RRAD) from the antenna.
K0BG
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Posts: 9844


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« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2011, 07:33:09 AM »

There is no correlation between the ability to work DX, and any known antenna parameter. Under the right conditions, an ERP of just 1 milliwatt is enough to jump the pond, as they say.

Some years back, Yardley Beers, WØJF, (sk), used a porcelain socket, with a 40 watt light bulb screwed into it. It was mounted atop a 40 foot telephone pole, and fed with 100 feet of RG58. The transmitter was a Tune can QRP unit; one of several Yardley wrote about for QST. The ERP was ≈10 milliwatts! It took him less than 3 years to get DXCC.

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K1CJS
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Posts: 5884




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« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2011, 05:05:48 AM »

No matter what is done for an antenna, there are some hams that will INSIST that it will not work just because the figures on a piece of paper concerning its effiency says it will not work.  To those hams, I have before--and still do make just one statement.  It has been proven mathematically that a bumblebee cannot fly, yet the bee doesn't know that--and it keeps on flying.
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12686




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« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2011, 05:59:22 AM »

Mobile antenna shoot-outs generally take place on 80M. 160M is the worst case for a mobile antenna but not too many people have mobiles on 160M so I suppose the organizers picked the next worst case which is 80M.

My problem is that the difference in antennas is much greater on 80M than it is on 20M or 15M so the shoot-out doesn't really give you much practical information regarding antenna selection for the DX bands of 20M or 15M. A Hamstick for 15M for example is probably not all that much different than a big screwdriver on 15M so a ham that is primarily interested in working 15M mobile might find the Hamstick a more reasonable choice than a $400 giant screwdriver. Depending on how its installed and the vehicle, it might even outperform the big screwdriver that has to be mounted low on the bumper on that band.

My bottom line is that there is no "one size fits all" antenna for mobile. It depends on the vehicle as well as the bands you want to operate as well as your personal "cost vs. performance" acceptance.


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