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Author Topic: HF Portable vertical/small yagi  (Read 4126 times)

Posts: 13

« on: December 20, 2012, 05:10:34 PM »

What do you recommend for a portable, (vertical/small yagi), HF antenna for club events, JOTA, school events etc.? A wire antenna is sometimes not appropriate in certain locations.  I'm open to homebrew, commercial and freebies. Price is a definite factor in any decision I make.

Posts: 723

« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2012, 09:18:10 PM »

It all depends on your transportation.
If you have a car that can pull a trailer, a prefab tip up antenna would work, if you can spread a few radials around it.
Same if you have a van or camper, but with a crank up antenna, again with a few radials.
The antenna can be adjusted for the band you want to use.
One thing you want to do is limit the power and make access to the antenna difficult.
The other alternative is a base loaded vertical, but with a loss of efficiency.

N8CMQ   Jeff Retired...

Posts: 17423

« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2012, 09:19:41 PM »

It depends a lot on the circumstances.  How much space do you have?  What
supports are handy?  What bands are most important?  Are you trying to work
specific stations / locations, or just anybody you happen to hear?  Are you close
to salt water?  How much weight / size / volume can you carry?  How critical
is your ability to get an antenna up to the success of your trip?

I've virtually always managed to get up at least a wire dipole, though sometimes
it required a bit of creativity, especially since I never bothered carrying my own
support when traveling.  That includes a 160m dipole strung up across a parking
lot and around the front of the County Commissioners' office.  But most of my
portable operation has been around trees, or not around people.  I carry a kit
of wire dipoles for each band and a length of feedline with a center insulator
on the end, and choose whatever set of dipoles I want to use each time I set
it up.  Or use the wires in other creative ways:  loops, long wires, etc.

For Field Day or more organized installations, I use the 4' military mast
sections and stack them vertically under the antenna (rather than trying to tilt
them up as an assembled unit.)  Two people can put a TA-33jr triband yagi up
to 28' fairly easily.  (One Field Day I was going to demonstrate that I could do
it by  myself, but another ham insisted on helping me.)  It still requires guy
ropes for the mast, however, so there isn't much difference in the footprint
between that and a mast with a wire antenna on it.

There are a lot of fiberglass masts available now of various sorts:  a 20'
telescoping fishing pole with a wire running down it makes a simple vertical
that can be fed at the base with a tuner for multiband operation, though it
probably will need some ground radials for efficient operation.  Larger versions
(up to 50'+) can hold loops or other wire antennas, but they will also need
guying or some sort of secure mount.

I found an old broken 10m Ringo antenna (1/2 wave end-fed) which, after
removing the broken feed system, gave me an 18' telescoping aluminum
antenna.  I added ground radials to it, and I can adjust it to operate any
band 20m through 10m.  

But somehow I've never had very good luck with portable vertical antennas,
even when I managed to string a vertical 10m dipole over salt water.  That's
probably why I always end up with a wire antenna instead - they seem to
work better for the kind of operating that I do.  That doesn't mean they
won't work for others.

So you really have to define your antenna requirements, particularly the
area of coverage, bands of interest and your setup constraints, then
choose a solution that fits your need.  There isn't a perfect solution that
is easily portable and will do everything while taking up little space.

Posts: 2099

« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2012, 03:12:15 AM »

     Suggestion only: If you do decide on a vertical or small type beam up to about 30 ft. high,guy wires are the last thing you want in an area with lots of people roaming around.A simple solution to this,providing you have a small pick up or trailer is the common portable basketball hoop/backstop set up with wheels and weight you see in driveways.These are readily found at yard sales for $20-$50 or free at landfill set asides(might need a wheel or minor welding).These make excellent temporary portable supports without need for guys and we use them often at the type of events you have described.

Posts: 290


« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2012, 11:43:31 AM »

I purchased a HyGain TH3jr for exactly that purpose. Small, and lightweight. There is also the Mosley TA-33jr too to consider.
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