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Author Topic: Joystick Vertical Antenna  (Read 1287 times)
KJ6CFI
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Posts: 13




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« on: January 11, 2013, 06:09:27 PM »

My friend Ted N6SMU and I are planning to each build a newer version of the Joystick vertical antenna. I wanted to ask what other users of this antenna think about it, both the pros and cons. Thank you and 73. Denny Dollahon, KJ6CFI
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W4OP
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Posts: 430


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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2013, 06:22:20 PM »

It would appear that the wire connecting the joystick to the tuner is likely a lot of the radiator. Since it is all random anyway, why even build that low Q coil?
I must be missing something.

Dale W4OP
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WB6BYU
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Posts: 13281




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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2013, 09:16:46 PM »

I remember seeing a similar design based on a spring-loaded pole lamp - the kind
that has a spring at each end to hold it between the floor and ceiling.  They
spliced some plastic pipe in the middle and wound the coil on that.  Think it
was in 73 magazine.

But when 73 and Hamuniverse both sing the praises of an antenna, that's two
strikes against it.


If we just look at the antenna and ignore the feed wire, assuming it is fed at the
bottom against a good ground, it is roughly resonant near 40m, but with a very
low radiation resistance (4 ohms or so.)  That means that any significant ground
loss resistance is going to lower the efficiency.

The coil is probably self-resonant between about 11 and 14 MHz.  That means it
will actually act like a capacitor on 20m and up:  in that case, the antenna probably
won't work any better than using a straight piece of pipe without the coil on those
bands.

The coil will improve efficiency somewhat on 40m, but on 80m the tuner will be
doing most of the work:  efficiency would be better if the top portion were extended
with wire or more tubing.

The articles recommend 59' as an "optimum length" for the "feeder wire" from the
tuner to the antenna.  That's because the wire is doing the radiating, not the
structure using the expensive copper pipe.

That's not to say it won't make contacts:  I'm sure in the late 1950's such a
design would have worked the world, especially on 15m and 10m.  That doesn't
mean it is a good antenna.


My suggestion is to lay out your installation with the recommended 59' "feeder
wire", then ignore the copper pipe + coil assembly and just tune up the wire
by itself.  It will probably work as well, with less effort and expense.
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VE3FMC
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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2013, 07:27:40 AM »

I have a copy of the original ad for the Joystick antenna. Originally manufactured by the Partridge Electronics Ltd. in Kent England. It is an interesting ad. If you want one I have a copy of it on my computer along with some other diagrams etc about the construction of the antenna. Look me up, I am good on QRZ or here for my email address.

Partridge offered a 100 % refund if you were not satisfied with the antenna.

In the ad there is a short writeup describing how ZL4GA worked G5WP on 80 CW. The antenna was inside at the ZL station and he got a 569 report.

Now quite a few years ago I met a local ham who had made his Joystick, and his son had one too. The son lived about 200 miles from home when he went to college. Lived in a basement apartment. They could always keep a regular sked on 80 M CW while the son used that Joystick, in the basement!

They also used the Joystick as a portable antenna when they went out and put lake ports and small islands on the air here in Ontario.

So I built one to see how it worked. It did work, I used it when I went camping. I had about 20 feet of wire from the tuner to the antenna, and ran a 30 foot counter poise wire on the ground. I could load it up on 75 M (only HF band I was licensed for at the time) and make contacts within Ontario, MI, OH, etc.

For what it is, an easy to build cheap antenna it does work. I was actually thinking about making another one to try on the higher bands just to see how it performs. As it is easy enough to make. Other than winding the coil. Now what I did was drive a nail into the wood dowel. Then I put the nail in the hand drill and slowly wound the coil by running the drill. It was a lot easier than winding 197 turns by hand!

73, Rick VE3FMC



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WB6BYU
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Posts: 13281




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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2013, 09:22:47 AM »

Quote from: VE3FMC
...Other than winding the coil. Now what I did was drive a nail into the wood dowel. Then I put the nail in the hand drill and slowly wound the coil by running the drill. It was a lot easier than winding 197 turns by hand!



I've wound a number of loading coils on PVC pipe, and the approach I took was to
chuck a broomstick in the vice, slip the PVC pipe over the end, and then make a
crank handle on the PVC pipe (either using more PVC pipe and elbows, or by passing
a screwdriver shaft or other item through a couple holes in the pipe at the end
beyond the end of the broomstick.)

That allows me to crank the pipe by hand while easily counting turns and feeding
the wire onto it.

The power drill might work at a slow setting ("screwdriver"), but I've had problems
with it getting ahead of me and winding the wire faster than I can keep up with
if I'm not careful.
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VE3FMC
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Posts: 987


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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2013, 05:58:06 PM »

My friend Ted N6SMU and I are planning to each build a newer version of the Joystick vertical antenna. I wanted to ask what other users of this antenna think about it, both the pros and cons. Thank you and 73. Denny Dollahon, KJ6CFI

Denny I was going to send you all the info I have on the antenna but your email address is not listed here or QRZ. So if you are interested in what I have you can email me.

Rick
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