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Author Topic: Your favorite portable antenna???  (Read 22914 times)

Posts: 171

« Reply #30 on: November 16, 2017, 08:41:41 AM »

Mine is the AlexLoop, takes me less than 2 minutes to set up and I don't need any trees.

Hello N1GMV - I've got an AlexLoop as well, bought it second hand recently.  I've experienced issues trying to find a low SWR on certain frequencies in the 20m band.  For example, it'll tune to about 1.3:1 SWR around 14.285, but then when I tune the radio to 14.255, the lowest I can get is about 4.6:1 SWR.  And when I try it on 14.300 it'll only go down to about 5:1 SWR.  Anywhere on 40m it'll give a good match, and I've tried a few frequencies on 17m with good results.  I haven't really used it on any other bands so far, so can't really comment on results further. 

I'm using this loop with an Elecraft KX3 and I use about 2.5 watts CW signal to make the fine adjustments on the loop after tuning for loudest noise on the frequency I want to use.

So I'm just wondering if these are the same results you've had, or am I experiencing something that is unique to my AlexLoop?  Thanks and 73's VE7JBT
No issues, it tunes everywhere just fine. Try another radio, maybe your rig is throwing off a spur?

Posts: 12

« Reply #31 on: November 21, 2017, 07:51:11 AM »


I run strictly QRP from SOTA-POTA locations, and from remote locations with my vehicle. First, all my antennas are supported by fiberglass masts. I use the 31' Jackite for hike-in's, and the Spiderbeams 40' mast when operating from the vehicle. Here are some of my findings with the following antennas:

LNR EFT 10-20-40: This is a great little antenna, and a real performer. Run as a sloper it really only needs one elevated support. I've made some fantastic contacts with this end-fed. Over time I learned a couple of tricks. The wire at ground level should be slightly elevated to reduce ground loss. I use a hiking stick for this purpose which works great. The engineers at LNR also suggested I run the feedline at the right angle to the antenna.

LNR-MTR: Like it's little cousin this is also a great antenna that covers 20-30-40 meters. While a great antenna, it's not my "go-to" simply based on its size. At 65' it can be kinda hard to find that real estate on the trail. So with this antenna I use the 40' mast and run it as a sloper. Another great antenna if you have the room.

SOTAbeams Band Hopper (20-30-40): Another great antenna that takes advantage of being resonate on the band being used. With a built-in guy system, it allows for the use of a free-standing mast. This would be my second favorite antenna. But keep in mind that when used as a free-standing mast it requires some real estate to get all three legs down to the ground.

SOTAbeams Bandspringer 60-10 meters:
This is my primary hiking antenna simply because I like the ability to put an antenna up once and run any band I want. This antenna requires a tuner. Currently, I use the Elecraft T1 to fill that job and it works great. For the longest time, I resisted the idea of a random wire simply because I wanted to stay away from any potential loss in the tuner. Also, any antenna that is not resonate, and requires a tuner, is not as efficient as a resonate wire. Given we are only using 5w, there is not a lot we have to spare. But so far this has been a good performer.

Ventenna HFp: OK, so this little vertical antenna has not really produced the contacts I wanted. Like all verticals, it's very sensitive to the type of soil it's sitting on. At my local park (of irrigated soil) it will crank out an occasional contact. But on rocky soils found on mountain tops, it seems to fade away. Band changes on this can be a lesson in futility has the ground radials need to be re-sized, the antenna configuration changed, and the whip size changed. I had big hopes of a vertical as they tend to have a lower angle of radiation. But right now the jury is still out on this one.

This is simply a non-scientific opinion based on use.

73 de KG6LI

Posts: 76

« Reply #32 on: November 22, 2017, 06:06:56 AM »

I have an MP1 and cannot get the damn thing to hear any station <1kw output unless in a digital mode. It is super neat in theory, but the ONLY success I've had with it is on wspr (and even then I have to have a mini-vna to tune the thing). I have a 53' end-fed going through a 9:1 qrp unun, and it is probably the best antenna I've used to date on HF (even beating out my g5rv in terms of # of contacts, but the g5rv hears better). Strung up to a 28' painters pole as a sloper I had about 100 contacts on field day, all bands 80-6 except 60 (just didn't try). In an inverted L I even contacted brookhaven national labs with 2.5 watts from Ky. Excellent antenna.

Details on painters pole deployment. 5 gallon bucket with 50lbs of concrete and an embedded 2" PVC pipe as the base, Pole bungied to spare on jeep, 1 guy opposite of the direction of the sloping wire tied to front bumper of jeep. At Unun, a bundle of random length radials.

Posts: 322

« Reply #33 on: November 22, 2017, 12:46:25 PM »

When I operate portable, I use a half wave dipole fed directly with coax.
Simple to use, inexpensive to make, and very effective.
Just toss it up into a tree, and it's just about 100% foolproof.

73 de N8AUC


Posts: 20

« Reply #34 on: November 27, 2017, 01:38:44 PM »

i'm not much on the amateur radio version of 'speed dating', that is 'you are 5-9 in ______, 73'.
i had a ham tell me once that a vertical radiates equally poorly in all directions. well, his beam, being directional, wasn't hearing all the signals at once that i did. i had to tell him to turn his beam. and generally, if i could hear them i could work them. not always, but i'm not keeping score.
i prefer being outdoors.

so, i have an alpha antenna magnetic loop and a commercial buddistick (not homemade). the buddistick has a tapped coil, and a counterpoise that winds on a kite winder to vary the length for resonance. it is a little awkward to change bands, but i have an antenna analyzer to help.
the mag loop is way easier to tune and if you put it on a camera tripod you can rotate it to maximise your reception/transmission.

and i have a 6m dipole made from 2 mfj hamsticks; pages 66 and 78 in their online catalogue.


Posts: 431

« Reply #35 on: December 13, 2017, 05:54:51 AM »

I bought the very first Big Stick from MFJ. I use it with a fishing pole ground stake. Can’t break it and it comes with a set of counterpoise wires. Works great for me!


I have considered buying a BuddyStick, not Buddypole, but the vertical.

Not sure if it is worth the expense.
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