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Reviews Categories | Direction Finding equipment | WB2HOL Tape Measure Beam Help

Reviews Summary for WB2HOL Tape Measure Beam
WB2HOL Tape Measure Beam Reviews: 11 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $< $10 of parts
Description: tape measure yagi 2m 3-element (RDF)
Product is in production.
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KF7GTU Rating: 5/5 Oct 3, 2011 16:25 Send this review to a friend
I had to try it for myself...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just followed the directions and did this project myself. Very easy, even for a rare solder jockey like myself. No real electronics knowledge required so great for beginning HAM operators.

Really good performance on local repeaters here. I'm hitting repeaters that are over 25 miles away (as the crow flies) on one watt out of my handheld.

I would have liked to make it through two mountain ranges and about 70 miles on 7 watts, but it did not happen.

A great introduction to antenna building, great for a club activity!

(Antenna tested on 2M only)
N6JSX Rating: 4/5 Jan 12, 2008 15:34 Send this review to a friend
Inovative - SIMPLE  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've been using it for years, I even took the basic design and tweaked it a lil for 146.565. Using YagiMax I increased the FB attenuation. Per YagiMax my tweaking now gives me near 78dB FB on 146.565 with slightly different dimensions.

Building issue to overcome: obtaining the optimal dimension/shape for the hairpin match. But since this is a RX antenna a <2:1 match really doesn't matter.

Bigger building issue: when using the antenna horizontally or vertical in gusting winds - the 2m elements often buckle! To fix requires that you keep (and enhance) the curvature of the tape elements to maintain the tape curve for mechanical element stability. Watch how you attach the elements do not flatten the tape!!!
K2RRT Rating: 5/5 Oct 1, 2006 05:29 Send this review to a friend
Thumbs up!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I'm pretty much going to echo N6VCW review. With no tuning I had 1:1 at 146mhz and 1.7:1 across the entire band.

I found hunting wasn't my thing but it makes a great portable antenna.
K2GW Rating: 5/5 Feb 27, 2006 12:07 Send this review to a friend
Works great  Time owned: more than 12 months
I built mine about two years ago and coupled with an Aussie Sniffer 4 it's unbeatable.

A couple of mods to consider:

1. On the tee at the reflector, add a six inch length of PVC pipe pointing down. Covering it (and the part of the reflector next to it )with six inches of foam pipe insulation gives you a comfortable pistol grip.

2. On the reflector element going up, tape a 12 inch piece of plastic to give it a little more rigidity in the wind.

3. Use pieces of aluminum angle stock through bolted on the spar to provide a mounting surface for your Sniffer and a cheap compass. Use velcro to enable them to be removed. A "reverse dial" printed on acetate and glued to the compass face gives you direct reading bearings.

One other tip. For a bit of attentuation, use the antenna with it's elements folded in half and the ends stuck into the PVC tees. It still works up close and is easier to carry in the brush and for getting in and out of a vehicle.


Gary, K2GW
NZ0I Rating: 5/5 Nov 13, 2005 05:22 Send this review to a friend
Great for ARDF  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've personally assembled five of these units. I use them for lending to "transmitter hunters" that attend our Amateur Radio Direction Finding practices.

Why not build one, and come try it at the USA Championships in North Carolina next year? Find out more:
N6VCW Rating: 5/5 Nov 11, 2005 22:19 Send this review to a friend
Works Great!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I built this unit as described in the plans and it works very well with ARDF as well as with an HT for working distant repeaters.

The VSWR is very close to 1:1 and I can easily work repeaters which I could barely hear with just a 1/2 wave "Super Antenna" mounted to the HT.

With the MK4 Sniffer, I can easily home in on a hidden transmitter. The turning arc needed to pinpoint the bearing is plenty narrow. This compact RDF unit replaces a bulky TDOA. The elements can be folded in half with the tips inserted into the tees and crosses for compact storage.

This is an easily built antenna that's a very welcome addition to my HT and ARDF unit.

This is a good, inexpensive design with excellent performance!
KB1HXO Rating: 5/5 Oct 18, 2003 09:12 Send this review to a friend
best for portable  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is the best portable 2 meter antenna ive ever use.It was real easy to build and cheap money as well.Great for fox hunts but also great for repeater and simplex use.I used it on field day on 432 mhz and some good contacts there. YES IT DOES WORK ON 70CM with the swr only going as high as 1.8 and it made a great club project as well.
KC0PAH Rating: 4/5 May 31, 2003 23:19 Send this review to a friend
works very well, 2 assembly sugestions  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Thank you,
I have been having fun with the tape measure beam idea and use one daily, hiden above the celing tiles of my office.

I have come up with a couple of small diferences which have helped ease assembly and aid in cut proofing the ends.

First, when attaching the tape measure elements to the suppoting PVC body, I have had very good results by getting rid of the hose clamps and putting the elements on the inside of the PVC T connectors and locking them into place with a ring of PVC Pipe inside the connector.

Second, by blunt round cutting the exposed ends of the tape measure they will no longer need to be dipped or taped.

Mike Harris (fuzz)

K7ETT Rating: 5/5 Jun 17, 2001 02:37 Send this review to a friend
excellent easy homebrew  Time owned: more than 12 months
I built one of these 3 el yagis over a year ago and it works just great. I chose to solder the coax (rg-8x) to the driven element. If you do this it will be much easier if you use a butane mini-torch, separate flux, and silver bearing solder to make a good connection to the carbon steel tape. I used 12ga solid Cu wire for the hairpin match and it tunes about 1.2:1 or less on 146.52. Have used it to transmit with 55 watts out and it works like a charm. I use it regularly for foxhunts and it seems to me to perform exactly as predicted. I used 3/4 inch pvc and extended the boom out the back about 7 inches to make a nice handle, then ran the coax through the boom out the back to a bnc bulkhead connector mounted to a pvc endcap, so it's totally self contained. Pay attention to the directions concerning the sharp ends after cutting the tape measure. I did end up bleeding a bit. I bought some "Plasti-dip" liquid rubber from the hardware store and dipped each element end several times till I had a nice thick coat of plastic/rubber on the last 2 inches of each element end...looks much better than electrical tape. For foxhunting or portable transmitting or even fixed service, this is a great design, extremely easy to make and alot of fun, too.
KC8JKA Rating: 5/5 Apr 7, 2001 08:58 Send this review to a friend
Fun Antenna Project.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have a friend who has made a version of this antenna for T-Hunting and they work great. I was given one a couple of years ago and have used it as a portable beam just for the ol' rag chewing in the field and in T-Hunts with pleasing results.

Also nice to find the plans at the URL listed above.

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