Part 2 of The Ham Radio Spirit

Feb 17, 2006
5,102
Lancer 27PS MCB Camp Pendleton KF6BL
Since the loop didn't work I have decided to move on to plan B, which was the inverted V antenna for 20 meters. But I really didn't want to be stuck working only one band so I did some more research.

Plan B, the Inverted V has been move to Plan C. The new plan B is a 10.75' vertical antenna.

When I decided that I wanted to put up the Inverted V, I grabbed a PVC pipe that was 10' long. After I inserted it into my stand I looked at it and thought, vertical. So I started to do some research on short vertical antennas. I have already read about short dipole antennas and they do work, but nothing like a full half-wave dipole.

Two websites got me going on the ideal of short vertical antenna. The first was K7MEM's site which has some great info on short antennas and coil construction. The second site was N4SPP's site about more short antenna ideas. Between the two I figured that I will start with a straight 10.75' length of wire attached to the PVC and a DIY KISS counterpoise. Unfortunately I don't have an ocean in my back yard.

I checked my MFJ-929 Antenna Tuner to see if a wire of that length would tune. According to the doc's of a few of their Auto Tuners, a conductor >8' will work from 40 meters. The next length was 45' for 80 meter and up. So I shouldn't have any problems.

But just to reiterate, unless the antenna is cut for resonance to the correct length, I shouldn't expect results equal to the resonant antenna. I understand that. But, right now I am using a 36' wire strung between the house and a tree, again, with my DIY KISS counterpoise. I do get good results from time to time.

I should have my first test done on Monday. I'll keep you posted.
 
Jun 6, 2006
6,991
currently boatless wishing Harrington Harbor North, MD
Hey Brian, if you are looking for a short multi-band antenna Google "screwdriver antenna." could mount on the stern rail so you have sort path to the counterpoise. No need for a tuner either so you can mount right down next to the water and "drop a line" to connect to the worlds best ground system. So, single coax from transceiver to balun down at water level. braided SS strap with weight in the water (don't forget to factor in heel of the boat) and mount the screwdriver low on the transom. Give some thought to other big metal things behind the transom (gas tank??) as the coil will NOT like operating next to a large vertical piece of metal. Just need to run the control wires for the motor to the shack. I've also seen them forgo the motor and just have friction hold the upper moving portion in place but that sounds like the beginning of an offering to Neptune to me. Since most screwdrivers use copper for a coil and it is exposed to the weather...... might want to make it out of SS wire as you cannot coat it to protect it from the elements.
Thoughts?
 
Jun 6, 2006
6,991
currently boatless wishing Harrington Harbor North, MD
Also I've though that two screwdivers "back to back would make a dandy dipole antenna. Don't know if horizontal or vertical polarization would be easier to implement as either would need a pole to mount it on. Course there is aways the mast head........
 
Feb 17, 2006
5,102
Lancer 27PS MCB Camp Pendleton KF6BL
Bill, the boat is a done deal. Just need to finish installing the equipment. This antenna I am working on is for the house. I thought about the screwdriver and decided against it. I don't remember why because it was one of the first antennas I researched. I also though about two Hustler fender mounter HF antennas as a dipole. Definitely short and steerable, but also decided against that. I think maybe due to the fact to change bands one has to go outside and change elements.
 
Feb 17, 2006
5,102
Lancer 27PS MCB Camp Pendleton KF6BL
And it's one, two, three strikes your out... LOL

Well the vertical didn't work and was blown over by the wind. Plan C also crashed even before going up. The pole was top heavy and no matter what I did I could not get it stable enough to even attempt to see if it would work. Need a sturdy mast to support an inverted V.

So I shall now move on the different ideas. Might buy a couple of mobile HF sticks and make a dipole out of them. I heard they work pretty good and I was always meaning to try them. We'll see.

"They shoot horses, don't they?" (what movie?)
 
Feb 17, 2006
5,102
Lancer 27PS MCB Camp Pendleton KF6BL
Plan C reinstated. On one of my walks around the neighborhood I fell upon a lonely 1-1/4 PVC pipe that was 11' in length. Not seeing anyone around I felt it my duty to clean up the place. Back at the house I have an unused patio umbrella stand. Put the two together and now I hear signals I don't normally hear in the morning. We'll see how this works.

IMG_20170728_095440a.jpg

Apex is about 19 feet so that is almost .3 Wavelength. Hopefully this afternoon will give me better signals. Even though the band is wishy-washy. With the tuner I can tune other bands but efficiency is questionable.
 
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Rick D

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Jun 14, 2008
7,004
Hunter Legend 40.5 Shoreline Marina Long Beach CA
You deserve an A for persistence!
 
Feb 17, 2006
5,102
Lancer 27PS MCB Camp Pendleton KF6BL
Thank you, but I am not done. Oh no, not in a long shot. LOL
 
Jun 1, 2016
128
Hunter 28.5 Lake City, MN
I have a Lil-Tarheels screwdriver antenna I've used on my cars quite a bit and I've been very pleased with them. I LOVE the idea of mounting the antenna on a rail and dropping a ground line into the lake for an extra counterpoise! I doubt that the rails will be grounded. Also I don't think that the heel of the boat has your sailing, would make that much difference.

I'm still fairly new to sailing (2nd year), and because I'm on an inland lake, I don't seem to have that much much time to spend on the radio. Radio is a hobby, not used for oceanic communications. However the few times that I have wanted to get on, I can always use my android phone with a Bluetooth headset and connect up with my radio at home station through Remotehams.com.

Mike