THAT STOCK HT ANTENNA NEEDS TO BE "IMPROVED."
Most stock HT antennas are measured at -6db gain - or worse! An improved whip will help on RX ... but HT whips are not ideal at all: For reliable success you really need some gain. Some great DIY antenna projects - and other ideas - here for you!
You are here!
Do Tape Measure Antennas Measure Up?
Short answer: YES! I am working Commander Wiseman in the photo to the right - as he was about 450 miles downrange aboard the ISS. My Yaesu FT-60R was turned DOWN to 2W TX power.
01/2012 issue of QST (pdf)
The Smiley (pictured) operates ...
- 1/4 wave 2M fully extended
- 5/8 wave 440 2 sections down
- 1/4 wave 440 fully collapsed
- 1/4 wave 220 4 sections down
It has a tuned coil/spring which protects your delicate HT antenna connector, and is available with just about any connector. The flex coil matching network provides at band center low SWR as well as a +/- 5 MHz band center. Length is 4.5" down and 16.5" up. NOT the gain for satellites - but a great alternative to stock HT antennas!
(And the Smiley is HALF the price of the popular Diamond SRH-320a!)
Ed Fong's CLASSIC J-Pole Antennas
NOT "high-gain" by any means ... but EVERY ham working 2m/70cm should build and use a J-Pole! (g) Ed's is encapsulated in PVC pipe. And his is the "roll-up" - made out of 300-ohm twin lead antenna wire.
Although preferable to work satellites in full-duplex mode - defined as being able to hear the downlink as you key your mic - it is not absolutely mandatory. Just listen and wait for a break in the action!
You will hear the strong 2M downlinks from AO-91 and AO-92 with stock antennas ... But you really need some gain to access them!
First mod: adding an ergonomic handle.
Second mod: a "tray" for your HT on the handle end of the boom. .
Either is a great investment. Some Internet "myths" debunked in .
Daimon Tilley G4USI
Daimon cited our sitein the magazine. Click here for a copy!
Clint Bradford, K6LCS
CQ Amateur Radio published my satellite tutorial in the issue.
Doug Cook KD5PDN
Doug wrote two great articles on working the ISS: One article using a , the other using an !
To the left are some fun-to-build, proven antenna projects.
Build them "to the letter," and you won't need expensive testing equipment.