ANTENNAS

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!

Sat Skeds

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  Antennas

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. Here's an MP3 of that brief contact.

     Arrow Antennas

     Elk Log Periodic Antennas

     Alex Diaz' Homebrew Yagis

     Got an Old Umbrella?

     WB2HOL's Tape Measure

     WB2HOL's Tape Measure Kits!

     W6NBC's 2M/70CM Tape  

          Measure Beam (from the

          01/2012 issue of QST (pdf)


  

     Smiley 3-Band HT Antenna

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!)

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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 DBJ1 is encapsulated in PVC pipe. And his DBJ2 is the "roll-up" - made out of 300-ohm twin lead antenna wire.

  NOTES ...

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Full-duplex operations

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!

Reception ...

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!

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First mod: adding an ergonomic handle.

Second mod: a "tray" for your HT on the handle end of the boom. Click here for photos.

Either is a great investment. Some Internet "myths" debunked in this article.

  ARTICLES

Daimon Tilley G4USI

Daimon cited our sitein the June, 2020 issue of Practical Wireless  magazine. Click here for a copy!

Clint Bradford, K6LCS

CQ Amateur Radio published my satellite tutorial in the May, 2012 Special Dayton issue.

Doug Cook KD5PDN

Doug wrote two great articles on working the ISS: One article  using a tape measure beam, the other using an antenna made out of barbed wire!

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To the left are some fun-to-build, proven antenna projects.


Build them "to the letter," and you won't need expensive testing equipment.