In one of my recent posts (the one about my attic antenna) I mentioned my tendency to feel obligated to give things a try, especially if someone has advised me otherwise. I don't know if its just stubbornness, or if its the desire to see it for myself, but it does seem to be how I roll. Well, I've gone and done it again - this time with a portable antenna.
If you know me at all, or if you've read other posts of mine, you're probably aware of my affinity for portable operations. My love of portable ops has introduced me to a great group of individuals, some of whom I volunteer with to help support Parks on the Air. The group of "tech admin" that work together to support the website, database, etc. for POTA meet virtually once a week to go over whatever things we need to, in order to support the effort. Because we're all hams, we often end up just "rag-chewing" a bit after we cover the "business" end of the call. During one of these chats, I happened to mention that I was disassembling a washer that had just gone bad so I could recycle the metal, and in the process, I ended up with this bit from a transformer:
I joked with the team that I should unwind it and make antennas, seeing as there must be hundreds, if not thousands, of feet of this tiny enameled wire wrapped around it. One of the guys - Thom, W8TAM, suggested that it probably wouldn't work out that well, being so small and a solid wire. He's probably right - I can't imagine how many times this skinny, solid, wire could be flexed, kinked, etc. before breaking, but the trap was set. He inadvertently set me on a mission of "well now I have to find out....." So, now I have this:
It's nothing fancy - just a random-wire end-fed with a counterpoise. The counterpoise I lay on the ground, and I think I cut it around 33ish feet or so. The antenna element (the one marked with the red tape) is cut at around 70 feet. Inside the box is a little 9:1 unun that I build a while back (I wrote about it here.) With my portable setup, I can tune this on pretty much any of the bands between 10 and 80 meters.
Now that it's built, the interesting bit will be to see how many times it can survive being deployed and repacked - so far I'm up to 3. But hey, even it only lasts for half a dozen deployments, I've got a whole pile of it that I can just keep unwinding more from as it breaks :-)
- N3VEM -
Welcome to my Ham Radio Blog! This blog was started primarily to share my two concurrent shack builds - my mobile station and my home station. Over time, this has grown to include sharing about my operations, and general radio-related thoughts that I have as a newer operator.
Proving that hams do indeed still build stuff!
100 Watts and Wire is an awesome community, based around an excellent podcast.