Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Simple Ham Radio Antennas--The $4 Special Antenna, Joe Tyburczy (W1GFH). Post # 807.

The $4 Special Antenna by Joe Tyburczy (W1GFH)
Accessed on 16 June 2016, 05:01 hrs, UTC.
Author:  Joe Tyburczy (W1GFH) and N4UJW.

With the ARRL Field Day set for 25-26 June 2016, many of my fellow radio amateurs are looking for a simple antenna that can be built, erected, and used for this portable field exercise.  I ran across this article in and found that my own emergency antenna was similar to the one designed by Joe Tyburczy (W1GFH).  I carry this easily made antenna in my van along with an antenna transmatch (i.e. "tuner"), a fiberglass telescoping mast, some rayon rope, #14 AWG house wire, some basic tools, a homebrewed 4:1 current balun, and 50 feet/15.24 meters of 450 ohm ladder line.
I use two deep cycle marine batteries and a solar charger to run my portable station.

Joe's instructions are clear and well-presented. If you use locally available materials, you should keep the cost below $30.  When this article was posted in 1997, $4 would get you most of what you needed to make this antenna.  But, times change and costs keep increasing. So, "make do" with what you have and experiment.

Joe's antenna is the familiar inverted vee, making only a single mast necessary for field operations. By using balanced line (open line, tv twin lead, or 450 ohm ladder line), a 4:1 balun, and a well-made transmatch ("tuner"), you will get multiband capability.  Following Joe's example, you can get 80 meter to 10 meter coverage by making each antenna element 66 feet/20.12 meters long.  Joe also provides suggested lengths for the balanced feed line.

This antenna is one of my favorite portable "skyhooks", because it's simple, inexpensive, and easily transportable.  This is the antenna I will be using on Field Day if I don't join my local club in Hilo for the event.

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