TRANSPORTABLE VERTICAL ANTENNAThis vertical was built for me by Luis, CT1BYR, a skilled ham and homebrew fan - everything from smd component level to large antenna array construction.
After numerous conversations with Luis regarding transportable antennas he came up with this solution for me to take on my trips to the Azores. Knowing that I often use an automatic SGC-230 antenna coupler and so tuning would not be a problem, he suggested combining this with a random length vertical. Operating away from home is also about having redundancy plans - this antenna can also be used if the SG-230 is unavailable as a standard quarter wave vertical, on most of the HF bands, simply by altering its length.
The antenna stands over 9 metres high when fully erected and has four levels of guying cables to withstand the harsh weather associated with this part of the world. Built from stainless steel, instead of aluminium, this provides added weather resistance and durability. As does its slim silhouette for minimum wind resistance. Thin walled stainless steel piping was easier to find at our local hardware store and although slightly heavier than aluminium this was not a problem as it is still easily carried by one person. The base is made from a nylon block with a deep circular recess to accommodate the bottom section and isolate it from ground. A couple of bolts are also screwed to this same block to attach the antenna's RF ground wires - the more the better.
To allow transportable operation and easy set-up, Luis used a telescopic solution for the vertical element. Five 2 metre pipes all slotting inside each other reminds us of a car radio antenna on a larger scale. Each of the lower four section ends have a guying clamp to affix three guy ropes and when tightened, give the vertical rigidity and prevent the slimmer elements from slipping back inside the larger ones. This gives us a total of twelve guy wires which may be reduced for calm weather operating. In fact, the bottom level of three guy ropes are practically only used to facilitate raising the remaining upper sections by a single person. It saves him having to hold the bottom section vertically steady while telescoping out and tightening the remaining four sections.
Lowering the antenna is just as easy as raising. For storage or travel, the vertical element, ground wires and guy cables fit inside a 2 metre long cardboard or plastic tube making it easily transportable and an ideal antenna for emergency, field-day or dxpedition use.
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