The VE3VRQ 6m Cubical Quad Antenna
I posted this portion as a message to the VHF Reflector, and thought
it should be given wide spread veiwing by everyone who wishes to enter into 6m,
but may be somewhat sceptical whether it is worth going to a new VHF band.
To all 2m operaters reading this message, I encurrage you to purchase the TenTec 1209 transverter.
Connect it to your present 2m rig. Then build a simple Quad (3ele's). My Quad was constructed from
a boom of 2" x 2" x 11' Construction grade pine, with element holders being 1/2" dowels (12 of course).
The elements themselves were from 2 Radioshack SW antenna hardware kits. No. 12 bare copper wire in a
package, with insulators. I purchased the 2 SW (Shortwave) hardware kits to construct a longwire
Having made only one QSO on 06APR98 with N2JMH, I decided to look into making a cheap Quad, hence
I opened my ARRL Antenna Handbook, ARRL Handbook, and asked a few questions on the Internet, which lead
me to the following URL:
What follows is the VE3VRQ enhanced KD6DKS / ARRL Cubical Shoe String Quad! Primed 'mathmatically'
I converted every number into mm to ensure most accuracy during construction, as I was going to use
my children to help construct the antenna, and they are fantastic distractors! :^] Here is the final
measurements I came up with all in mm (unless otherwise noted).
Element -A- -B- -C-
Reflector : 6,263mm 1,566mm 1,107mm CUT ALL WIRES LONGER BY 200mm - 300mm
Driven Ele : 6,112mm 1,528mm 1,080mm TO TWIST ENDS TOGETHER MEASURE AND MARK
Director #1: 5,929mm 1,482mm 1,048mm (90deg bend in wire was good for me!)
Optional Directors for enhanced work:
Director #2: 5,751mm 1,437mm 1,017mm
Director #3: 5,578mm 1,395mm 986mm
Director #4: 5,411mm 1,352mm 956mm
Director #5: 5,249mm 1,312mm 927mm
** -> Director Spacing 1,411mm for EACH element
A = Circumferance of each element
B = 1 leg (1/4 cir)
C = this measurement is where you would attach the element to the dowel.
- Measured from Boom Center out to Dowel Tip.
Click HERE to view a detailed construction shot. (192k)
NOTE: Measure TWICE and CUT once! This is NOT a one man job! 2 people minimum! The more the better.
o Mark your measurements on the boom noting which end is forward with a 3" nail sticking out 2". This
will be used to hold the element guy string together later.
o Drill 2 x 1/2" holes through the boom crosswise to each other, where you have marked the location of
the Reflector and guck the holes with yellow wood glue.
o Insert 2 x 1/2" dowels horizontally, so they butt up with one another. Hold for a min of 5 mins.
o Insert 2 x 1/2" dowels vertaclly about 3/4" deep into each hole. hold for a min of 5 mins.
o Guck the next set of holes for the Driven Element (noted as the Director in the picture), and
insert dowels as instructed above. Carry this on for each element location.
o Measure and cut your elements to the above specified lengths.
NOTE: Loop and tie the all element ends together, with the exception for the Driven Element (noted as the
Director in the picture). The ends of wire of the Driven Element are soldered to the coax (one to
the center conductor and the other end to the sheilding (I was UNABLE to solder my ends together, so
I used 2 small cable tie straps to secure the Driven Element to the Coax!). Secure this end to the
dowel with twine, ensuring the ends do NOT short together.
o Measure and mark the locations where the elements are to be inserted onto the dowels.
o I tied the elements to the dowels with butcher's cotton twine, then tied each dowel lengthwise
together to hold the elements in place.
o Once assembled, Find the balance point of the boom and mark it. Drill 2 x 1/4" or 5/16" holes for
the U-clamp to secure the boom to the mast.
Make sure the twine secures the element tightly. Butcher's cord is only a temp measure, since I'm sure
it will rott away in time, but it sure got me up & running on 6m ASAP and on a "shoe-string" budget.
My 1st antenna construction lasted 3 years before it fell apart. If you coat the wood with Verathane
or Shelac this will give you a longer life, but also increases the cost of construction.
INFO: Unlike the picture, I have my Coax running up the dowel to the boom, and taped and tie strapped in
place, to the center of the boom, then down the mast to the ground, taped and tied as required so it
does NOT get tangled with the rotor (You can see this clearly in the ABOVE photo).
Also, in the picture I have included a boom support structure to be incorporated if you decided to
use more than 3 elements (4 - 7 element construction).
My 6m station consists of the following equipment: o Yaesu FT7221r (2m
module installed) o TenTec 1209 2m / 6m Transverter (pre-assembled) o 3 element
VE3VRQ enhanced KD6DKS / ARRL Cubical Shoe String Quad! And ONLY 6' in the air (Measured
Boom <-> GND)! o Mirage A1015G 150w Amplifier w/Preamp o 2,000+ QSO's w/
44+ countries & 332+ grids worked
I hope to work as many of you guys on 6m as possible, and as the band permits me
to. Let me know how it works for you. Jon K. Jones wrote: > > Subject: 6m
operation on a shoe string budget! > > Michael: > Great post about a
budget 6M station and effective antenna. Do you feed > your 3 element quad
directly with 50 ohm coax?? I may build one to > put in my attic - live in a
"no outside antenna" restricted QTH. > 73, > Jon N0JK Sorry Jon,
I forgot to include that very important information in my post! Yes, here's how
I did it: 1) Snip 1' from one end of the Co-Ax cable. 2) Remove 4" of the
black jacket around the shielding. 3) Next remove the foil shield (exposing the
wire braid). 4) Then cut the di-electric housing the center conductor. 5) Upon
measuring the lengths of the elements, the driven element (DE) was given 3"
extra on each side of it, which allowed me to twist an eye-end which I was able
to insert the ground braid on one side, and the center conductor on the other
side of the driven element. Through the eye-end and twisted along the element
that is. 6) Next twist the wire braid of the GND to the element, soldering the
wire braid to the element. 7) Repeat step 6 for the center conductor. Thanks
again Jon for refreshing these important details of the antenna! It's still
sitting at 8' and still making these great QSO's with the band openings! Hope to
work you before long! I heard some "0"'s last night, but failed to
work any calls. Still its great just listening to those QSO's on 6m fly right by!
73 de VE3VRQ, Michael FN13gx Subject: Re: 6m Cubical Quads Date: Tue, 7 Apr 1998
21:46:09 EDT From: Kb8tej1
To: email@example.com > Michael, dont give up on the long wire,
at 100+ with a wire in on form or > another (currently using a 1/2 Square
aimed at the Carrib. es 10 W) Good > cubical quad article in the ARRL Antenna
hand book. 73 es see ya in the E- > Layer. Rob ***** Subject: Re: 6m
operation on a shoe string budget! Date: Tue, 19 May 1998 00:21:14 -0500 (CDT)
From: Robert Wood
To: firstname.lastname@example.org > This 1209 converter? $$?? kit or
built? -- 73 Robert W5AJ email@example.com Here is my "Plug" for
Ten-Tec: (taken from the Ten-Tec Catalog: A-98 Pages B97 - 4 / B97 - 5) Let's
Get Together and REPOSSESS 6 Meters! How Long can FOUR WHOLE MEGAHERTZ of
precious semi-HF VHF spectrum just sit there for us hams if so few of us have
gear to even try out this fascinating 6 meter band? The T-Kit 1209 Transverter
lets new Technicians and oldtimers alike repossess 6 Meters at a VERY nice price!
SSB-CW-FM-AM 6-Meter Transverter Add the excitement of the 50 MHz amateur band
so easily to ANY modern ham 2 Meter transceiver. A transverter lets you transmit
as well as receive on 6 Meters, using the precision digital tuning, available
modes, memories and other features of your 2 meter transceiver. It's simple: You
tune your 2m rig to 144.125 MHz on your display or dial is 50.125, and your on
the 6m calling frequency! Keep your RF output under 5 watts, and just go for it!
The 8 watts RF output is generous power during good band openings and for local
communications and repeaters. FEATURES: o Use with any transciever capable of
3-5watts on 2 meters o Extremely simple hookup and operation o low-noise 50-54
MHz receiving input o Easy front-panel switching between 2m and 6m antennas o
Fast, silent RF-sensing PIN diode T-R switching for QSK and data communication
Specifications and Operating Requirements: o 12-15VDC @ 3.0 amps o RF output @
51.000 MHz: 8 watts typical o standard 2m transceiver required for basic
50.000-50.350 MHz Beacon/CW/SSB operation o FM operation requires FM transmit/receive
capability of 144.000 - 148.000 MHz, with repeater offsets being a function of
the transceiver's VFO memory system o Operate any mode 50.000 - 54.000 MHz! o
the 2m transeiver MUST be attenuated to 5 watts or less Assembled: $159.00USD +
$15.00USD for shipping Kit Form: $ 95.00USD + $15.00USD for shipping *****
Subject: Re: 6m Opens then closes just in time for the Sprints! Date: Mon, 18
May 1998 17:20:46 -0400 From: Herb Spoonts
To: firstname.lastname@example.org > The FN13-to-FN20 path will be strictly
an aurora or tropo path, but I'm > sure we will can make it one way or
another. > Six is a very challenging band because things often happen when
you > least expect them----or DON'T happen when you do expect them! I think
> every mode of propagation known to man appears at one time or another. >
That's of course what makes it fun! I was first licensed in 1946 in > Texas
and was "trained" by a guy who had developed an interest in 6. I >
have thanked him a million times for planting the seed with me. > Enjoy the
band! Enjoy cussing. Enjoy smiling. Enjoy popping with pride. > It's all that!