Subject: Deploying and Storing the Antenna. Date: Fri, 09 Jul 1999 18:40:23 +0000 From: Ed Loranger
Organization: http://www.qsl.net/we6w To: [email protected] (Sent to QRP-L low power discussion group, July/9/1999) Good Day friends. I just wanted to share my antenna storage technique. I operate /Portable from the park every Saturday and recently they trimmed the willow trees and have to launch the 16 ounce waterbottle tied to a slipknot. I easily get 25 feet up with this technique and have gotten good at slowing the string down before the bottle would hit the ground. I'm nonchalant when I slow the bottle after clearing the tree and gently squeeze the rope while the bottle swings under the tree toward me, right into my other hand. Secretly I'm hoping someone has just witnessed my antenna raising prowess; without turning my head, my eyes dart left and right hoping to find someone appreciating my work.... no-one... Anyway, the point here is that I had to add about 70 feet of string to each antenna end to utilize the water bottle. So the prospect of winding up my antenna, a modest 33 feet on each end has now become 100 feet on each end when you include the string. What to do? OK. My antenna is back to normal. 25 feet of 300 ohm feedline soldered to each 33 foot leg of 20 AWG teflon sheathed wire. The center insulator is made of plastic coathanger about 5 inches long. Three holes drilled in the 3/8 inch diameter plasic serves to strain relief the antenna and the feedline is fed over the plastic and through drilled holes to hold it as well. The soldered connections are fully taped using yellow transformer dielectric tape, very thin and strong teflon tape. Storing the antenna. I had a scrap piece of wall plank. I think is was 9"x9" for covering walls. It is perfect. Cut it into about 4"x9" and is only 1/8 inch thick. Hacksaw a 1 inch, 45 degree slot into the top edge at the right and left, about 2 inches for the sides of the wood. Place center insulator at the middle top of the plank. Wind up each end of the antenna seperatly. I use a 8 foot string tied to each end of the antenna wire with an insulator formed of more of the plastic coathangar. The last few inches of string is anchored in the slot. I label the plank with indelible marker "40 M" or whatever band the antenna is designed for. The throwing lines (string) are wound in similar plank but with a "Vee" groove at each end and a small anchoring slot. Currently I unwind the amount of string needed and lay it on the ground in 10 foot lines seperated by 12 inches or so. I plan to put a finishing nail in the center axis of this wood spool and perhaps a plastic tube over the nail to allow the spool to spin during unraveling. The string at the ends of the antenna are tied into fixed 2 inch diameter loops. I have added a 1 inch piece of plastic coathangar to the loop in my throwing string. The throwing string now has a loop about 2 inch in diameter with the string threaded into two holes drilled into the plastic coathangar. When attaching to the bottle, the throwing string is made into a slip knot by simply pushing the standing part of the string into the loop and over the bottle -- the plastic coathangar serves no purpose here. After the string is over the tree and the bottle removed, the antenna end string with loop is put around the plastic coathangar on the throwing string and pulled up. Anchor the ends of the throwing string. Always throw the bottle over the tree, toward the center of the antenna. A lot simpler than it appears in this text :) When done using the antenna, untie the anchors at each end of the antenna throwing strings, gently pull down on feedline and pull each side down so you can reach the ends. Disconnect antenna ends by unlooping antenna string from around the straight coathangar catches. Wind antenna up on the wood plank, each antenna arm has its side of the plank. Anchor string ends in slots in wood. Spool feedline between the antenna lines and tuck feedline end underneath the other wire as necessar to hold it. Wind the throwing lines on their respective vee-notched spools. The 1 inch plastic catch on the throwing lines has not been a problem when pulling the line down from the tree. Maybe this antenna technique might give someone some ideas. I sure felt silly unwinding all that string off the antenna last week. Now I only use what I need and for quick use of the antenna when I'm not raising the ends high, I don't have to unwind the throw lines all over the ground. 72 Ed WE6W -- -Ed AR Millennium Q's=>900/2000 QRP-L#1068 72, Ed WE6W, A-1 OP; http://www.qsl.net/we6w Santa Rosa, CA QRP-Z#106 AR#112 HI-QRP#64 NC#2227 ARCI#9397 ARS#275
Here's a crude drawing minus the water bottle one throws while the throwing string is NOT yet attached to the antenna.
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