Hi, I know it is not purely on work in the field itself, rather on the time in-between activations or on business trips, still I hope it will be forgiven to ask now from a chaser’s perspective.
What kind of antennas do you guys use when you travel and stay in hotels? I know the ideal situation is a suburban hotel, with the window opening to a garden with high trees quite a few metres/yards away from the building…
But I assume the conditions vary, we also have limits when in a hotel - so I was wondering about your creativity and effectiveness of the travel solutions you have. Myself being a frequent traveller and a beginner in cw - I would find it extremely interesting to hear your solutions (maybe with pictures or drawings if possible at all?), allowing practice and possibly chasing when activation is not possible due to time limits at work.
I hope many can benefit from valuable experience sharing in this topic. Thank you in advance for any and all shares!
I was recently in Montserrat as VP2MKX for one week with my SOTA CW rig and a parallel dipole for 20/17/15 which I attached to a second-floor balcony overhang, sloping down to a fence about 1 meter off the ground and 2 meters away from the building with a clear shot to the northwest. It was centre-fed with 13 meters of RG-174, long enough to snake across the balcony and into my room. It worked great on 20 meters but I also made a few Qs on 17 when the band was open. I was not familiar with propagation from the Caribbean, but I think the sloping polarization helped me get 30+ countries just operating a couple of hours a day after work. Not bad reports either, considering maybe 3 watts into the antenna.
Ones I stayed in a hotel in Prague. From my KX1 one wire to the central heating system and the other wire to a zinc rain gutter just above my window. Worked fine
73 de geert pa7zee
I presume you are talking about HF? Far from Ideal but perhaps practical for a hotel balcony or even in the room (at QRP) is a tripod mounted Diamond RHM-8B antenna.
Here’s by article on how I created my set-up-
The antenna itself is designed to connect straight onto the BNC socket on the top of the FT-817, but I’m not happy about the strain that creates on the socket - hence the use of a tripod.
Whether using on a tripod or directly on the rig, it is VERY important to add counterpoise wires cut for the band you wish to use the antenna on. They can all be taped together to make one “wire” from the base of the antenna to avoid tangled wires everywhere.
Thanks, all. I will try just hanging the 10m end fed down with the counterpoise in the room, as this is what I can afford now. The good news is I am quite high (10th floor). The bad news is I am afraid of noise level…
How often are you using this Diamond antenna for your SOTA trips? Does it give you necessary performance? I am looking into getting one, that’s why I am asking.
I have switched from the Diamond RHM-8B to a far better HF/VHF antenna in the Komunica HF-PRO-2-PLUS-T. It covers 80m through 2m, but everything above 30MHz is just adjusting the length of the telescopic whip to the correct 1/4 or 5/8 wavelength, so don’t expect any gain and there are plenty of better small VHF/UHF antennas. This is really an HF antenna but if you need to go onto 8,6,4, or 2m, it’ll do it.
Here’s my write-up on it.
As this is a European (Spanish) designed antenna, I’m not sure if there are any stockists in North America yet or not.
Here’s Komunica’s website - If you decide on this perhaps ask them how you can order from Canada. By the way, they also do a matching tripod witrh radials and coax for this antenna (or you can make your own using a photo tripod).
Thank you, Ed for this valuable info. It is certainly intriguing and I will look into it. After struggling to decide for a while, I finally had decided to order Wolf River Coil SOTA Special (Wolf River Coils) after considering my options.