I recently bought an MFJ-2286 portable telescopic antenna, and I have to say I am very pleased with it.
On serveral occasions I worked DX (mostly US) with it on 20 and 30m. Both mounted on my car with a magnet base as well as mounted in my garden.
Now if I put it in my garden I use a heavy 1m earth rod that I put into the ground for about 70cm and put the antenna on top. That works fine, a bit higher would be nice, but is ok.
Now I’d like to use this antenna also portable, the antanna itself fits nicely in a backpack but the earth rod is a bit much to carry around.
Does anyone have any alternative ideas on how to set this antenna up for /p use?
Thanks in advance!
I have one of these and also use on my SUV when stationary, the mount is not a mag mount and is grounded to the vehicle and works well. For portable operation I use 4 to 8 radials about 14’ long. Sometimes if I have space I’ll add a couple 30’ radials to enhance 40 meter operation. The 2286 came with 4 @ 14’ radials, enough to get you on the air and leave the ground rod at home.
73 de KE6MAK
Thanks for the reply
I only use the ground rod to keep the antenna up, not really as ground plane since I also connected the radials.
What I really like to know is what kind of support for the antenna can be used? Connected to the ground rod I know it will not fall down.
The clamp that is provided with the mfj kit Is bought only supports very thin masts, so fence posts / … Don’t work.
My suggestion would be a photographic tri-pod. they are light but reasonably sturdy. I bought one second-hand and mounted an SO-239 in place of the camera mounting bolt and then have the coax connected as well, so that it runs off to wherever I am sitting. the radials or counterpoise wire is important and with the tripod the counterpoise is then raised rathe than being directly on the ground, which is usually better.
I use this configuration with my Diamond RHM-8B or Komunica Bazoka Pro vertical antennas.
You may have to look how the MFJ-2286 would be mounted as I don’t think it has a PL-259 on it rather an SO-239 - I suppose you could use a back-to-back PL-259 adapter.
It can work like this (if no wind, of course):
See my log (CW part) on July 22, 2017 at SP/BZ-012
As Ed mentioned a small photo tripod would work. I have an old floor lamp base with 4 holes drilled for 3/8" tent spikes as an anchor - but only good for short walks due to heavy base. If you find a good solution though please share.
On SOTA activations where I deploy the MFJ telescopic whip, I guy one of my hiking poles with 3 guys and bolt the mount to the hiking pole (second photo). Or the radials could be used as guys as in the first photo. Using the hiking pole as a support, I don’t need to carry another piece of equipment. In addition, the feed point and radials are elevated and I experience excellent results.
Here’s another solution I use for mounting the MFJ antenna: 2 pieces of PVC pipe. The telescopic whip is carried inside the smaller diameter piece with caps on each end to protect the whip. The small diameter pipe fits inside the large diameter pipe which also has end caps on it. A reducer coupler connects one end of the small diameter pipe with one end of the large diameter pipe. The antenna is mounted to an end cap which has been drilled for a stud mount.
My counterpoise is a wire with quarter wave links for each band.
Excellent ideas and implementation Paul!
73 de KE6MAK
Like Ed I use a photographic tripod with guys to stabilise the antenna. The Super Antenna UM2 mount is quite versatile; enabling you to attach to a tripod, post or flat surface.
I have found the MFJ quite tricky to tune in the field though and haven’t used it as much as I thought.
Andy, I also found the antenna tricky to tune in the field. The coil settings while the antenna was set up on a summit were somewhat different than they were when the antenna was set up in the garden. Also, placement of each radial affected SWR. I suspected this in advance so I brought my antenna analyzer in the pack to help tune the antenna correctly on each band. While I was able to minimize the SWR on each band, it took time to do so—a luxury we often don’t have a lot of on an activation!