Pimp your HT with a monster antenna

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Anyone else using one for SOTA?

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Like a lot of people I use an RH-770 telescopic antenna, which performs a heck of a lot better than the standard “rubber duck”.

The RH-770 doesn’t have the wind restrictions that your antenna has.

The start of your video gave me a laugh though - probably as I can envision the wind problems happening to me if I had that monster antenna!

73 Ed.

I use the RH770 with my DMR-HT however another configuration I have used with the FT-817 previously is the quarter-wave whip off the mag-mount on the car, simply screwed onto the SO239 on the back of the 817 (and then change the config on VHF/UHF to use the back (stronger SO239) socket rather than the weaker BNC socket). You get a sort of “up-side-down” vertical whip - but even it, works better than the stanadrd 817 rubber-duck antennas (which are a little better than most chinese ones).

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I use a MFJ Long Ranger EFHW for the summit, and an aftermarket rubber ducky (Diamond RH77CA) for the hike up.
If I need better performance, then its an EDZ centre fed on the mast.

Malen
VE6VID

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I have one, but have not used it for SOTA. My observations:

  1. Yes, it can fold in a stiff breeze or if used when walking briskly.
  2. I compared it to a Smiley 5/8 wave antenna and an AES Hot rod 1/2 wave antenna.
    a. signal was same as the 5/8 wave
    b. the 1/2 wave was an -unit lower than either of them
    c. Both the AEA 1/2 wave and Smiley 5/8 wave are lighter and thus less load on the HT jack.
  3. It does look more appropriate an a Yaesu FT-817 than on an HT.
  4. It will survive bumping into something overhead better than the telescopic 1/2 and 5/8 wave antennas compared to.
  5. If you have the extra money and like the looks - get it for that reason and be happy. Otherwise, a 5/8 wave from Smiley or other source works just as well.
  6. I did notice that with the dual band 2M/70cm the 70cm performance was not as much gain over a rubber duck than it is on 2M.
  7. It can function as a minimal social distancing measure…keep everyone an antenna length away.

73,
Howard

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I am using a MFJ-1714S with very good results. It‘s a telescopic 2m monoband EFHW.

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I am using the supplied rubber duck on my FT70D with splendid results.

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Tom,
You would be Quackers to use a rubber ducky here except in VK1 as the distances are a bit too far for basic gear.
73
Ron
VK3AFW

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Sounds like a challenge Ron. People have said the same to me about most places in the UK outside of IO83, only for me to gleefully demonstrate otherwise with my FT70D and supplied helical.

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I use a half wave mobile whip with an adapter between its PL259 fitting and my rig, it works perfectly well with the BNC socket on the 817 but I also have a right angle adapter for the rear SO239 socket. More on topic, though, I also have an adapter for my HT, though I have only tried it on receive so far as I only carry the HT as a backup for the more capable 817. Since the half wave whip is relatively thin I have not had windage problems.

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In order to keep them from buckling, hold the weak (buckling) side against the wind.
Alternatively, you could try to build an antenna out of metallic tent poles.
Or: you take out a few elements of your excellent heavy duty mast and attach a wire of the proper length. With some 3D printing you could a “backpack” fitting to the radio and providing support for the mast.

Keep up the videos! I like the dry British Humour. Just what we need in these times.
73 de Martin / HB9GVW

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Thinking about it I have also used the PL259 1/4 λ on the top of my Wouxon KG-UVD1P through an SO239->SMA adapter. I was always worried about the SMA socket though (but it fact it was OK, no damage).

73 Ed.

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It’s the IO83 magic! :rofl:

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“outside of IO83”…

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I’ve had good results from a Diamond RH-205 5/8th telescopic whip. I always worry about the extra load on the portable antenna socket though!

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Fun topic. I’ve also used an RH-205 quite a lot, usually on my yaesu 817. As I do more activations though I have started asking myself the same question a lot:
If I’m making the effort to bring a sizeable vertical for increased gain on 2 M, is it time to just start using a collapsible yagi instead?
After seeing some interesting collapsible designs online I finally fired up 4NEC2 and designed one for myself. Haven’t built it yet, but my plan is to replace the RH-205 with that once it’s ready. Just my $0.02.

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In our area of the Southern Appalachian Mountains there is limited line of sight access while on the approach trail, so the HT stays in the pack. On the summit I use a 2m j pole antenna made from twinlead wire, which transports in a compact roll, including its meter of coax. The upper end has a loop made from a tie wrap. On a summit with trees I hang the loop from as high a branch as I can reach with a hiking pole. On a treeless summit I just drape the loop over the end of the hiking pole and hold the pole up. Both ways work consistently better than my quarter wave helical duckie. The comparison was done by testing whether the j pole allowed me to activate repeaters that I couldn’t “hit” with the duckie, and the j pole often prevailed.

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Malen, I use exactly the same antennas. In my experience, nothing has come close to the performance of my trusty Long Ranger when I am on a summit. These days, with CMEs battering the atmosphere and shutting down HF to a great degree, I’m even more grateful for it because it has saved my bacon on a SOTA activation.

The problem is that MFJ is closing up, there’s no news I have heard, as yet, of someone buying it, and I can’t find anywhere with the Long Ranger in stock. I can carry my Arrow Yagi but it’s nowhere near as convenient as the Long Ranger.

What to buy as a backup? Is there anything else that people are using?

Maybe it’s time for a roll up slim jim

Bruce, VA7SGY

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21st April this year…

“Our first activity was to alert chasers in Christchurch city 91 kms east and 7000 feet below us. This proved no big feat using my FT-60 with a 42 inch Abbree antenna attached. In the space of 15 minutes John and I each made 7 contacts on 2 metres. They were almost, without exception, reports of 59 in both directions. I know the Abbree antenna looks quite ungainly, especially perched on top of a small FT-60 but it has never failed me with anything other than stellar performance.”

The very same antenna Richard was using in his video all those years ago. Personally I swear by them. I have one in SMA male and one in SMA female so I can use them on either the Yaesu, TYT or Baofeng handhelds.

I did look at getting a Long Ranger but the price to ship it from MFJ was going to cost more than the antenna itself.

Cheers
Phil ZL3CC

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Bruce,
I recently went to a Smiley antenna which I think is better build than the Long Ranger. There is still an 2 metre extended double zepp in my pack, which is a great performer.

Malen
VE6VID

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