Since much has been said about antennas, I wonder if anyone uses PRO WHIP Antennas (link is shown below) for their SOTA activations.
I’ve been using my 6,5mtr HF vertical on my WWFF and WCA activations with good results but hopefully only after the CU Association be created I will try it on SOTA.
73 de CU3AA, Joao
Not long now, Joao. Are you contemplating activating on 1st Dec?
Yeah, I own a couple of these, both the 10m and 6m fishing pole antennas and one of his 8m fishing poles. As Ray states on his web page, these are compromise antennas.
I’ve worked plenty of DX with them from SOTA summits, however, in the case of the 10m fishing pole, it’s quite heavy.
If you intend to purchase one, I would go for the 8m version, easily manageable.
Hi Mike and thanks for your reply.
I purchased one last year, a 6m version. Its very light, easy to manage and set up.
The problem I found was the wind. You need a very strong support or it will fall down rapidly.
Very soon I will activate a local summit (yes, CU association is on its way) and will run 10w with that antenna. Look forward to work all of you guys.
73 de CU3AA, Joao
I’m afraid not. Mid December. But I will announce it here.
73 de CU3AA, Joao
Sorry for the late reply…
I have the 6M version, bought some years ago with the aluminum stake and the bungees, it was the aluminum stake and bungees that I left on top of Ros Hill.
The bungees seemed to have lost their elasticity over the years and, as has been said, the single stake was a bit flimsy for anything more than light winds. It was also difficult, in my experience, to attach the pole to the stake and wrap the bungees without the pole falling over.
So, I’m looking at alternative ways of holding the pole up and I’m also thinking of replacing the “Balun” as well, as the single long ground wire and “Balun” seemed to be a bit of a compromise in my opinion.
The problem is that it is difficult to work out what sort of loading coil to use… There’s the tapped coil, where the feeder is tapped up a few turns and a shorting tap is used from the top of the coil, but according to the experts, that’s not very efficient although will work on a number of bands, or an alternative to make various single coils to put into the base for a variety of bands, but again 6M isn’t a good place to start for a single band vertical.
A yoke and 3 guy cords does me. The plastic yoke fits over the fishing pole but the hole is too small to pass over the final section. There are 3 nylon coords about 1.5m long from the yoke that go to tent pegs. Job done. I can dig out a picture if you want.
Yes, I use that for the VHF antennas, where the pole can rest on the ground, but in this case the vertical element exits through the rubber ‘foot’ at the bottom, so if you use that system, the wire is trapped under the pole.
With the ‘Pro’, it’s intended that the bottom of the pole is held off the ground a few inches, so that the pigtail end of the vertical radiator can connect to one side of the ‘Balun’ and the ground wire can connect to the other.
For one of my VHF poles I’ve bought the sliding attachment, so that I can rotate the pole inside the 4 point guying system, with the 3 point ‘yoke’ when you rotate the pole, in my experience, the guys bind to the pole and the friction causes problems in getting the pole to move. Not a problem for a HF vertical of course.
My main question is what sort of coil arrangement to use at the base of the vertical instead of the small, boxed, balun?
I can make a coil, and make it tapped from the bottom or the top, or both, but what would work?
When I said I wanted to hold the pole up, I should have been more specific, I guess…
The radiating element wire comes out through a hole in the rubber base. I could re-route it through the side of the lower section but that would compromise the telescoping of the pole so I’m looking for ways of holding up the base of the pole (OK, yes, I will consider guys, but that’s only one part of the engineering problem) off the floor to allow for some form of base loading coil.
The next issue is that various authors are very skeptical about multi-band coils with shorting bars and suggest that they are not very efficient ways to feed vertical antennas on HF.
The wire is in the inside for convenience I guess. If the bottom of the pole will be on the ground then move the wire to the outside of the pole. Let it dangle down gently spiralled around the pole so it doesn’t touch the ground. Coil it up when you drop the antenna. It’s how all mine are mounted.
The coil will be a 1:4 or 1:9 UNUN. It’s simply stepping down the high impedance of the random wire to nearer 50ohms. I’m assuming you used it with a tuner of some sort.
The whole antenna is a compromise not just the counterpoise and matching box. At this point you get into the repeated cycle of discussions of multiband performance vs single band vs adjustable vs ground radials vs elevated radials vs setup time vs radiation angle vs efficiency vs weight vs whatever. There is no right answer only the answer that meets what you want to do.
I suppose the way to solve the problem is to pick a pole and pick a design that fits the pole. Or pick a design and get a pole that the design fits to. The WX looks rough tomorrow from lunchtime onwards, so I’ll be finishing the 10m antennas for the challenge. Single band jobs though. Again it’s decisions, decisions.
I’ve never used guys to hold up a pole. I carry four bungees (£1 a pair from Poundland!) and a roll of duct tape. Hooking a pair of bungees together makes them long enough to go around a trig point, singly they go around fence posts or trees - or a park bench on May Hill - I have stuck the end of the pole into a crack in the summit rocks, or used tape to fix the pole to a spike of rock. Memorably, I used tape to fix the pole onto a neolithic standing stone on Watch Croft DC-007! Its not that I don’t have the guys - I do - I’ve just never had to use them!
Try some of the blasted hills round here, nearest thing to hang a pole from is miles away, then guys and pegs come into their own
That’s how the ‘Pro’ is made. At the tip the wire is fed through the top by cutting a bit off the top and wrapping the end of the wire in self amalgamating tape so that it wont fall down inside the pole. At the base, the wire is fed through a hole.
In practice, it can be a bit fiddly to extend the pole and feed the wire through the base without it kinking and you have to unravel the wire and continue. On dropping the pole, if you are not careful the smallest section drops down below some of the other sections and gets jammed between two of the larger diameter tubes.
Looks good as long as the wire doesn’t come out of the bottom of the pole. Unfortunately the wire would get trapped between the bottom of the pole and the ground screw.
I’ll take a couple of photographs, so that people can see how the Pro works if they have not come across it before.
Sounds far too much trouble. When it’s cold and windy, you don’t want a system that requires too much thinking and manipulation.
Here’s the tip and base arrangement for the Pro.
Yes it does sound rather too much bother. The guys on my vertical are also its groundplane.
Cheap to make, very small and lightweight to carry (all packs into a small antenna bag except pole) and a proven DX performer with QRP.
I just use the resonant antenna for the band I want. I have made five of these, one each for 20m, 17m, 15m, 12m and 10m.
After using the Pro whip at home, and still having problems deploying and retracting the element inside the rod, I’m thinking of doing as Andy suggests and taking the wire out and using the pole to hold up wires on the outside.
Tom, from what you say I guess you have individual elements and ground plane wires for each band? Do you put them all up at the same time, or change between them when you want to change bands?
I’m thinking of maybe nesting the ground wires but trying to have some quick way to change the vertical element.