Suggestions for a 2m roll-up vertical antenna

I just discovered the inner conductor of my (now obsolete) Hawkins Viper VHF58 2m roll-up coax vertical antenna has broken inside the SO239 connector. I could solder another SO239 or PL259 on but suspect the antenna is ‘tired’ which gives me an excuse to get a modern and hopefully better replacement.

Any suggestions please? It’s got to be a roll-up type and be suitable for quick deployment with a 3m or 5m telescopic pole.

I couldn’t find an existing topic on this but please point me to it if there is one.

73 Andy

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Hi Andy,

this one is working quite well for me:

Instead of using the rigid PVC pipe, I have the coax antenna wiithout support and I hang it from my fishpole.

Doing the job all right!

73 de Ignacio


Hallo Andy

That’s what i did… like Ignacio :wink: - it works great !

I fix all my antennas with a piece of heat shrink, to stuck it over the pole top.


73 Armin


In the US, a lot of people use a dual-band roll-up J-pole designed by Ed Fong, WB6IQN. I don’t know what it would cost to get one to the UK, but the DBJ-2 is $30 here.

Scroll to the bottom of that page and you’ll find articles from the ARRL magazine QST on the antennas. Those explain the design and how to build your own.

The DBJ-2 is a great antenna. I use mine for emergency communication volunteer work with the city.


The half-wave flower pot is a good design. Or you can make a ribbon feeder J-pole as described here. 1/2 watt from Cyrn-y-Brain - #6 by MM0FMF Both are simple and relatively easy to build.

I have the same antenna, two of them actually, one mounted inside PVC tubing and the other is rollup format, so gets attached to a fibreglass pole - like Ignacio’s.

Andrew VK1AD has written several articles on these antennas, with hints on construction and tuning on his blog Originally named the flowerpot antenna by John VK2ZOI, due to mounting the pole in a flowerpot on a balcony. Easy to build and set up. Works very well for what is really just a few metres of coax. Put whatever connector you need onto the radio end of the cable.

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH


I bought one of these and am pleased with it. Appears well made and rolls up nicely. Haven’t put it on the analyser and can’t really comment on performance other than on the limited number of occasions I’ve used it, it seemed to be fine!

I have been using an EDZ vertical antenna for awhile now. Longest contact was 265 Km with a HT, RG-58 coax, antenna on a 18’ mast.


This is the J-POLE that K6WRU is talking about. I bought one and I am very glad with It for Sota activities.

Have a look at the sketch that Peter OE5AUL posted here.
I can confirm that it is working ufb.

73 Joe

Thank to all for your interesting suggestions. In the end I decided to buy a new one (okay I’m lazy) and replace the connector on the old one which is probably all that’s wrong with it. That way, I can do an A vs B comparison between them and I get to have a spare.

I went with the nelson_antennas deluxe roll-up that Tony and Jon recommended. It was $25 plus $10 international shipping to the UK. Lucky, I got in before Brexit else I’ld be paying 10 times that.

Looking forward to A vs B testing.

73, Andy

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The J-POLE roll-up (eBay) deployed with 4.1m fishing rod.

N9TAX roll up J-Pole. light weight, easy to deploy and has been on every summit with me.


Don’t buy one!

Make one!!

This cost me about £5 to make

Roll up slim Jim, with the Lindstrom wire cutters as a reference!


Matt G8XYJ


The spirit is willing but …

I used to be good at making stuff, but sadly, in recent years my near vision has deteriorated a lot. I finally stopped after I damaged a small PCB trying to solder connections whilst viewing it through a magnifying lens.

I’ve field tested the off-the-shelf J-pole I bought (mentioned in my previous posting) on a few small Lake District hills (the smallest Wainwright and nearly the smallest) with the antenna hanging from the top of my 5m pole.

The 10ft coax feeder is long enough to reach the HT at chest height. I’m pleased with the results so far: excellent signal reports, its low weight and small (coiled up) volume, ideal for a crowded SOTA rucksack.

Regards, Andy

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Fold up not roll up.


Hi Andy

I use a RH 770 telescopic antenna for 2m SOTA. It fits in every bag and is ready to use in seconds. :blush:

Good luck for future 2m QSOs
73 Sabrina

Hi Sabrina,

I completely agree. I have a RH770 too (I’ve had a few). I get great results with it, and it’s my default 2m antenna on every activation. I take a J-pole and 5m pole when I think the coverage will be marginal or when I want to shelter down low from the wind but need the antenna up high.

I got three 5/9+ reports today with the RH770 and it’s already packed for tomorrow’s trip.

73 Andy

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I used to be able to cope with maps printed double size so I could use them without my glasses when walking. I could read the GPS too. No longer…I really struggled today. I have an old pair of varifocals I carry but I guess I need them all the time now. Walking in glasses is a pain as sweat runs onto them and they get in the way or fall off.
It’s a real booger getting old… especially as it reinforces the statement that youth is wasted on the young :-):face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Me too! I was staring at my small iPhone 4S screen at the self-spot on the SOTA website I had texted from the summit and I’m thinking, Is that an “O” or a “Q”?

BTW: thanks for the 60m SSB S2S today. That wasn’t a sudden deep QSB fade you heard - it was my 5m pole and antenna falling over mid QSO! No wind but almost no soil for the guy pegs at rocky summit. I’ve hardly used SSB in the last 25 years and today after our contact, I had 10 back-to-back 60m SSB chasers. Not bad for 10W with an antenna not even designed for 60m. Good fun despite the cold.