Old 06-27-2015, 16:56   #1
Gold Eagle
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QRP Antenna Advice Please

Hello. I have a Yaesu 817ND with no luck (or skill) contacting anyone in any mode. Been trying SSB on a few different bands. This will receive well.
I realize this will be a challenge at only 5w. max. Am currently trying a 24' Ultimax 100 http://www.ultimax-antennas.com/services.html

Also a Z11 tuner made by LDG. The antenna Mfg. is sending me more wire to extend the length. I have this up maybe 35' in some trees can't go much higher at present. Have tried sloped and horizontal. Thanks!
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Old 06-30-2015, 16:42   #2
Hartley
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QRP Antenna

I've had good luck with a plain ol' dipole, fed with a 1:1 balun. You don't need a tuner, though one wouldn't hurt. Worked the world with 10W (PRC-74B) back in the day, and very seldom failed to get through.

End-fed wires are notoriously fickle - and VERY sensitive to the quality of your ground. I use them here on the boat (backstay & whip), but I have the entire Pacific Ocean as a ground plane. If you try it without a serious RF ground, you won't get far. Using a dipole removes the need for a ground, but you will need some coax.
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Old 06-30-2015, 17:48   #3
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Thank you sir!
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Old 07-13-2015, 21:51   #4
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QRP antenna suggestion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gold Eagle View Post
Hello. I have a Yaesu 817ND with no luck (or skill) contacting anyone in any mode. Been trying SSB on a few different bands. This will receive well.
I realize this will be a challenge at only 5w. max. Am currently trying a 24' Ultimax 100 http://www.ultimax-antennas.com/services.html

Also a Z11 tuner made by LDG. The antenna Mfg. is sending me more wire to extend the length. I have this up maybe 35' in some trees can't go much higher at present. Have tried sloped and horizontal. Thanks!
###
Hello,

Rather than an end-fed antenna, had you considered a slightly different configuration? Your current antenna scenario depends upon the coax shield to act as the counterpoise. If you were to run a counterpoise from the radio, on the ground below the antenna you may have better results.

From my own experience, symmetrical antennas at low power are more efficient. Give that a try in your back yard, you may be very pleased with the results. The counterpoise can help compensate for poor soil conductivity if you're in a region with sandier soils.

If you have time, you could build a set of single-band dipoles, using zip-cord for both the feedline and antenna, many Hams go that way QRP with very good results. Here's some links to consider:

http://home.frognet.net/~mcfadden/wd...xt/zipcord.txt
http://www.w8ji.com/end-fed_1_2_wave...end%20feed.htm

Vy73, Volunteer
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Old 07-13-2015, 23:06   #5
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Follow-up antenna suggestion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gold Eagle View Post
Hello. I have a Yaesu 817ND with no luck (or skill) contacting anyone in any mode. Been trying SSB on a few different bands. This will receive well.
I realize this will be a challenge at only 5w. max. Am currently trying a 24' Ultimax 100 http://www.ultimax-antennas.com/services.html

Also a Z11 tuner made by LDG. The antenna Mfg. is sending me more wire to extend the length. I have this up maybe 35' in some trees can't go much higher at present. Have tried sloped and horizontal. Thanks!
Hello Gold Eagle,

There's another antenna configuration you can try, a standard dipole. They're very easy to make and can be very compact. I have one that fits into a dry case which holds 50 feet of RG/58 coax, two fly reels (each holding 50 feet of teflon coated stranded wire). The photo doesn't include the 9:1 balun wound on an FT-114/43 toroid. Very compact, pretty light and loads up anywhere from 80 meters up to 6 meters with my IC-706/Mk-I transceiver and LDG Z-100/Plus tuner.

From Hawaii made contacts to Brazil and Australia last summer.

I'll attach a photo so you can see what I'm trying to describe.

Cheers, Volunteer
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File Type: jpg portable-dipole.example.jpg (75.5 KB, 57 views)
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Old 03-17-2020, 21:58   #6
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To continue this thread, Ive been looking into something very similar for a Jeep-Overland Comms project that I can run off a goal zero battery backup.

I based some early ideas from other sources but I was looking at an 818ND model, MX-P50M Linear Amplifier, LDG Z817, and a mini buddipole (had one on a team and liked it).

I don't recall enough from my echo days to know if I'm going in the right (efficient both in cost and effectiveness) direction. Advice would be appreciated.
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Old 03-18-2020, 05:43   #7
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Cool, Ham stuff. I haven't dabbled with that in yrs since I left the echo committee in 91. (Hey, I could bring radios home )

I'm not familiar with the newer FCC power restrictions, so not sure what power your amp will produce, or the FCC will allow.

However, we all know it's the frequency that counts. You could put 1k watts through an antenna on a freq and make zero contact if the freq's not propin', skywave that is. More watts on ground wave will obviously push the signal out further...the ground wave portion, not the skywave portion of the antenna.

Believe it or not, vertical antennas are pretty good at long range comms, they usually have a lower take-off angle. However on the lower freq's as we know, it takes a lot more wire, unless you have some sort of loading device or a coil.

Horizontal antennas are somewhat easier to erect off the ground if you have the supports available.

As stated, for directivity and portability a dipole can fold up into minimum space, so can a verticle (jungle) if you want omni coverage.

Part of being an Amatuer operator is trying different stuff out to see what does/does not work. Not necessarily using stuff out of a box...JMO anyway..

Probably not much help, except a bunch of long winded stuff...lol

Good luck. Post again when you find the good stuff..
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Old 03-18-2020, 05:47   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graffiti View Post
To continue this thread, Ive been looking into something very similar for a Jeep-Overland Comms project that I can run off a goal zero battery backup.

I based some early ideas from other sources but I was looking at an 818ND model, MX-P50M Linear Amplifier, LDG Z817, and a mini buddipole (had one on a team and liked it).
That's a pretty good setup. Have not personally used that linear but it has good comments from some of the SOTA folks. I'm a fan of wire antennas but I live in a deciduous jungle environment with wonderful ground. In dry areas or above the treeline your idea of a vertical should be the ticket. Drive on sir.
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Old 03-18-2020, 08:01   #9
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The amp is a 45W amp, if the tuner specs are -RF Power 0.1 to 20 watts SSB and CW, 5 watts for digital modes- wouldn't that cause the tuner to malfunction?

This seems like a popular configuration or did I miss something here?
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Old 03-18-2020, 09:11   #10
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The amp is a 45W amp, if the tuner specs are -RF Power 0.1 to 20 watts SSB and CW, 5 watts for digital modes- wouldn't that cause the tuner to malfunction?

This seems like a popular configuration or did I miss something here?
No, I did. Forgot that tuner is tailored to the 817/818 series. LDG have some others that are rugged & light that will take up to 100w and that's where you want to point your sights. Find the form-factor you want & check QRZ.com; this stuff turns over used all the time. Hams change their gear almost as fast as AR-cloners change their furniture.

Especially in your neck of the woods SOTA would be fun. Most of those folks are real polite and give honest sig reports.
73
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Old 03-18-2020, 14:23   #11
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Discovered the Xiegu G90 and the COMPACtenna, between those and a mini buddipole I think I may be able to achieve what I want...
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Old 03-18-2020, 14:51   #12
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Discovered the Xiegu G90 and the COMPACtenna, between those and a mini buddipole I think I may be able to achieve what I want...
Sounds good let us know how it works out. I used to harass Elecraft once a year to beef up their pure gem, the T-1 so it would handle more than 20w. About the size of an old Sony Walkman and would match the wooden handle in a mop bucket. Alas...

Good luck!
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Old 03-19-2020, 16:51   #13
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HF Field Antennas

Hi Grafitti - Sounds like a good equipment setup you propose. I'm with Glebo and others above on antennas: A simple dipole is cheap and very effective; takes a little time to launch but otherwise very hard to beat, especially with low powered military sets. Here's some ideas on my portable field antenna kit - it's never failed me. http://www.n6cc.com/field-antenna-kit

Cheers! N6CC
BT
AR

Last edited by PTF Guy; 03-19-2020 at 16:55.
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Old 03-20-2020, 06:57   #14
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That's nice... you all don't dismiss the End feed dipole. requires no coax and has the same pattern as a dipole feed in the middle at the 1/4 wave.
I built a little tuner out of an old AM radio and use a 100 foot wire on a reel.

Google it End Feed antenna.

DE KA1FFO
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Old 10-27-2020, 11:30   #15
TUS493
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QRP EFHW, soldering skills required

This video will tell you everything you need to know about QRP EFHW antennas, building the diy transformer for tuning with an internal tuner, and configuration.

https://www.*******.com/watch?v=s-_LyhdGapM
or google: Ultimate UL Portable Resonant Antenna Build - DIY Micro End-Fed Halfwave Matching Unit


During Max Gain, I always had luck with the 234' long wire, 3 degrees offset azimuth, sending traffic on the little black box. The key to the equation is where is your antenna in relation to the terrain around you.

If you're antenna is 50' off the ground, and the mountains that surround your town are 1000' elevation gain on every side, then it doesn't matter what you do, aside from a NVIS antenna setup, you're not gonna get DX.

KD2UUU
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