So, recently I decided to get into HF radio. Radio purchased. Amplifier, purchased. Antenna.... Well, I should build one.
Links in this are where I got the parts from.
Let's start with an easy band and an easy antenna. I hear 20m is simple enough. Time to make a 1/4 wave stick. 20m antenna needs to be 5m long. Easy enough, the material comes in 2m and 1m chunks. Now to connect it together. The existing solution of T slot straight connectors works great. Used two on opposite sides of each joint.
- Insulate antenna from the ground
- Hold antenna vertical
- Connect coax
- Ground plane for the antenna.
Supporting the antenna was solved with a line (550 para cord) thrown through a tree and hauling it into the air. I created a cleat for it to hook to the aluminum using t-bolts, 4 of them, at the top of the antenna.
Insulating the antenna from the ground started out as a 2x4 with a hole for the base. Eventually that failed by falling off, so was replaced with a rubber foot.
Coax connection was accomplished the worst way possible. The coax core was bared, and then looped around a screw into a t-nut in the aluminum channel.
Which leads to the grounding system. There's 4 wires on the ground in an X configuration. The coax ground is spring clipped to them, and a screw, driven into the ground.
Does it work? Yes. In this configuration I'm getting 1.8:1 match when the ground is wet, and 2:1 match when the ground is dry while working ft8 on 20m.
Good enough for now. Easy to assemble, and operate. It could be better, but I do enjoy how basic and effective this is.
(ZYLTech just happens to be a place I buy lots of parts from. I get nothing from those links.)