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.

Remaining problems:

  • 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.

Base of antenna and "grounding" system.

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.

The completed antenna.

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.)