Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Vertical HF pedestrian mobile antennas

This day last month I talked about magnetic loop antennas suitable for HF pedestrian mobile.  They're a good choice, especially if you want something that can null local noise and isn't so high that it can get caught in tree branches. And  you don't have issues with having to find a ground or counterpoise.

However a loop can still be a compromise, particularly on the lower HF bands. You might have a handy park or field with no overhanging trees. Or be near a beach like I am, with salt water nearby to greatly improve the signal.  Especially if you can walk in the water, as I am about to do in the photo below.

In these circumstances a vertical might be a better antenna option. It could either be made of an old telescopic antenna (likely with a base or centre loading coil), aluminium sections (that screw or slide together) or, as I prefer, thin wire supported by a fishing pole in a backpack. A 5 metre height is practical and gives you a full sized half wavelength on 28 MHz or a quarter wavelength on 14 MHz. It's long enough be efficient on all bands above 10 MHz, with a centre loading coil permitting good results on 7 MHz as well.  That's just one approach.

For more on this and other peoples' pedestrian mobile vertical antenna efforts enjoy the links below:

* Wadetenna for pedestrian mobile 7 to 50 MHz (article and video demonstrations)
* WA3WSJ's Amateur Radio Pedestrian Mobile Handbook (pdf)
* G3XBM's Pedestrian Mobile HF DXing
* G4AKC HF bicycle and pedestrian mobile
* 80m pedestrian mobile antenna experiment by Martin Gillen
* Small (but inefficient) hand-carried pedestrian mobile vertical antenna (video)

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