W6IPA 20m Portable Antenna Design using Buddipole Whips

John W6IPA created a 3D project for the 20m portable antenna coil. Its on Thingiverse


I used the Buddipole Featherweight whip that has a 1/4 thread on the base. These antennas are cheap.


Get a couple of BTS IT adapters as it will allow a FW whip to fit onto a 3/8″ stud mount.

You dont need it for the project but its useful to create other antenna designs.

I  use the BST IT adapter at the base of the antenna and a mount in my design

You do need a counterpoise to get best SWR and its possible to lower the whip elements and shorten the counterpoise for use on 17m and 15m

w6ipa 20m portable antenna.jpg



see ya’ll at Xenia at the Buddipole BUG Meet Up


C4Labs Zum Pi Case Quick Review

I love my ZumSpot and tried a 3D printed case but was disapointed in its looks.

I found the C4 Labs case from HRO

Get one from Dustin as well at http://www.C4labs.com and view his list of other 3D primnted cases for various single board computers.

You will be very happy with the extreme high quality of the plastic used and the laser cut precision.

The gum pack power stick will run the Zumspot for several hours making it a small and light kit


Canadian National Parks on the Air Activation – ON06 Rouge Natural Urban Park – Firtst CNPOTA Contact and Activation

As many know the CNPOTA is a new program to have hams visit and activate the Nation parks and Historic Sites as per the web site https://cnpota.ca/

It is also a chance for Chasers to seek out and work these portable operators

Please check out the web site for rules and information. This is a volunteer run operation.

I believe I am the first park activation for 2019 with more to follow.

I will post some details shortly about my experience.


Portable Operations Hot or Cold with PackTenna or Chameleon Antennas

PackTenna Mini in use at the Los Cabos, MX Hotel balcony


Small portable antenna kit


The Chameleon MPAS Antenna in Play with short 30 foot lengths. No problem working the east Coast on 40m with 10 watts


The PackTenna in Cabana Ops


PackTenna Vertical using a MFJ-1820T whip and also 2m whips at Mt Umunhum, CA. Managed to work RM0L in Russia with 5 watts and he was 59+20 and he gave me a 59 with his yagi.

PackTenna 2m/6m Antenna Kit

I have been playing around with some new items from PackTenna.

I have made up some 6m, 2m and air band configurations. I am also using the centers for a portable beam concept using an Arrow Backpacker mast.

The parts allow a lot of experimentation and ability to make things your own using PackTenna building blocks.

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Center Insulator configured as a L Dipole mounted on PVC tubing for mast mount.

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Shorted Insultaor for Reflector on 2m beam prototype

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Planning to use the Arrow Backpacker Boom for this 2m beam

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2m beam up in the air on my Tripod

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Dipole using Nagoya elements


This is an Airband set up for monitoing Aircraft. It worked awesome and plan to use it for the next Airshow

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Hanging off some paracord. I think If I add a suction cup with a hook it can be a nice Hotel window antenna or someone in a condo or HOA


Keep Sciencing!

73 John VE3IPS


A Day Trip to Newington, CT ARRL HQ John VE3IPS

On recent business trips to the Hartford area I had the ability to drop into ARRL HQ for tours and operate the W1AW stations.

My recent visit gave me a great opportunity to meet Ed Hare W1RFI and Zachary Lau W1VT/ ex KH6CP who work at ARRL.

I got to hear the wonderful story how Doug Demaw’s Tuna Tin ended up in a hamfest bin for a $1 and found its way back home. For me this project got me super excited and got me started into QRP and building things that transmit, listen or radiate.

I was able to hold the kit after washing my hands several times and was able to feel the QRP energy.

The showcase holds lots of QRP projects over the years and is a museum in itself.

I strongly urge all ARRL members to visit HQ when in town and get a tour of the premises and learn a little about the “old man”, see his station and chat up with staff to further enrich your understanding of our great hobby.





I made over 60 contacts in my 1 hour slot running a pile up on 17m. Lots of skip to the south and southwest USA. Yaesu FTDX5000 with 800 watts PEP on a Hygain Yagi. Please QSL via the Bureau or direct with a SASE to the ARRL Address

Santa Claus Net 3.916 MHz – All Kids Welcome to check in

For the 13th consecutive year, The 3916 Nets will be presenting The Santa Net on 3.916 MHz. Good girls and boys can talk to Santa Claus, via amateur radio, nightly at 7:30 PM (Central) starting Friday, November 23, 2018. The Santa Net will run nightly at 7:30 PM Central through Christmas Eve, December 24, 2018.

Pete Thomson (KE5GGY), of The 3916 Nets, commented on The 3916 Santa Net. He said, “Christmastime is our favorite time of the year on 3.916 MHz. Our group thoroughly enjoys helping young people and their families have a shared Christmas experience that they’ll always remember. In addition, Santa Net has introduced a lot of young people to the magic of amateur radio.”

Youngsters can talk to “Santa at The North Pole” via strategically placed operators who relay the voice of Santa. Thomson said that The Santa Net is a team effort that involves the efforts of a number of 3916 Net members. He said, “In our first year, we connected 10 kids to Santa on Ham Radio and it’s grown steadily since. For 2018, we’re expecting between 600-700 children to participate.”

York Region Amateur Radio Club Annual GTA Fall FoxHunt 2018-09-19-20 Saturday

York Region Amateur Radio Club Annual Fall FoxHunt 2018-09-19-20 Saturday

The York Region Amateur Radio Club’s annual Fall Foxhunt (radio direction finding) is scheduled for Saturday, October 20th.

The hunt will start from your QTH but entrants can meet for breakfast at Wimpys Diner, 15480 Bayview Ave, Aurora, ON L4G 7J1

Registration is between 8:00-9:00AM with the hunt to begin at approximately 9:300AM.

The planned fox hunt operation time is between 9:30 and 11:30am. The hunt is free and open to all amateurs regardless of club affiliation or previous experience. Most of us hunt in teams of two or three. Many teams (including the winners of the last hunt) aren’t formed until the day of the hunt. If you’re new to foxhunting, all you need to get started is a radio capable of receiving 2 meters. Fox hunting is challenging and fun. We will be using lower power than in the past to make it harder to locate the beacon.

Tips and Tricks

York Region has a lot of hills and valleys which can play havoc with signals as well as the Aurora ridge blocking signals as well.

Past winner had a R6 Scanner radio with a tape measure beam, and previous winner used a 4 element Quad through the sunroof on the Radio Van.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Attenuation is important as one nears the fox as well as getting a good bearing
  2. Quads may be preferred to yagis due to the antenna lobe pattern to ensure a good bearing up front
  3. A radio with a proper or expanded S-meter is highly useful….3 segment S meters are useless
  4. Remember, to take two bearings before heading towards the beacon as you get closer.

The behind the scenes Doppler System Proof of Concept system will be in play again from the unmarked cruiser. Enhancements are being made to a GPS interface integrated with Google Maps and Canada Topo. This will help reduce the amount of noise and interference complaints we have been getting.