PackTenna Golden Horseshoe NVIS Antenna (End fed Marconi Variant)

There has been some discussion lately on how to communicate with other ARES groups in the Golden Horseshoe area of Southern Ontario. The farthest cities out are in the 100-200 mile range and there is a need to communicate when the local repeater does not provide that coverage.


The military has known about NVIS for years and has used it for tactical communications. The preppers have also embraced the idea for bunker to bunker communications.

Propnvis50s bunker

I wanted to try something very quickly but didn’t want to bother with the effort of trying to find 2 end points for the dipole legs and thought hmmmmm why wouldn’t an italian Marconi variant of the end fend vertical work?


I took advantage of an opportunity to visit a friend and it would be a wonderful drive as the colors are changing here in Ontario. Radio Playtime


I took a look in my antenna box and pulled out a 20 foot crappie pole, a large stake, some Velcro tie straps, the PackTenna 9:1 balun with the 29′ wire length, some orange guy ropes and niteeze carabiners, my milspec 25′ bnc coax and my FT857D Tactical Carrier with a couple of LIPO batteries.

As I drove up I had an eye out for a suitable park side spot to set up and run a few tests.

Its a fast deployment and can be done in about 10 minutes

Pull out the fishing pole to about 16 feet and affix the wire with some velcro ties. Position the guy ropes at the 12 foot level.

Place the large stake into the ground,  velcro tie the pole and just before that position a loose guy wire

Quickly run around and affix the other two guys and walk around tightening them as need.

Attache the end fed wire to the Packtenna balun , roll out the coax to the radio at the picnic table

Place the top wire parallel to ground and affix to the local tree or light pole

Tune around 40m looking for a net to check into like ONTARS or make a quick CQ

Check SWR and ensure radio is at about 20W and go go go make some contacts

Tear down is just as simple.

I need to run some further experiments with this antenna but the initial tests is very promising. Band conditions were not the greatest but tuning around the cw portion I could hear some local VE3s and K2, and W3s.

The ECARS net did give me a sense of better signals from those in the NVIS range than those outside of it.

Further tests are needed with more time to collect the big data elements. With the New York QSO party this weekend the stations are in the NVIS range and could prove to be a good test.

I was so busy to do a rapid deployment RADAR style I forgot to take some pics


One comment

  1. Pingback: More PackTenna Mini 50:1 | ve3ips

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