More Power Pole Gadgets at the Breakfast Meet Up

I did another presentation at the breakfast but this time had a splitter, polarity tester and a 5v to 12v booster.

I can now run a qrp radio off a 5v power gumstick.

The fun on the workbench just continues

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Power Pole Gadgets at the DMR Meet Up

Here are some power pole gadgets for a presentation I did at the GTA DMR meet up. I also ham a plate full of qrp antenna baluns with a UHF fox hunt loop.

These are simple afternoon projects.

Andre VE3WZW won the keychain voltmeter in the prize draw

I have made a key chain voltmeter, fuse patch, voltage reducer, polarity tester, splitter and another fuse patch.

The baluns include a 1:1, 4:1 and 9:1, a UHF loop and a 9:1 EFHW for 20m.

They are all in low cost Hammond boxes.


QRP Power Meter

I finally populated the board I got at Dayton as I did not have the resistors in my junk box. Every time I was at the electronics parts store(s) I would forget the resistors. Last week I did not forget as I used the PCB as a key chain.

I use a pocket voltmeter or a DVM for the power reading. It is fairly accurate only because the diode is a 1N34 (which are hard to come by these days).


The Direction Finding Loop Antenna

This is a great antenna for direction finding with or without the knock down attenuation boxes.

The radio needs a S meter for guidance in the signal direction.

I have not tried it with the tone box yet but so far it works very good.

Remember any signal can be 180 degrees out of sync so it is used more for close in work.

When I get a chance I will do a SWR sweep but I can trip the repeaters with it.



St Louis Vest Pocket Vertical

Thanks to the guys in St Louis and Dave NF0R, we have another antenna build out. I am on a TFRA (Trail Friendly Radio Antenna) theme lately.

This is for 20m using a loaded vertical and with a balanced tuner will operate from 20-10. Its a bit short for 40m with the rod length only being 11 feet but I will make up a longer version to try it out on the low bands.

It will fit in a trench coat pocket and I have not decided yet if I will bring it on my next SOTA activation as It is ideal where there are no trees. My next two trips will have trees so I may just stick to the trusted Norcal Doublet of Pocket EF 9:1 longwire.

I have added some 1/4 wave elements for 20m for added flexibility and not shown is some paracord and guys for the shock pole. The radials are terminated at the other end but I was thinking as discussed in a previous post that I could gain some added use for the kit, if I could clip some ends together. It is on my Kanban board under WIP so stay tuned for a V2 kit. I usually trial the set up several times and make notes as to what needs to be changed before I consider it finished. However, I do have a shock pole that is heavier and more robust but is too heavy to fit into a jacket pocket.

I know the original design used Arrow blanks but I found them to be too expensive to trial so a tent pole set up was used.

It does work very well but does require a tuner. Th biggest headache is getting the guys in place but once done the radials clip on quickly.

Please Check out the links for the schematics




County Comm GP-5 Oops

I was out on the trails yesterday testing out a new antenna design and new snow shoes and I thought why not its only -20 degrees C so let us go play some radio.

I was listening to 40m cw with the radio on the railing of a bridge and the wind just tossed it into the snow 25 feet below.

Oooooppppsssss   Рit survived by landing feet down so the whip did not get bent. It took me a good 15 mins to scramble down to try to recover it hoping the stream was frozen over. The radio survived the cold weather.



VHF 2m Fox Hunter SOTA 2 element Pocket Beam

VHF 2m Fox Hunter SOTA 2 element Pocket Beam

I needed a small and lightweight pocket beam for finding nefarious activities, foxes and for SOTA work up in the mountains. I have several Arrow antennas but they do not collapse. There is a mod for the 2m Arrow antenna for back packing but i didn’t want to modify the antenna. So a quick look at my various antenna handbooks and some calculations and I started to skecth out an ida.

I have made several tape measure beams and came across some telescopic whips. A bit of design work and I have my version 1 ready for testing.

I just need to pack a small tape measure for adjustments and low swr and I can add some gain to my signal. This will offer a full S unit.


SLR Radials – St Louis Radials or is this the IPS Trail Friendly Antenna Back Story?

I made up some 1/4 radials for 20m which are also radiators for 20m using the St Louis method of antenna building.

This puts a lot of wire underneath the vertical but as I was finishing the last radial I realized I only made 3. I do have 4.

It also hit me that I could also use them as a dipole if they were not being used for a vertical.

So here is how they can play for super flexibility:

  1. Vertical with 4 SLR on 20m with a wire radiator on a fishing pole
  2. Vertical using 1 as the radiator and the other 3 as radials
  3. Dipole on 20m using 2 SLR
  4. Dipole on 40m using 4 SLR
  5. End fed on 80m using 4 as a longwire
  6. Dipole on 10m using 2 SLR folded back
  7. EF with a 9:1 balun using 3 SLR (51 foot ideal length)

But hold on a second Mr IPS. Isnt that ribbon cable stuff too heavy for dipoles and the such? Well yeah I suppose so but then its really being used for radials (St Louis style) out in the field but then if I want to play around with different antennas its all in the kit bag.

I think the challenge is if I have enough #26 silky wire left on that spool to make a real trail friendly version with its sole purpose to be used as a super light weight TFR.

Oh oh who forgot to pack the Paracord in the field bag? I can still jump on 20m because there are alligator clips on them so I just clip them together – right? Or maybe the band is sucking swamp water and the crickets are out so I can traverse down to 40m or 80m and use the longwire and just clip it onto the back of the radio. (oh oh who forgot the antenna tuner patchcord?)


There are so many possibilities here.



Now back to the spool of wire and the measuring tape. So I really need 80-90 feet to play this POC out?

jlr tfr antenna


My HP Scanner is just awesome today

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