Monday, March 14, 2011

N4LA ... Testing a wire buddipole

Backpacking with my Wire Buddipole
We had a spring like day in North Carolina on Sunday ... 
So I decided to put the little Elecraft KX1 to good use.
As I was packing for a short hike ... 
I was trying to decide what antenna I should take with me.
Of course, I needed something that was small ... 
easy to pack, and most of all light weight.
I decided on my Buddipole ...but in order to reduce size and weight... 
I switched my shock cord vertical radiator to a 12 ft wire radiator.
I had never tried this ... and had no idea if it would work ... 
but in theory it should work just fine.
So... what I did was take my rig expert antenna analyzer along 
to do some testing.
From top to bottom in the picture above ... here is the parts list.
1. 12 ft piece of 24 guage wire
2. Buddipole shorty coil
3. Buddipole versatee
4. TRSB Balun
5. One radial / elevated
6. Small telescoping painter pole .... 
I use this a both a antenna base and hiking staff
7. tent stake ... to secure painters pole antenna base.
8. 6 ft of small coax
As you can see in the 2nd picture...  
I also take a ultra light stool and table as well.
I picked both these items up at REI .... 
they are super small and extremely light weight.
The entire station including table and stool ...
will easily fit in a small Walmart backpack 
The entire set-up including backpack weighs in at only 10 pounds !!
It will be a little more if you add snacks and water of course.
I like to take a clipboard along as well .... 
I use it upside down. 
That way it secures my notepad .. 
and the pages don't flap around in the wind.
I also put Velcro on the top to secure my CW keyer ... 
or any other items I choose.
Well I guess you are wondering if the wire Buddipole worked ?
Yes it did
After a little tweaking ...
My SWR was perfect on 20 meters ...
 and I did make a couple of contacts at only 2 watts.
If you need a resonant multi-band antenna...
and don't want to take a tuner along ...
this set-up works quite well.
It's smaller and lighter than the traditional Buddipole 
and in my opinion ... has a smaller footprint.
downside ...
You will need a support for the wire radiator...
a tree limb at 20 ft 
20 ft fishing pole works well.
I haven't tried tis set-up on 30 or 40 meters yet ... 
but, you'll probably need the regular Buddipole loading coil 
instead of the smaller shorty coil.
I also plan to experiment with a longer radiator ( 16 ft ) soon.

Have Fun and get 

73 de N4LA


VE3WDM said...

Good morning Todd, nice to see the weather is getting warmer down your way. I am looking at your pictures which are great by the way and am getting jealous for the warm weather. Just impatiently waiting for it to head this way so I too can get my KX1 off the self and into the out doors. Very nice setup as well.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great gear and setup demos.
As a newly licensed ham i'm looking to expand my operating from VHF mobile to portable HF operations and i'm seriously considering some kind of Buddipole/stick setup.
I do plan on building my own gear too, but i'd like to get some air-time first, and the Buddipole gear seems like a high quality versatile choice.
May I ask you for some more detailed opinion of the Buddipole shock-cord mast and why you use it as opposed to the telescopic mast, or even just a painters pole?
I will also be running an 857d as a portable rig, can you share your quick opinion on power level settings, battery consumption(A123), and any operating quirks with this gear?
Thanks in advance for any insight and tips.