Wrap Wrap Wrap They Call Me The Wrapper! One of my favorite parts of the ham radio hobby is messing with portable HF antennas. When running QRP, I have built and tried several antenna kits from QRPGUYS.
One of my all time favorite QRP antenna kits is the QRPGUYS Tri-band vertical. The antenna kit was adapted from the original design by Joe Everhart N2CX. My first CW contact was a station in Texas. Not bad for 5 watts from Long Island.
QRPGUYS supplies the enamel wire, torroids, switches and PCB board, you supply the wire for the vertical and counterpoise(s). Find out more about QRPGUYS kits here.
Remembering back, to some of the other portable antenna contraptions I have tried reminds me of the time I wrapped about 33’9”of wire (cut it at 34 feet and trim) around a 20 foot Shakespeare Carbon Fiber Wonderpole which I got from Amazon. Cut the same length of wire for the counterpoise. Like any other homebrew antenna contraption, the fun is to see how many contacts you can log and the distance your signal has traveled.
Wrapping 33+ feet of wire around a 20 foot pole takes a few minutes but you end up with a light weight antenna that can be leaned against a tree or lashed to a fence for quick setup.
To bring the feed point impedance to around 50 ohms, I used an LDG 4:1 BALUN that had lying around from the time I setup delta loops. I think I bought from either DX Engineering or Amazon.
The BALUN got the impedance down to around 50 ohms on 40 meters but you will still need a tuner with this setup if you want to tune other bands. Like any compromise antenna, don’t expect miracles, just have fun.
I am not taking any credit for this antenna since I got the idea from this video by VE3BF some time ago.
Amazon: 20 Foot Shakespeare Wonderpole
Amazon: MFJ 1919 4:1 Balun