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Old 02-28-2016, 09:15 PM   #1
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Best HF Portable Antenna Options

Hello All...

Trying to narrow down my antenna options for what will be a soon new to me FT-991 for the coach.

I keep going back and forth between the new Crank-IR from Steppir or one of the sloper type antennas from HyEnd Company, among others.

I don't need anything for Mobile applications, just portable.

Any ideas, info or input is greatly appreciated!
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Old 02-28-2016, 09:19 PM   #2
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HF Antenna for Portable Operation

David,

I just received a new "Eagle One" fiberglass vertical (31') collapsible all-band antenna. Bought it with the kit to install on my coach ladder but right now at home installed it on a 3' tripod. Worked 40 and 20 today with a small MFJ tuner fed by Icom 706 hf rig. Looking forward to setting it up on the picnic table at the campsite. Google the Eagle One on YouTube to see some videos.
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Old 02-28-2016, 09:22 PM   #3
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Eagle One Web Site
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Old 02-28-2016, 09:41 PM   #4
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I have a Eagle One vertical mounted to the rear ladder. Works well.

I also have a 20 something foot fiberglass mast in a flagpole buddy mount on the ladder. Most often use a wire end fed Zepp.

My primary goals are to have antenna that are within the footprint of the RV, so no trip hazard. And not to need other mounting points, such as trees.

Use a Icom 7100 with the radio unit mounted in a rear compartment near the antennas and the control head inside the coach.
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Old 02-29-2016, 05:13 PM   #5
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I use an antenna from BuddiPole. Works great but the CrankIR would probably be a bit easier if you want to work multiple bands since the BuddiPole is totally manual to tune, not hard, just manual.
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Old 02-29-2016, 07:01 PM   #6
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I've had my Eagle One for about 4 years now. I use it for every field day event. I use it with the tripod since I don't have a ladder to mount to. Set up is easy, it is easy to transport and "IT WORKS". You need a tuner everything except 15 and 40. A balun also helps and with a couple radials spread out on the ground it works just fine. Steve and his wife do a good job of making the Eagle One. BTW, he has one on his MH also. He doesn't get around as good as he did a few years back. He had back surgery and was paralyzed as a result and almost gave up RVing but couldn't sell his MH so he reworked it and kept it.
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Old 04-10-2016, 01:57 PM   #7
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I have heard and read a unun works much better than a balun.
Here is an explanation of the differences.
http://www.philipstorr.id.au/radio/t...and%20UnUn.pdf
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Old 04-13-2016, 01:01 PM   #8
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On the subject of UNUN (unbalance to unbalance), ordered yesterday a toroid T130-2, to make a 9:1 UNUN for an End Fed 6-40 meter HF antenna matchbox.
Tutorial is on the EARC website at Emergency Amateur Radio Club - Hawaii
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Old 05-27-2016, 05:57 PM   #9
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I would opt for the Cranker IR.

I also carry a MFJ ooopps they dont make it any more.

I have the ATAS120a mounted on the ladder with just the whisker above the roof. I was using with a FT100D until last Nov. Traveling through Tx. I made a short detour to Denton. Took a day trip to DFW area and particularly to Plano. Purchased a FT991 to replace the FT100D. I have never had a problem working DX with that antenna. In one week , evenings , I worked 5 S A. countries. S Pacifc , Asiatic Russia, N Africa, . etc..
You do not need an exotic antenna if what you do have is resonant and near 1:1swr.

I love the 991!! with the ATAS120
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Old 06-09-2016, 06:02 PM   #10
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I just purchased an Eagle One, from Steve, at the Breezeshooters Hamfest in Butler, PA. Although, I've had good success in FL using my 16' Shakespeare vertical.

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Old 06-10-2016, 09:18 AM   #11
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Grounding for vertical antennas

Do you ground the antenna only to chassis ground or do you drive ground rod to earth ground? Or lay out wires on the ground as a counter poise?
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Old 07-20-2016, 07:13 PM   #12
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Surface Wire Grounding System

Quote:
Originally Posted by herbsells View Post
Do you ground the antenna only to chassis ground or do you drive ground rod to earth ground? Or lay out wires on the ground as a counter poise?
I used a Surface Wire Grounding System to protect the trailer that we used as an operating location during field day 2016. If I deploy any antenna on a stationary vehicle when there is any chance of lightning occurring in the area I deploy a Surface Wire Ground System (SWGS) MK-2551 A/U. These are widely available in surplus channels at modest prices. If you are operating an RV that is larger than most military vehicles it may take you two Surface Wire Ground Systems (SWGSs) to protect that large of a vehicle. If you are unable to locate an affordable surplus MK-2551 A/U you can make the equivalent out of several sectional ground rod elements placed twice their buried length apart around the vehicle to be protected and connect them together using #2 American Wire Gage course stranded wire and HARGER 305 ground rod clamps.

Alternatively the short ground rods can be connected together using two inch wide copper flashing and plate clamps. Be advised that the copper flashing is a greater tripping hazard and is much more effort to deploy. It is only worth doing to protect a long term site, It can be deployed in a shallow trench and buried for the duration of the stay.

I would emphasize that the MK-2551 A/U is intended to provide lightning protection to vehicles while they are being used in stationary applications. They are not intended to provide an effective Radio Frequency ground or antenna counterpoise.

Some will find the following quote from a military report on these systems instructive. "Comparison testing between the MK-2551 A/U and the MX148/G (standard 8 ft. ground rod) at Redstone Arsenal Technical Test Center, Alabama, utilizing typical grounding situations, provided the following results: R () MK-2551 = 39.5; R 90 Ground Rod = 160. Additionally, lightning tests show the MK-2551 A/U surviving several exposures to maximal lightning current while the #6 AWG braid deployed with the standard ground rod fractured in several places after exposure."
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Old 07-21-2016, 12:27 AM   #13
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Or if there is a threat of lightning, just take down all of the antennas and coax until the threat is passed.

Cost and effort: Almost zero.

It's a hobby. No need to make sure that I have portable or parked long term mobile lightning protection, unless there is an emergency that threatens life which I will have to weigh the challenges and odds at that time with the totality of known risks (of course, this is only my opinion).
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Old 10-17-2017, 09:28 PM   #14
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I ended up getting the Crank IR and so far so good. Once I have had it awhile I will put up an update for all. Slick little system.
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