DIY TELESCOPIC-V ANTENNA £35
This is the story of a little antenna experiment. I haven't really got a clue what I'm doing, but I never let that hold me back, lol.
I was recently walking the streets of eBay when I stumbled upon a pair of telescopic whips with what appeared to be 3/8 UNF threaded ends. This reminded me of an antenna I'd seen on the ML&S website - a MyDel JPC-7 , which was basically a telescopic V antenna mounted on top of a tripod, with loading coils for each leg of the antenna. At £340 it seemed a tad expensive, but in all fairness, you got everything you needed including the tripod and carry-case.
The telescopic whips in question are each over 5M long when fully extended and a pair can be obtained from ML&S for £50, but on eBay I found them for £24.
Now bear in mind, the cheaper whips that I bought are probably of a lower quality than those offered by ML&S.
When the package arrived a few days after ordering, I was saddened to see that there was only one whip in the box, so I lodged a complaint and quickly received another, along with a 10% refund.
The next thing to order was a V-Shape Dipole Centre, 3/8 to SO-239 at a cost of £11. This would provide the mounting point for the Dipole and give it the V-shape layout for the whips. How strong it is, I'm not really too sure at this point, but it does seem pretty good for light, portable use (ie, not left on top of a roof in howling winds forever).The next hurdle to get over was how to mount the whips to a mast. I had a mast in mind already (my Diamond AM450 4.5M). I started out by fixing the V-Centre SO-239 to a stainless-steel plate from work and drilling holes in the plate to accept a vertically oriented mount or a 45 degree mount (to switch from V to L).
Although the weather brightened up by the time the drive was finished, it had got much colder. I’m convinced there’s snow on the way! I’ll just have to wait for a better day to do my trials, but at least I feel happy with the antenna support - it seemed to be strong enough and stable on the Diamond AM-450.
The rain and wind decided to spoil the fun, so I quickly dismantled the antenna and called it a day. I was quite pleased with this initial test and it was good to make contact on 5 bands. I was surprised to see that the antenna also tuned up on the 6M band (50.300MHz SSB) but there was no one around to answer my CQ calls.