1. The Topic of the Month for October is "Make this the Perfect Bugout Location". Please join the discussion in the TOTM forum.

Easy wire antenna

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by Hazmat54, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. Hazmat54

    Hazmat54 Monkey+

    Hey everyone. I have upgraded to General class. I have a Yaesu 857D and a mfj external antenna tuner. I have a couple of deep cycle batteries I can use to power it. I live in town on a small 30 ft wide lot. Yes, I can touch my house and the house next door.

    So I can pack this stuff in my van and drive to a park. What can I use for an antenna? Easy to setup and take down? Thanks.

  2. Idahoser

    Idahoser Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I don't know if your internal tuner can handle it, but the common antenna for that use would be a long wire thrown into a tree. An external tuner with knobs you can fiddle with will enhance your enjoyment of our hobby.
  3. Cephus

    Cephus Monkey+++ Founding Member

  4. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    The real question you need to be asking is: What do I have for an RF Ground in my House, or around it, or what can I use to build and RF Ground in my house or around it. Any chunk of wire can be an antenna, but to make the station talk, you will need an RF Ground, and the better it is, the better your station will talk. Long wires are easy to hid and install, but they DEMAND a Decent RF Ground to make the Talk good. .... YMMV....
  5. Idahoser

    Idahoser Monkey+++ Founding Member

    it's taking me more time and effort than I want it to, to call myself understanding the difference between RF ground and station ground.

    An RF ground for the portable in the park can be a second wire strung along the ground beneath the wire in the tree, if I understand correctly.

    Balanced antennas (again, IF I understand correctly) like dipoles do not require a separate RF ground.

    The above-linked portable CB antenna could be scaled up or down from the CB (11 meter) band to 6m, 10, 12, maybe 15 and be of reasonable size. Being a balanced antenna, it does not need a separate ground.

    It's not any different from an open-air wire dipole that could just as easily be hung from a tree vertically or from two trees horizontally.

    These shorter dipoles are not going to be much use on longer wavelengths, even with a tuner. You can use a longer antenna on a shorter wavelength, using a tuner; but a shorter antenna is not going to work well on longer bands.

    For the band the antenna is resonant on, it doesn't need a tuner or if it does it won't be a severe mismatch and the internal tuner will be fine.

    For most other bands, a serious tuner will be needed if you want to keep using that antenna.

    The solar conditions are displayed on a banner at qrz.com right at the top of the page. It gives a brief summary of band conditions, and lately 20-30m has been good both day and night, but the others have been less than good.

    Except in extreme solar conditions, it's not going to be common for 10 or 11m to be good for long distance comms. For reliable long distance comms you're going to need 20m or longer. (I should say "AND" longer... don't limit yourself to one band in the long term. It's perfectly okay to put up a tuned dipole on one band and limit yourself to transmitting on that band for a while, no tuner needed.)
  6. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Yes, You are correct in that Balanced Antennas do NOT REQUIRE an external RF Ground, to radiate. the RF Ground is inherent in the Antenna design. Long Wire, Marconi, and basically ANY Unbalanced Antenna, REQUIRE an RF Ground to complete the Ground side of the antenna. If the OP had more room in his lot, he could try for a Dipole, but that requires about 120Ft, end to end, (for 80 Meters) and I don't think that is practical in his situation. so if he can construct a Good RF Ground, (One that has a low impedance, across the complete HF Spectrum) then just about any reasonable length of wire strung up around the place will suffice for an antenna. It is the RF Ground, that makes an UnBalanced Antenna work. NO, or Poor RF Ground and NO or Poor Chance of talking to anyone.
  7. Hazmat54

    Hazmat54 Monkey+

    I am actually looking for a transportable antenna. I have pretty much written off a home antenna. I have read much on the net about antennas. End fed Zepp? Backpacking radio websites have info about wire antennas. With a counter poise wire just laid on the ground. End fed looks good because you only need one support point. Most of these would be NVIS mostly, which for emergency comms would be good.

    I guess I am looking for any experience people have with setting up an antenna in the field.

  8. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    A counterpoise: Counterpoise?

    End Fed Zepp works best with open wire (ladder line) and a T-network tuner.

    Some get decent results with 50 ohm coax, and a quarter wave stub.
    HAM Antenna Blog: End Fed Zepp Antenna

    I've used construction twine with a rock, fishing line with a slingshot to pull up the 550 cord which pulls up the antenna.
    An End Fed Zepp does decent at a quarter wave up. However I've worked Europe 20' up. lol.

    It would be best if both ends of an end fed Zepp are elevated. There is voltage on the wires and it can easily put a hurt on someone.
  9. Suerto

    Suerto Monkey+


    Thanks for all the good info posted
  10. goinpostal

    goinpostal Monkey+

    My base whip is a Wilson5,000,on top of a ground plane,on top of a Shakespeare Big Stick,on top of a 55'single pole telescopic mast.
    Dont know what other bands it will work on,but it sends,or recieves like a flame thrower with anything I've hooked it to(CB,Wi-Fi,cellular,TV,scanner,marine,FRS,GMRS).
    Kinda funny considering its tuned,and set up for a CB.
  11. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    The range of NVIS antenna is "usually 30 to 400 miles, or 50 to 650 km" which is very stealthy for that frequency.

    NVIS, or Near Vertical Incidence Skywave; not Perfectly Vertical Incidence Skywave.

    There is a huge amount of information on the web about NVIS antennas; some of it is excellent and some of it is pure tin foil.
    Yes it is stealthy but it is also an antenna. Wiki is free sourced but the range is "usually 30 to 400 miles, or 50 to 650 km" depending on many variables.

    400 miles is the radius..

    Idahoser and BTPost like this.
  12. Idahoser

    Idahoser Monkey+++ Founding Member

    true, but the short answer is, for the most part 80m at night and 40m in the daytime will work.
  13. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Especially if the antenna is close to the ground. ;)
  14. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    How close?
  15. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    I'm a DX'er so this isn't my forte with antennas.. ;)


    Basics of antennas

    The article is based on a test by the ARRL The height starts at 4 meters and ends at 320 meters. The radiation is mostly vertical at 4 meters. That is not to say you won't work Europe with that pattern but it will be mostly upwards.

    Novices with a 40 meter dipole 15' up using 100w on CW at night work SA or Europe. I did. :D
    Idahoser likes this.
survivalmonkey SSL seal        survivalmonkey.com warrant canary