|Portable QRP Antenna - ready to deploy|
I started out with an end fed half wave - one wire cut for 40 meters and one wire cut for 20 meters. These fed into a small matching box that I built using a schematic I found online. The wire was either thrown up in a tree or attached to my 20 ft. collapsible fishing pole. This worked well, but was a pain to change bands, and I only had the two bands to work.
With the KX3 I wanted to be able to work all bands without switching a wire - tuned with the internal KX3 tuner.
Doing some web surfing I found the EARCHI End Fed plans on their club website. You can order the matching box assembled for a reasonable price - but I like to build, so I ordered the parts and built my own.
I put it in a small Radio Shack box. This setup uses a wire that is about 30' long and can tune multiple bands. I have tuned 40-10 meters on my KX3 - I have not tried to tune any other bands.
Then I attached this box with some wire ties to a 31' Jackite pole. The 30' wire is just some cheap speaker wire, again from Radio Shack.
I also wire tied on some clips that are used to secure PVC conduit to the Jackite, this allows me to store the 30' wire right on the pole for easy QRP portable operation.
I bungee tie the Jackite to a bollard, tie on the wire to the eyelet and extend the pole. Then I have about 15' of coax that screws to the match box and I run it into my car window to my operating position in the drivers seat. This portable QRP antenna takes about 2 mintues to put up - 3 if you get the wire tangled!
How well does it work? The only way I have to judge is that I have basically been able to work anyone that I can hear! And that is with just 5 watts CW. Plus it is so nice to simply use the KX3 internal tuner and easily change bands.
Here are some pictures of my QRP portable antenna...(click picture to view full size for detail)
|On the work bench - inside the box|
|On the bench - box closed and wire tied to pole|
|Ready to deploy - top of wire storage|
|Ready to deploy - bottom of wire storage and match box|
|Coax connected and wire deployed with pole extended|
|Typical lunch time portable operating position|
|Lunch time portable QRP antenna deployed|