RE: Antennas and launching


Date: Tue Mar 12 1996 - 10:46:13 EST

        I have no experience with the launching system you mentioned, but I
have always found that a couple of youngsters who like to climb trees are
effective in getting antennas up in the air on camping trips. An alternative
is a roll of cotton twine (so when it breaks and sticks in the tree it will
biodegrade!) and a rock along with a good throwing arm. Finally, I've heard of
guys using bows and arrows, slingshots, and fishing rods. I prefer the handy
rock and twine method myself for getting a dipole up in the air.
        As to antennas -- experience has taught me that there is NOTHING that
will substitute for a resonant antenna when you are camping and running QRP.
Sure, a compromise antenna will get out some of the time, but it just doesn't
overcome the disadvantages like a resonant dipole -- low height, perhaps not
the best location, low power, lossy wet foliage, etc. I know there are guys
who will swear by their G5RV's, their windoms, their long random wires, but a
few minutes playing around with any of the popular antenna modelling programs
will tell you the good news and the bad -- nothing radiates like a resonant
antenna, especially a half wave resonant antenna, unless you can plan to go
        We used to work 15 on our 40-meter dipole on camping trips, but we were
amazed at the difference in received and transmitted signal strengths when we
went to a halfwave dipole -- now the 40 meter antenna stays on 40 where it
belongs. Of course, if you're planning on doing backpacking, where every ounce
counts, then a single-wire compromise antenna might be the way you have to go.
But ask yourself whether the weight and bulk of a tuner are less than the
weight and bulk of another wire antenna -- you might be surprised by the
answer, especially if you use thin enough wire and small enough coax.
        Cheers, and good camping --
        73 es gd dx,

        Doug Rowlett

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