Portable Operations

I am operating portable this week from the vacation cabin in southern Indiana. I’m using a dipole and a home brew radio I made back in 1993. It’s my version of the Micromountaineer with the addition of a VFO for the receiver. I call it the SB-40. (I will post info on this rig in the Projects page.) The antenna is newly constructed before the trip and I didn’t have time to tune it.


The dipole was thrown together right before the trip using RG-178 mini coax, some Teflon coated #24 hookup wire, and a home made center insulator made from a piece of circuit board material. The wires and coax were stain relieved by weaving through small holes in the PCB. The two sides of the insulator were separated by removing the copper with a hack saw. This was doubled sided PCB, so I’m not sure how the capacitance of the center insulator affected the antenna performance, if at all. When I have time, I will string the antenna up at home and make some measurements. The dipole was supported by a tree on the north side, about 30 feet off the ground, and by the deck outside the cabin to the South, about 15 feet off the ground. Although the dipole performed well, next year I hope to use an end fed half wave (EFHW) antenna, or possibly a vertical supported by the deck.


Here is a picture that shows the operating position – the picnic table on the deck. The antenna was tied to the South end of the deck, ran parallel to the deck, and was tied to a tree to the North.


Here is another view of the deck.


Here is an overall view of the cabin taken from the lake.


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