Man Portable Antenna Strategy Part 2

Hello Operators.
There’s new video up on YouTube. This time we were talking about ultra portable HF antenna strategies. This post goes along with the blog post from February 2 2003 entitled, “Man-Portable HF Antenna Strategy

A Portable Ham Radio HF antenna should be lightweight, easy to carry and easy to deploy. Operating QRP while man-portable requires an even higher level of (ultra) portability and efficiency. When this is the case, we change strategies, opting for lighter weight, more efficient HF antenna.

When entering the emergency communications and survival radio space, our commercial antenna options are often limited. What we find is non-resonant broadband antennas, built for high output, power hungry stations. The effort is wasted on QRP or low power stations, never transmitting anywhere near the antennas capabilities. So, we end up carrying the extra weight of that antenna for nothing. Moreover, when fielding a lower power HF station, we must avoid wasting our output power on an less efficient antenna design. Compromise antennas do have their place, but low power emergency comm and survival radio require a more efficient approach. We need to get more wire in the air, without adding unnecessary weight!
This is my new man-portable HF antenna strategy.
Let me know what you think.


Here is one aspect of my antenna requirements many of the video commenters may have missed. An antenna designed with emcomm and survival radio in mind, must be waterproof. Many of the comments suggested antenna designs with no sort of weather resistance at all. Without protection from the elements, an antenna which is wet or ice covered, will start experiencing SWR fluctuations. At best these fluctuations are small. At worst, we don’t notice higher fluctuations and end up replacing finals in our beloved radio. Consistency in our signal is critical! Protecting our antenna designs from the elements, also critical! Please keep this in mind.

Share Video URL:
Part 1 of Blog post:

Items mentioned in the video:
80-6 meter Off Center Fed Dipole:
40-6 meter off center fed dipole:
N9SAB eBay store:

Original QCF40 video:

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  1. I’ve left comments on the YT page so I won’t repeat myself here. I will add, however, that you are spot-on regarding the waterproof requirement. My home-built antennas are waterproof but they look a mess. N9SAB’s antennas are built rock-solid, waterproof, and, as a bonus, have a nice aesthetic. Most importantly, I want to add a bend-of-the-knee upon seeing that you have a “backup” channel on Rumble. Considering the way YT is moving, it may be primary sooner than considered. Cheers 73 Garu

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