Antenna Advice for SSB/CW side of VHF/UHF — Or Build a WA5VJB Cheap Yagi

   8:45pm Tuesday —
   Occurred to me tonight to plagarize myself.  I get tired of typing sometimes, too. 
   This is a post I originally made Dec. 23, 2011.

   Antennas are by far the most important part of your weak-signal V/UHF station.   If you are gaga for the latest gee-whiz rig and you attach a $5 antenna to it, you have a $5 station.  In fact, you are far better off figuring out what is the most antenna you can safely put up, then worrying about what rig to buy.  Most don’t do it that way, but then again, the crowd is often wrong.   If antennas really aren’t a priority for you, let the repeater do the work.   Many ways to enjoy ham radio;  hope you have fun over time learning and choosing. 

   I realize many guys are antenna-restricted and have to do the best they can with what they have.  No shame there.  You can still enjoy V/UHF, just realize that you’re not going to have maximum range.   I would also encourage V/UHF’ers who are antenna restricted or have lousy QTH’s to consider becoming a rover or hilltopper.  Take your rigs and antennas to high spots you can really get out from.  We have a lot of great rovers in the Midwest, and boy do we appreciate them going to grids we might not otherwise be able to work. 

   For those who just can’t or won’t spend $100, 200 or more on a quality yagi with lots of gain and a great pattern, here’s a link to homebrew V/UHF yagis that work fairly well.  They’re not powerhouses, but they can be a fun project for your club or your group of buddies that are V/UHF curious.  Using these WA5VJB Cheap Yagis (horizontally polarized) will be light years better than the vertical you’re used to on the FM side.  
   Link to WA5VJB Cheap Yagis:  http://www.wa5vjb.com/yagi-pdf/cheapyagi.pdf

   I have a few other posts on this blog about antennas.  If you have a hard time falling asleep, print them out and take them to bed with you.  Guarantee you’ll drift off peacefully… :)    You might even be motivated to improve your station, if you take the advice to heart. 
   Try this post:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=4640 
   And this one:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1537

   Hope it helps.  As with anything on this website, feel free to pass the info along to other hams.

   You have an antenna plan or suggestion that will help?  Use the “comment” feature at the bottom of this post.

4 Responses to “Antenna Advice for SSB/CW side of VHF/UHF — Or Build a WA5VJB Cheap Yagi”

  1. Bryan, KD8LDX Says:

    A buddy of mine is heading up to EN86 in June. Thought you might like to know.

    http://www.michiganbroadcasttowers.com/amateur/EN86.htm

  2. Bryan, KD8LDX Says:

    Sorry about not having a good antenna suggestion in the comment above. With the new FM category, a 1/4 wave antenna with a corner reflector is an excellent choice for adding gain without a lot of weight or room. http://www.northcountryradio.com/Articles/crfl.htm is a good reference for that.

  3. kc9bqa Says:

    Bryan,
    Thanks for both comments. As a drum-beater for more activity, I’m happy to see there are plans to activate EN86 on 50 MHz in the June contest. Especially thank you for the links to the websites.
    Do me a favor if you think of it — remind me again toward June about the K8JH EN86 activation.

    Also thought I’d let you be the first to know (nobody reads these comments, LOL) that this website had over 500 unique visitors yesterday. Easily the best single day at kc9bqa.com ever. January is on pace to surpass the record numbers of visitors we had in December. As long as it translates to increased activity on the bands, then I’m accomplishing my goal.

    73,
    Todd KC9BQA

  4. Gil Says:

    My homebrew pair of 432mhz phased 11 ele quagis allowed me to make contacts well over 200 miles, without a pre-amp and 20 watts.
    Used LMR400 type coax, antennas at 57 feet. I plan to build (2) 15 ele 432mhz quagis and phase them in place of the ones I have now. I built the second one to make up for the line loss.
    You can see my antennas on QRZ.
    Yeah your right Todd, I don’t read these comments, my first time. It’s almost like a secret society. hi hi
    73, WB9TFH
    Gil