About one month ago, I started attending the Murray State Amater Radio Club K4MSU. Now I am following a rabbit hole of building antennas and nerding out over high-gain directional beams. Not sure where I’ll end up but it will more than likely result in a massive 50′ radio tower hovering over a smaller antenna farm.
I wanted my first antenna to be portable much like my existing HT (Yaesu FT60R). With that in mind, I decided on the most popular direction finding antenna. Its elements are sourced from an old 1″ wide tape measure and mounted to 1/2″ PVC using hose clamps. The plans I used are here. Now that I have her built, I should be able to hear Murray State repeaters from my house!
I think the most difficult part of the build was learning how to cut the spring steel of a tape measure. Had I read the instructions like a good man-child, I would of learned that shears was the way to go. Instead, I toiled away with a hacksaw before going into rage mode with an angle grinder. Lessons learned: always cut things with an angle grinder!
The second hiccup came with the soldering. I’m not new to this arena but I still have brain farts. Soldering guns do NOT work well. Get an actual soldering iron and your life will be much easier! I struggled with the gun for 20 minutes but finally managed to knock it out with the iron in 5… /sigh
On to the next project!