The Forktenna

The Forktenna is a very unique design. It is essentially a half sized Hentenna, and I saw reference to it in the Hentenna article on page 11, ch 12 of The ARRL's Simple and Fun Antennas by K8CH and N6BV.

In 2003 I built one because if its novelty, plus I needed a repeater antenna for the the basement. I wanted to monitor our local 146.97 repeater while building in the basement shop. It worked well in that applicatiion. I hung it from a plastic pipe and had no problem using the repeater which was 2 miles distant, on 200mw!!!

Then in 2005 I moved in from the country. As a result, I had to whip up a 2M antenna. I'm in a river bottom now and have a difficult time using our local repeater on an indoor quarter wave whip. I can hit it with 10 watts ok, marginal at 5W, and the ID'er comes back scratchy.

So just for fun I grabbed a Forktenna and hung it from a curtain rod about 5' off the floor in window facing toward the repeater, and hooked it up using 20' of RG8X. Voila, easy hit on 5W. I'm solid into the machine and receiving full quieting audio from the rptr. I can also hit the Oskaloosa, IA machine using 25W, its 25 miles away. It's ID'er lights up 3 bars on the S-meter. I think this is 3 S units on the FT-1500M. It's pretty scratchy though.

Out comes my full size copper pipe Hentenna - same mounting and coax for comparison. Osky is now full quieting and 3 S units stronger. And I can use the 97 and 41 machines at 5W with full quieting, both receive and transmit.

If you'd like to investigate an unusual antenna that works well, the both the Forktenna and the Hentenna are worth a look. The bottom picture at the right has the dimensions for my copper pipe Forktenna. Click the image for a larger image, and the dimensions will be visible. Good luck and please let me know how it goes.

Revised 2 Dec 2012
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