Scroll down for all the text and pictures.
Some good contacts were made during this trip (2/12/13). C2AKQ, Bob Patten, N4BP, at his Bahama QTH and both 40M Foxes, AA4EE and KRĜU. But perhaps the most memorable was Dave Gauding, NFĜR. Dave was using his homebrew Micro Loop antenna at home on his dining room table. To further add to the incredulity of the QSO, he was also using only 1 watt of power!!! The Micro Loop utilizes a bicycle tire rim as it's central component.

Good Hotel/Motel antennas are often difficult to erect. Size constraints and getting the wire outside the building are sometimes impossible to overcome. If your room has a balcony, you're halfway to a reasonably good antenna. The other half is extending the wire to a support away from the building. Both of those come together in my favorite room at the Stonecastle Hotel and Conference Center in Branson. MO. The room is on the 4th floor with a balcony overlooking a small parking lot at the rear of the building. During this visit I decided to write up the steps neccessary put the antenna in the air. They are listed below along with a few pictures. It only takes about 10 minutes to accomplish and provides hours of relief from the television.

The wire is 84 feet long and that length is a story in itself. Many years ago I began experimenting with antenna wire lengths. Even before this page I was looking for the perfect length. Then last year I saw a reference to this Ham Universe Page and it stirred the quest again. One of the lengths recommended by VE3EED in the article was 84 feet. This length appealed to me for portable ops as being long enough for 40M and up, as well as being short enough to deploy easily almost anywhere. It has turned out to be my goto wire of choice for portable ops. I've use it often and with good success on these and other portable outings.
So if you're looking for a wire antenna, try the 84 footer, it works well.

72 es here's wishing you good portable ops ... WAĜITP

Here's the steps for hoisting the 4th floor balcony antenna.

1. In The Room:
  Lay out 4-5 lengths (~100 ft.) of throwing line on room floor
  Secure tuner end of antenna wire inside room

2. On The Balcony:
  Bungee support pole to railing
  Throw line to rear parking lot
      Clamp wire spool to dresser drawer
      Tie line to half filled water bottle
      Heave bottle from balcony over the parking lot railing.
      Cut line and tie it to what will be the far end end of antenna wire,

3. In The Parking lot:
  Pull wire out and walk over to tree
  Throw bottle over tree and pull wire up, but not too taut.
  Tie off the line to the tree trunk

4. Back On The Balcony:
  Slip antenna wire into S-hook on balcony support pole

5. Back In The Room:
  Clamp the spool to the end table
  Drop 1 or 2 radials off the deck and run another one behind the couch.
  Hook it all together and tune 'er up.
  Turn of the TV and send CQ.

Return to Portble Ops Page  Return to HOME page