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Portable AO40 antennas

Richard Meuse wrote:

Ok here is a simple question from my simple mind. Lets say I don't know much about downconverters, about uplink antennas, but have a good radio's, transmitter and receiver and maybe worked UO-14 but now want to make the next leap to ssb on AO-40. Whats out there for off the self easy to put together AO-40 setup that I want to setup on a camera tripod. Remember I'm not the technical type like all of you reading this message and even have a hard time soldering connection on coax cable, hi, hi.

Wayne replies:

If you're an AMSAT member, check out the article describing my portable AO40 antenna system in AMSAT Journal.  I think it was Nov/Dec 2002, but I'm not sure.  Most of the stuff in my antenna kit was off-the-shelf.  The downlink is the G3RUH 2-foot dish and patch feed.  The only modification was to replace the screws and nuts with types that can be tightened with bare hands.  Uplink is a semi-custom 7x7 UHF Arrow antenna.  All the parts are purchased from Arrow antenna, but I did have to build the matching harness and re-tune the gamma matches using a UHF SWR meter.  The crossboom is a "homebrew" piece of painted 2x2 wood.  The tripod is off-the-shelf, modified only to add a hook to the center post to hang a bag of rocks (to keep the thing from blowing over in the wind).  You could also use a off-the-shelf 9-element Cushcraft 435 MHz yagi.  That seems to be the most popular portable uplink antenna for AO40.  But it's not designed for quick assembly/disassembly like my Arrow a!
 ntenna is.  My entire antenna kit packs into a custom-made 25x25x7 inch plywood box, and takes less than 15 minutes to assemble.  Antenna pointing is by hand.  Initially using a compass and protractor, but after that I aim the antennas for best reception of the beacon.

Wayne Estes W9AE
Mundelein, IL, USA
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