The Club’s New Portable Beam
The Club’s New Portable Beam avatar

I volunteered to assemble the new portable, foldable, 6 band wire beam when John, W1XX, asked for someone to assemble it, because of his storm related workload. Remind me not to volunteer again. 🙂  I have attached below some photos of this beam. It is not beautiful, but hopefully lack of physical beauty won’t adversely impact its performance. Right now with the tower only about 5 feet off the ground, the resonance/SWR indicates that it is indeed an antenna, but I don’t think I should attempt any adjustments because I can’t get it any higher in the air to provide more accurate readings.

This beam will require additional tweaking in the air before it is ready for Field Day but unfortunately I am unable to do it. I am going to copy and/or prepare some unpacking and repacking instructions and put them in plastic sleeves to be kept with the beam and the spare parts that were purchased with it. I will also do a practice “fold it up and put it away” and “unfold it and put it up” routines.

So I need to hand off this project to someone else who can get it higher in the air than I can and then see how the resonance and SWR look.

Here are the pictures. It is kinda tough to see any details of the antenna. I am not sure how this is going to work out on the web site, it’s worth a try..

73, Ken K3IU
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P.S. (11:15AM, Sat 5/26) – It’s now Sat morning and I guess I was crying “wolf” yesterday when I wrote the above. I spent a couple of hours this morning (after a good night’s sleep) making adjustments to the driven elements to move the resonant freq up into the bottom portion of each band using the MFJ-259B first and then connecting the beam to my K3s and Diamond SX-200 SWR & Power meter. Both methods more or less agree and indicate lowest SWR near/at the bottom of all bands. Unless I am mistaken, and I could well be, I believe that raising the beam up in the air will move the resonant freq up a bit on all bands and perhaps move the SWR downwards as well. The internal ATU on the K3s easily handles the maximum SWR seen. I do not have a push-up mast I can not test this. The fiberglass spigot at the bottom of the center post that must be inserted into a mast with a 1 inch ID. There needs to be holes drilled in the mast-top and the fiberglass spigot for inserting a thru bolt to keep the antenna from free wheeling. This can’t be done until the push up mast is identified and available.

The plan this afternoon is to fold up the antenna, and pack it away. Then one day next week, I will try to set it up.

73, Ken K3IU

 

3 comments on “The Club’s New Portable Beam
The Club’s New Portable Beam avatar

  1. Nice going Ken and TNX. We’ll work out a mutually good time to bring it over here and get it on a taller mast to see how it works and make a few contacts. If it works anywhere near as well as it was used in 3C0, we should be good. Alternative: if someone in the club does not have a clothes dryer, they can use it as a clothesline. Field Day is approaching!!! — John, W1XX

  2. Thanks Ken for the initial assembly. I understand that is a one time thing and that going forward it should fold up into the carrying case for portability and ease of deployment. Famous last words? John let us know how it was setting up at your place.

    Jim KS1J

  3. Thanks Jim & John:

    As soon as I started to fold it up and put it in the carry case, I knew that it was a job for more than person to do it right. Nevertheless, I proceeded anyway and did get it into the carry case. However, I am not going to attempt to unfold it until I get it down to John’s because it will definitely be a 2 person, at least, job to get everything untangled. The instructions in the manual for folding it up or collapsing the antenna as stated in the manual, were not at all clear to me and I doubt that I packed it up the way it should be so that it would be easily deployable. To be determined… 🙂
    Ken K3IU

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