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Lightweight backpacking antenna

An option for contests and SOTA that is a slimmed down commercial antenna I use for backpacking contests

Lightweight antenna

A bit of backround My favourite antenna for going out on the fells is a 3 element Sotabeams 270. Its a dual band antenna made from a bit of PVC tube and some nifty elements. There are a couple of problems. It doesn't really cut it for contests and you can no longer get it. Apart from theat its ace.

So I needed something with a bit more gain that wasn't too heavy. As luck would have it I came across a 5 element Innovantennas LFA that needed to go on a diet.

Innovantennas

Donor antenna

Built to last this one. Rather heavy and a bit cumbersome it needs a bit a rethink. The boom is aluminium and Stauff clamps are not the ideal candidates for a lightweight antenna. 

Antenna clamps

I got these from a company called IML Moulding but they seem to have either stopped operating or have no website. The idea is explained well by G1YBB so no point repeating what is said there, here.

Even though the mouldings don't seem to be available any more the principle is the same and a piece of acrylic is a suitable alternative

Boom

Quite simply its too big and heavy. Swap the oversized boom for a 20mm x 20mm piece of aluminium (like aluminum but available worldwide) cut to length.

Metal prices go up and down quite a bit but Metals4u were cheap and quick at the tiem I made this

Clamp

Another piece of 3d printed wizardry. A simple clamp that goes on the end of a 5m Harris decorating pole using the 'not very standard' thread. In act that was the hardest bit to sort out

Mast

Standard 5m paint pole. A bit long to carry and you do get a few odd questions but it is very robust. Tie id down with a few guy lines and you're good to go.

You used to be able to get these in B&Q but they seem to have stopped making them but they are still about on eBay.