Portable Whip Antenna Testing

Hi all…

I’ve been busy lately, thus haven’t had a lot of time to post on here… but I’ll save the full details of where I’ve been for another post.  People might recall my earlier attempt at a homebrew 2m/70cm whip antenna for a handheld radio.

At present, I’m out at Laidley (actually about 2km outside… near the Vaux and Lowe street intersection) and tried hitting a number of repeaters on 2m and 70cm.  Depending on where I stand, I seem to be reaching these repeaters in that, I get a response when I hit and release PTT:

  • VK4RGC Mt. Tambourine 146.700MHz (-600kHz offset) — S7, have to stand in a specific spot
  • VK4RDD Toowoomba 146.750MHz (-600kHz offset) — S9
  • VK4RZD Mt. Perseverence 438.050MHz (-5MHz offset) — S2, too difficult for practical use (shame since it’s part of the WICEN/QDG network)

The ones I definitely can reach from here however…

  • VK4RIL Laidley 147.100MHz (-600kHz offset) — S9, no surprises there
  • VK4RAI Ipswich (The Knobby, Glenmorgan Vale) 146.900MHz (-600kHz offset) — S9, have to stand in specific points.

The big surprise however, was this one… VK4RAX.  I can reach it from The Gap no problems with a rooftop antenna and 5W.  Tonight however, I was receiving it S7~S9 (depending on where I stood) and managed to make contact with a few people.  Standing on tiptoe helped — as I haven’t as yet gotten around to building an extension lead that will make the on-hat antenna practical (the coax I’ve got is a little inflexible).

Apparently the signal was quite scratchy, but this is to be expected for a 5W handheld at this distance.  The image below (taken from Google Maps) shows the approximate direct path for the signal and the distance — click for an enlargement.

Signal path between test QTH and VK4RAX

I’m hardly breaking any world records here, but this is by far my personal best on this handheld.