(Best) Travel QRP HF antennas
1) Alex loop antenna.
Who doesn’t know the alexloop antenna? This is the best solution you can have. QRP Travel antenna per antonomasia.
This magnetic loop antenna has been designed by Alexandre Grimberg PY1AHD from Brazil. (AlexLoop.com if you wanna buy one). The AlexLoop implements a mag loop for the 40 through 10 meter bands. When packed into a small bag that comes with the purchase is perfect for Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio (RaDAR). You can use a tripod or any other stuff to use this great antenna inside the room of an hotel or, better, while camping on the seaside…Click down here to see
- Multiband: This loop operates 7 through 30 MHz. Go from 20 to 10 meters band is really fast as it just requires adjusting the tuning capacitor.
- Tuner: Not required !
- Efficiency: every ham that has used this antenna is enthusiastic. 90% of efficiency I’d say.
- Easy to transport!Cons
- Bandwidth: Narrow! This is the price you pay. It does require retuning when moving up and down the band or changing bands.
2) Radio Shack “reel” antennas
I have used these YO-YO Radio Shack “reel” antennas for “camping” / bungalow holidays in Greece or South Italy. These consist of a 10 meters thin wire that is reeled up in a plastic case. This little tiny compact antenna is easy to transport and useful to get you on air on 30 meters band. You can connect one wire to the center of a coax connector and put an alligator clip on the other. The alligator clip can easily be connected to the shield of the coax connector or can be clipped to the SWL portable antenna. (see photo). I can promise you this is the cheapest and easy solution. You will enjoy. Some tips:
- The angle between the wires isn’t very critical. Just adjust the shorter wire length and position a little to get a match.
- The exact orientation of the wires isn’t very critical, either. Droop one over a balcony, hang the end from the curtains, etc. The antenna is somewhat directional broadside to the plane of the wires.
If you are looking for a well-made and easy antenna for field use, you aren’t going to beat this one. And the price is more than reasonable.It is definitely a quick and truly portable setup! A must have!
This tiny antenna (less then 1 meter in length) attaches directly to the back of your QRP rigs (except Elecraft KX3) but it would be perfect for your yaesu FT 817 transceiver. It has a built-in tuning device. Using this whip, sitting on the table of your hotel (using at least 10 foot radial running around you) you may be able to connect the world! The best would be to transmit in CW or PSK31. I have no complaints about this nifty little device. It will never replace a Mosley 3 element beam but what it does do, it does it very well indeed. The Miracle Ducker TL works very well on 20-10 meters, with a good counterpoise. I suggest the use coupled with Yaesu FT 817 on 15 – 17 – 10 meters band!
You can always get an used one for few bucks on eBay!
Wonderwand loop antenna
This could be interpreted like a miracle whip antenna but it isn’t. It is a miniaturized loop antenna. Tuning from 20 meters to 10 meters band. Excellent in receiving. I would say 10/10 ! We already talked about this great tiny antenna here. Ideal antenna for portable operation. Little space required, compact and it works. Compared to other portable antennas the noise margin is down by a lot. I actually do get contacts on 5 Watts consistently.
The wire which comes with the wonderloop for the self supporting loop is very sturdy and good for the job. Tuning is very precise due to the high Q of the antenna so a slow, steady hand is needed to get the SWR for a particular frequency down to 1:1 – 1:1.5 typically. When you move more than a few KHz from a tuned frequency, another adjustment is necessary.
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Best 73 de IZ0JOJ – please if you aware of new and other excellent HF antennas for portable use to take with you during our holidays – do not hesitate to write here.