[David], DL1DN, is an Amateur Radio enthusiast with a penchant for low-power (QRP) portable operations. Recently he was out and about, and found that 10 m propagation was wide open. Not discouraged by having forgotten his antenna, he kludges up a makeshift one using a 20 cm length of aluminum foil (see video demonstration below the break). [David] wasn’t completely unprepared, as he did have the loading coil for his portable 20 m antenna, but was missing the telescoping whip. He calculated the whip length should be around 20 cm for 10 m operation, and crinkles up a sheet of foil the approximate length. He tunes it to length by rolling the tip to shorten the “whip” until he gets an SWR minimum.
[David] describes this style of portable antenna in another video, using a more conventional telescoping whip as the radiating element. The loading coil is built from common PVC pipe and insulated wire. While these aren’t necessarily the most efficient antennas, they can do the trick when portability is a major concern. For a different approach, here’s a QRP Hackaday.io portable antenna project using a magnetic loop antenna. But for the ultimate in QRP, check out this transmitter we wrote about in 2013 that uses only voice power to operate.
What are some unusual items you’ve used as makeshift antennas? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks to [mister35mm] for submitting this to our tip line.