Portable projects

Been out a bit with a nice event held in Naples, Florida by the ministerial association that ordained me. We had a great time meeting old friends and making some new friends. Our hotel was extremely nice and we had a 5th floor room with balcony to play qrp portable from too! The weather was not very good and we did not get a lot of air time, but had fun experimenting with my Buddistick on 40 and 20m.

Not a bad view from our 5th floor perch, eh?
Not a bad view from our 5th floor perch, eh?

The counterpoise was dropped over the edge to a conveniently placed palm tree that was just right for the 40m length and a bit short for 20m ops. Next time I’ll take my bicycle flag and use it to keep the counterpoise a bit further out from the building and operate more of an “L” configuration to see how that works.

I picked up 200′ of nice 26 gauge Teflon insulated wire at the Ft. Pierce (FL) hamfest and have worked on a couple new portable antenna options. Recently I got a great deal on Ebay and acquired 4 Coleman camping clothesline reels which I put to use making a couple end fed halfwaves and counterpoise.

Matching XFMR and 3 of my antenna reels
Matching XFMR and 3 of my antenna reels

I’m still tweaking on my EFHW Tuner modeled after the SLT+ but using RF chokes rather than toroids. So far, I’m not satisfied with it, but perhaps it is my novice building skills that created the problem. hi hi. So I am working on a couple other tuners. I found a very interesting lite weight idea on WA5BDU’s website. So of course, I had to try it.

WA5BDU 40m EFHW matching XFMR
WA5BDU 40m EFHW matching XFMR

The rain came shortly after I got setup at the nearby lake park, but I was able to get a 1:7 to 1 SWR without any tweaking of counterpoise or antenna length. So with some time to tweak I think I should be able to improve on this tunerless matching transformer. YAHOO… stay tuned.


  1. says

    FB Kelly! Keep up the good work and keep us posted on the tunerless matching transformer. Very interesting! I’ve got a couple of issues with my Sierra but when I have them worked out we’ll get that Sierra to Sierra QSO!

    Steve W6EOD

  2. kmack says


    Sure look forward to an eyeball qso with you one of these days too! Sorry we didn’t connect at GatorCon09, but thanks for sending your friends along! My KC2 needs a bit of tweaking on my Sierra but otherwise, seems to run well. I am not seeing the power out reading on the KC2 and it’s not clear to me yet if it is a hookup issue or adjustment fix that is needed. No biggie… it gets out just fine and I have another meter so can see the output if needed. 72, Kelly K4UPG

  3. Skip - K8SOR SKCC 2483C says

    Kelly, I saw you on the k3uk sked page, checked out your website. Looks like you’re enjoying retirement. The minister at a small church I used to go to had a little plaque in his study that said ” The pay for a minister is not much, but the retirement is “out of this world”. May the Lord bless you for doing his work and spreading his Word.
    You have some fine pic’s here. Saw on the web page that you had to come in out of the rain—no porch?? Maybe a small tent? Have fun, 73
    K8SOR Skip skcc 2483C

  4. kmack says

    I am up in TN at my in-laws and having fun in the backyard. Since I live in an antenna restricted condo, it is lots of fun to try different antennas and leave them up over night!

    Not retired yet… working full time as I am only 60 and there’s a lot to do yet.

    I did move to the porch but had to tear down and reconfigure everything so had to cut a good ragchew short. Hope to catch you on the air soon. Blessings es 73, K4UPG

  5. Jennifer says

    Very nice! I am working on the very same sort of antenna. I did a quick and dirty version with small lengths of 1/2 inch PVC to wind the extra wire around. For the wire I am using 22 guage speaker wire since it was what I had on hand. I have enough wire to go down to 40 meters. My next upgrade to the antenna will be a couple of those clothes line reels. I used a feed point very similar to yours. The only differences are that mine isn’t a balune and I used an SO-239 instead of a BNC. A BNC to binding post adapter also works great as a feed point. I currently use one of those on my 10 meter dipole without a balun. I am not sure how much power it can handle, but I am limited to QRP (except for 25 watts on my RadioShack HTX-10); so it works fine for me.

  6. Jennifer says

    A quick addition to my comment. The wire dipole I mentioned is center fed rather than end fed like yours.

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