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Got an antenna up.

Alan Blackmon

Well-Known Member
Apr 11, 2017
212
288
73
72
Boise Idaho
I found a used Shakespeare Big Stick antenna and got it up into the air. Hooked up my Uniden Bearcat 980 and heard a lot of DX chatter both AM and SSB. Tried to make a few contacts but either I have some mic troubleshooting to do or 12w PEP isn't getting through. My SWR on the antenna was not the greatest. 1.5:1 mid-band. 1.67:1 on 40 but I think I am not going to get all worried about it. I doubt I will be spending a ton on time doing TX. I will try to make some local contacts over the next few days to see how my audio is? Locally the channel that is used is 24.

I hid the antenna in some Junipers in my back yard. A 30 foot length of RG214 gets my signal to the shack. The SWR isn't effected by the trees. I tested the antenna in a clear area and had the same SWR results. I guess either it is age or that is what this antenna does. Feed point is at 10 feet and antenna tip is 28ish feet.

The fiberglass was a bit rough. I sanded it and sprayed on some clear coat to seal it. PERHAPS this made the SWR a bit high but I don't really know. I am just glad I got something up for 11 meters. I didn't do any cleaning of the points where the antenna screws together. Perhaps I should do that and recheck my SWR. That will be a project for another day.
IMG_5064.jpeg
 

whiteastro

Sr. Member
Feb 22, 2019
742
904
103
72
I have never heard of RG 214,but I have heard and use RG 213 for my set up!!!
I did a search and I did find RG 214 and it was double shielded 50 ohm and looked expensive. Sort of like something the military would use. Just thinking if it was used maybe is why his SWR is higher. I'm sure the pro will figure it out.
 
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9C1Driver

Sr. Member
Aug 13, 2008
3,723
1,644
173
When the skip is rolling you can make contacts with 12 watts. If say channel 38 LSB is too busy drop down to 36 or 37 and give it a shot. At some point if you want more power for less money check out a KL-203 amplifier. They match up great with a Uniden 980 and don't draw too many amps.
 

Captain Kilowatt

Professional Amateur
Staff member
Apr 6, 2005
16,992
11,419
823
59
Nova Scotia,Canada
I don't remember seeing RG 214 called out for 11 meter, But I'm not a Pro either. Is that used coax ?

CB does not require any coax other than it being 50 ohms. Same as all types of radio. NO coax is "called out for" use on CB.

I did a search and I did find RG 214 and it was double shielded 50 ohm and looked expensive. Sort of like something the military would use. Just thinking if it was used maybe is why his SWR is higher. I'm sure the pro will figure it out.
Double shielding has NOTHING to do with SWR and the military is far from being the only user of double shielded coax cable.
 

whiteastro

Sr. Member
Feb 22, 2019
742
904
103
72
CB does not require any coax other than it being 50 ohms. Same as all types of radio. NO coax is "called out for" use on CB.


Double shielding has NOTHING to do with SWR and the military is far from being the only user of double shielded coax cable.
I was thinking more like bad or corroded connectors. But where the Big Stick screws together could have corrosion also. The Big Stick antenna was my very first antenna and if I could afford it back then it probably wasn't rated that high but it did shimmy up thru the limbs to reach above the top of that Old Maple Tree.
 
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groundwire

Sr. Member
Jul 19, 2014
1,011
1,403
173
Also just a note: fiberglass antennas have a definite life span. Unlike aluminum antennas, they have a copper wire going down the center of the rods. With that in mind, fiberglass antennas flex, bend, and whip around like no other so after time those internal wires are notorious for breaking, going intermittent etc. Thats why nobody uses fiberglass for antennas anymore, they are just too short lived and weather poorly.
 
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Shadetree Mechanic

Delaware Base Station 808
Oct 23, 2017
5,146
8,403
673
50
The First State (Delaware)
I found a used Shakespeare Big Stick antenna and got it up into the air. Hooked up my Uniden Bearcat 980 and heard a lot of DX chatter both AM and SSB. Tried to make a few contacts but either I have some mic troubleshooting to do or 12w PEP isn't getting through. My SWR on the antenna was not the greatest. 1.5:1 mid-band. 1.67:1 on 40 but I think I am not going to get all worried about it. I doubt I will be spending a ton on time doing TX. I will try to make some local contacts over the next few days to see how my audio is? Locally the channel that is used is 24.

I hid the antenna in some Junipers in my back yard. A 30 foot length of RG214 gets my signal to the shack. The SWR isn't effected by the trees. I tested the antenna in a clear area and had the same SWR results. I guess either it is age or that is what this antenna does. Feed point is at 10 feet and antenna tip is 28ish feet.

The fiberglass was a bit rough. I sanded it and sprayed on some clear coat to seal it. PERHAPS this made the SWR a bit high but I don't really know. I am just glad I got something up for 11 meters. I didn't do any cleaning of the points where the antenna screws together. Perhaps I should do that and recheck my SWR. That will be a project for another day.
View attachment 61483
It's great that you were able to get something going and got something up in the air. That is what it's all about. When mother nature is smiling at you, 12 watts is all you need. Just keep trying.

I have heard of people putting the antenna in the tree. I have thought about it and it seems that a rope could be tied or clamped to the top of the antenna and the antenna could be hoisted up to a high branch. Maybe tie a weight to the rope and swing it around and fling it way up in the tree. Height is might. Just an idea, happy DXing, hope to talk to you on the air.

Delaware Base Station 808
Chris
 
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Rick330man

WDX 404
Mar 16, 2013
781
1,254
153
Florida Keys
I have a 27 year old Marine Big Stick, the 176-1. I also have a 40 year old Radio Shack Crossbow 1/2 wave base station antenna, which is a Shakespeare Big Stick with the fiberglass dyed in sky blue.

I have had SWR issues with both of them over the years. Each time those were resolved when I sprayed a little electrical contact cleaner on a Q-tip and cleaned off the connectors well. I do the same for the sections that screw together. The humid, high salt content South Florida environment requires this kind of maintenance at least once every other year, but it does the trick. Both antennas are stored in the garage right now. One is about to get back into service as I take down my IMAX and do the same maintenance on it.

These are not the best talking antennas. However, with a little maintenance, they can give you years of reliable service.
 
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whiteastro

Sr. Member
Feb 22, 2019
742
904
103
72
It's great that you were able to get something going and got something up in the air. That is what it's all about. When mother nature is smiling at you, 12 watts is all you need. Just keep trying.

I have heard of people putting the antenna in the tree. I have thought about it and it seems that a rope could be tied or clamped to the top of the antenna and the antenna could be hoisted up to a high branch. Maybe tie a weight to the rope and swing it around and fling it way up in the tree. Height is might. Just an idea, happy DXing, hope to talk to you on the air.

Delaware Base Station 808
Chris
When I put mine up up that big old maple I clamped the antenna to a piece of 1" black iron or galvanized pipe 21' long and could shimmy it thru the limbs because it was just a straight antenna and used poly rope as guild wires to larger branches. Crude but effective for a rental property. I was probably only there for a year before I got married and bought my own house so down it came. The rest is History.
 
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whiteastro

Sr. Member
Feb 22, 2019
742
904
103
72
I have a 27 year old Marine Big Stick, the 176-1. I also have a 40 year old Radio Shack Crossbow 1/2 wave base station antenna, which is a Shakespeare Big Stick with the fiberglass dyed in sky blue.

I have had SWR issues with both of them over the years. Each time those were resolved when I sprayed a little electrical contact cleaner on a Q-tip and cleaned off the connectors well. I do the same for the sections that screw together. The humid, high salt content South Florida environment requires this kind of maintenance at least once every other year, but it does the trick. Both antennas are stored in the garage right now. One is about to get back into service as I take down my IMAX and do the same maintenance on it.

These are not the best talking antennas. However, with a little maintenance, they can give you years of reliable service.
Try Penetrox on your connections to prevent corrosion.
 
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