Homebrew Wire Antennas for Portable Ops

Hello again! I am operating portable with some different wire antennas.This trip in the Black Hills of Wyoming I am trying out a new Dual Ferrite Variable 9:1 Unun with 64 feet of wire and a homebrew 80 Meter Inverted Vee. Videos coming later.

Location, Location, Location

Technically it's the Black Hills National Forest just north of Sundance Wyoming. You can find this dispersed camping area on freecampsites.net. It's a beautiful area for boondocking. No services like toilets, showers or electricity, but it is quiet and beautiful. Cool in the evenings and nice during the day without AC.

Wire Antennas for 40 through 10 Meters

9:1 unun

I purchased an inexpensive Dual Ferrite Variable 9:1 Unun off ebay and from a seller that I have done businesss with before. He makes and tests his concepts prior to selling. The one I am using will handle 200 watts and tunes easily on 40 through 6 Meters using the Icom 7300 internal antenna tuner. It's variable, so it will work on 40-160 Meters too. See the description in the link above for more information regarding it's application.

I attached the 9:1 unun to my flagpole and raised it 30 feet. It's being fed with 50 feet.of RG8X.

The random wire is configured as a sloper. The far end is up about 45-50 feet in a pine tree.

It's easy and even enjoyable getting the line up using the best "Dog Gone" antenna launcher.See my previous post.

For my Elecraft KX2 I have another 9:1 unun and 49 feet of 24 awg wire. I use it in a sloper configuration too.

Wire Antenna for 80 Meters

inverted vee wire antenna

For my favorite early morning and evening band I have a homebrew Inverted Vee. It's approximately 120 feet long and at the center is a connector I purchase inexpensively from a Ham Radio friend (Jim, WB0KZB) long ago.

It's up about 50 feet and the legs run East and West. I have it fed with a 100 feet of RG8X Double Shielded Coax that I just purchased. It's a very nice run of coax and I'm sure I'll be picking up more of it in the future.

Mini60 Antenna Analyzer

Here are some screen shots from my Mini60. I got mine on Ebay.

wire antenna analyzer mini60

80 Meter Inverted Vee VSWR Scan

40 Meter Random Wire 9:1 Unun VSWR Scan

6 Meter Random Wire 9:1 Unun VSWR Scan


In this video I used a 64:1 unun and later changed to a 9:1 unun. If you have any questions please post them below.

YouTube player

Coming Soon

Videos coming later on the portable setup. I will be doing more with Log4OM and a companion program to WSJT-X. That one is delayed while I’m camping.

Thank you for subscribing to this website. You can follow my travels on TwitterInstagram and YouTube.

What antennas do yous use while camping? Please post your comments below.

Best 73, stay safe and good DX! – Rich, K0PIR

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I'm an Amateur Radio enthusiast. I love the hobby and experimenting with radios, antennas and software. On my YouTube channel I upload videos on the Icom 7300 and Icom 7610 along with Ham radio software programs. I hope to inspire people to try new things in Amateur Radio.

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Bo Barry
3 years ago

I didn’t have good results with a 9:1. Found the 49:1 EFHW and won’t turn back. Granted 80m version not practical for portable. 73 Bo W4GHV since ’54

3 years ago

Hi. I do also use a long wire for home shack operation. Tha main issues I faced with long wire was they demand a tuner to low SWR. So I decided to order commercial LW from abroad. The HyEndFed Dutch company sent me a couple of antennas that have been installed and worked very good so far.

Tom Small
3 years ago

I truly enjoyed your email – When I travel with the RV I depend on my “loop” antenna / and 7300. Works great and easy to set up …

John Stumm
3 years ago

Rich, Good stuff! I really like the launcher you employ. The pneumatic one I made is cumbersome. Good numbers on the 64:1. Looking forward to see what the 9:1 yields. I’ve been playing around with my 1:30 variable Might Might unun. I’m getting very good readings on 40/20/15/10 meters with the single 64 footer. Only problem is limited power handling. Look for a new double core listing! 73 John

George Weller KD9PCN
3 years ago

I wonder how you came up with 64 feet for a random wire. Having read a lot (four articles including the one you cited). American authors seem to lean toward 58-59 feet, while VK6YSF does come up with 64, more or less. But the one I see most often is 71-72 feet (Balun Designs, Markowski (udel) and VK6YSF. That’s what I will try soon, with my 7300 and a 9:1 Unun from Nelson Antennas. We shall see. I’m still in learning mode, new ham in March. All the authors seem to gloss over whether they calculate bare or insulated wire.

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