Multiband G5RV at 55’ for Portable Operation
So how do you get a G5RV up 55 feet when you’re operating portable? It’s easy using the "Dog Gone" antenna launcher. I constructed a G5RV while I was at home and took it out for my last camping adventure. It worked pretty good, but it can use some fine-tuning. Let me show you what I found out.
While at home I constructed a G5RV so I could use it camping. If you search the Internet you’ll find various plans for G5RVs. Basically you have a 80-10 meter G5RV and a 40-10 meter G5RV that is sometimes called a Junior G5RV. It is your choice what to build. I like to get on 80 meters so I built the bigger one.
The center piece came from E-Bay and it is a popular choice.
Connecting the ladder line to the radio I used a pigtail from an old piece of coax. You can choose a SO-239 and solder it directly to the ladder line and seal it up good. There are also some baluns that you can get and I have considered that. The less expensive baluns are rated for 100 watts.
I’ll put a link below to one of the plans I saw for the G5RV antenna. No need to duplicate it on this site.
Launching the G5RV
Using the “Dog Gone” Antenna Launcher I got it on my first shot. See the video below. There were lots of pine trees to choose from. I chose a 80 foot pine tree next to the camper.
I had about 70' of coax attached to the G5RV.
I tested this G5RV at home, but I was using my external LDG antenna tuner and it tuned up on all bands.
However, when I got out in the forest I was using the internal tuner on the ICOM 7300 and it had difficulty tuning up on all the bands I wanted. My preference is 17, 20, 30, 40 and 80 meters.
It tuned up good and worked good on 40 meters and 20 meters, but the rest of the bands I had to use the emergency tuner on the ICOM 7300. That limits the power to 50%. It’s not a big deal when I’m operating FT8 or PSK31 or even CW, but I want 100% power when I’m operating on SSB.
Even trimming the ends and changing the angle somewhat between 90° and 120° didn't help much.
It was good, but it’s back to the workbench so it can be fine tuned. Ill shorten the ladder line to 31.3', try a lower height of 40' and a wider angle of at least 120 degrees next time camping.
It still may not tune up on all bands with the Icom 7300 internal antenna tuner, but it's worth a try.
To make it tune up on all bands between 80 and 10 meters for 100 watts out I'll probably need a wider range antenna tuner.
G5RV Antenna Video
I didn’t get the exact results I was looking for, but with a little fine-tuning I’m sure I can make it better.
I want to get around to finishing the post and video I have on GridTracker. It is an awesome program for DX chasers and award seekers.
Have you found the perfect antenna for camping? Let me know and please post your comments below.
Best 73, stay safe and good DX! – Rich, K0PIR