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.

G5RV Construction

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.

See Homebrew Wire Antennas for Portable Ops

The center piece came from E-Bay and it is a popular choice.

g5rv center connector

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.

DX Engineering doesn't recommend using a balun or choke at the transition between the ladder line and the coax. 

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.

YouTube player


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.

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

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


G5RV on Ham Universe

US MADE 450 Ohm Ladderline / Window Line Center Insulator

Similar 14 Gauge Wire on Ebay

450 ohm Ladderline

300' Fiberglass Measuring Tape

Used for "Dog Gone" Antenna Launcher - 100Ft. / 30M Diver Lift Line Finger Reel with Double-Ended Bolt Snap

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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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3 years ago

Try the ZS6BKW variation, much easier to tune on most bands.

3 years ago

Looks good for car camping. Probably too heavy for SOTA. What’s the weight?

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