View Full Version : Hamsticks vs random wire

07-25-2018, 05:46 AM
Hi all
Bought 10 thru 80 mtr hamsticks and i have ladder mount.with ant analyzer i checked out all .and on 80mtrs swr is 1.5 on cw portion 3550.ssb around 3838 is very high and my tuners will not even tune it.rig is ts440.also tried external tuner.I tried different lengths of whip.no difference.if it ever stops raining i will checkout grounding.also bought 28ft telescopic pole and ultimax 100 random wire.tunes on every band without a problem.has 4 to 1 balun.wire length is 24ft.
This will be my ant of choice.i will makeup a longer wire,just in case im at a location where i can use it.will let you all know if grounding helps swr with hamsticks.
73 bob wa2yly

07-25-2018, 08:50 PM
That ultimax 100 looks interesting.

Where did you get the 28ft pole?

07-27-2018, 04:51 AM
Ordered the 28ft telescopic flagpole on amazon.com
Company name Best Flags $94.00 with shipping.

07-27-2018, 07:29 PM
I gave away a hand full of ham sticks if that helps.

07-28-2018, 10:29 PM
Hey Bob I'd like to see some pics of that Ultimax 100 install.

It sounds like that thing doen't need radials. Is that right?

07-29-2018, 09:22 AM
Ant has a 4 to 1 balun and wire is 24ft long.but you need tuner.
This website has picture

07-29-2018, 04:55 PM
The site said the antenna would be happy with the tuner built into the radio as long as I had 30 ft of cable. Suits me.

The only remaining question is do I need to lay down some radials? I don't think I do but not sure.

07-29-2018, 08:09 PM
I am skeptical of the Ultimax. Incidentally, the web site says no radials are needed.

Some thoughts:

(1) I'd like to see what's in the box. If there are any resistors in there, at all, it's a dummy load. A decade or two ago, the ARRL Lab disassembled some commercial "miracle" antennas and found exactly that, so it wouldn't be unprecedented.

(2) In any case, the box isn't a balun, neither 4:1 nor anything else. A balun is a two-port device; one port (the unbalanced side) can be a coaxial connection like the one on this box, but the other must be a balanced connection; two binding posts, typically. This box has only a single output connection, so it isn't a balun.

(3) I can imagine only one reason to require a minimum 30 feet of coax between tuner and antenna box. That would be to dissipate power in coax losses with a sky-high SWR in the coax. Making the coax lossy makes it easier to match, because the reflected power going back down from the box to the tuner is reduced by the coax losses in two directions. In other words, it turns the coax into a dummy load.

Who knows? Maybe they've devised some great breakthrough and I'm all wet. Wanna bet?

I could design an antenna that would look like this, more or less, but it would work on only one band and the length of the external wire would be a half-wave for that band. Inside the box would be a quarter-wave coaxial matching section, shorted at one end, tapped for the input somewhere in the middle (about 14% up from the shorted end if using 50Ω coax for the feedline), and with the external wire connected to the center conductor at the other (non-shorted) end. Basically it would be a coaxial (instead of twin-lead) J-pole for a specific band. It wouldn't need a tuner, either, nor radials.

08-01-2018, 10:20 PM
I have a Eagle One vertical antenna. I've used it about 5 years now. It has a 31' telescopic pole. Steve has a ladder mount for RV's also. It can be tripod mounted (which is what I have) and/or a hitch mount. It does need a 4:1 balun and two or three radials helps a lot. I used it for field day several years, made 110 contacts one year (I didn't try very hard).He sells the antenna with the ladder mount for $190 or the tripod mount for $205. One thing you need with the tripod mount is 3 4' ground rods to hold the tripod down. I don't think he includes them in the price of antenna/tripod. You do need a tuner if you want to work all the bands. Steve used to go to the 2 bigger hamfests in the Atlanta area but I don't think he does much travel anymore. He had back surgery about 4 years ago and ended up paralyzed from the waist down, had his MH modified so he could drive it but he is a bit older now (like me) and slowed down.

08-04-2018, 08:34 AM
I have not opened ultimax 100 to see what is inside.They say a 4 to 1 balun.
But since a random wire only uses the center conductor,the balun or wharever is inside ,it tunes very easy with tuner and works well.

08-04-2018, 11:07 PM
Perhaps there's a 4:1unun inside, and the designers (or the sales types, or both) either don't know the difference between an unun and a balun -- or they don't think most hams know the difference (in which case, they're right about the hams). But there is a difference. More than one small output has made ham antennas with ununs inside and mistakenly called them baluns. Many screwdriver-type mobile antennas contain ununs that the dodo-bird marketers call baluns.

In that case, it could be a reasonable match at some one frequency, but need a tuner anywhere else.

But there's still a mystery in that 30-foot-minimum feedline --

08-07-2018, 07:54 PM
As far as the 30' coax is concerned... I keep 50' in the trailer all the time anyway :radio:

N4MU Papi
01-24-2019, 05:44 PM
Here's a 6 month too late option: Hamsticks (2 for each band) configured in a dipole fashion, on a fiberglass telescoping pole rock! I use this config all the time on the road and I have zero regrets. I even have the bottom section permanently mounted to the RV ladder (I have a similar section at the home QTH) so I can change the antenna/poles to the RV or home in an instant. The dipole config also alleviates much of the counterpoise problems associated with a vertical and is quieter. If you need a bit more bandwidth than you've tuned the sticks for the internal tuner will give you some.

03-31-2019, 10:15 AM
As far as the pole, I went to Lowe's and bought a fiberglass painters extension pole for about $50. It telescope to 28' and retracts to about 10'. I use it mainly as a support for either an inverted V or random long wire. When at a campsite, I clamp it to the roof ladder and it has never given me a problem. I could have also just made my own from pieces of plastic pipe and joints and then added pieces as I need to increase height. The advantage would be I could cut them into 5' sections for storage under the motor coach.....

Jeff K8INA

07-03-2019, 04:42 PM
I use 5 or 6 of the following surplus mast sections.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/16-FOOT-FIBERGLASS-ANTENNA-TOWER-MAST-SECTIONS-POLE-POLES-USED-VERY-GOOD-4-pc/201919561750?hash=item2f03580016:g:At4AAOSwMHdXQzJ 8

I have a flagpole buddy mount on my rv ladder and use a pair of ham sticks for each band I want to operate. The flagpole buddy allows me to setup the antenna from the ground..