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Old 11-15-2011, 07:25 PM   #1
caymann
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Default SteppIR's vertical - BigIR on a RV?

Is anyone using a BigIR vertical antenna on a RV?

It is supposed to be the best vertical antenna in the market. Instead of using a tuner (which matches length electrically and hence incurs losses), this antenna actually matches the resonance length by mechanically extending the element in/out.

I am curious on how can this be mounted on a RV, specially above the roof line.

thanks
jim
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:09 AM   #2
TXiceman
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Boy, if I wanted to get one of those for the RV, the manure would hit the ventilator at home....

ken
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:32 PM   #3
WD8QBQ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caymann View Post
Is anyone using a BigIR vertical antenna on a RV?

It is supposed to be the best vertical antenna in the market. Instead of using a tuner (which matches length electrically and hence incurs losses), this antenna actually matches the resonance length by mechanically extending the element in/out.

I am curious on how can this be mounted on a RV, specially above the roof line.

thanks
jim
Jim, tell us a little about your RV so we can offer our ideas. The construction and materials used are important, as well as the vehicle length.

JIM
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:29 PM   #4
caymann
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I have a 43' Monaco Executive Diesel Pusher
It has a semi-monocoque chassis and a fiberglass roof

I was thinking about laying it down on the roof during travel
and raising it by a linear actuator for automatic or maybe climb up the roof and manually mount it to the ladder.

This antenna can stand upto 50mph wind w/o guying
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:50 PM   #5
WD8QBQ
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I have done some research (casual reading) on the Steppir, so far looks good. I think you are supposed to spread out an array of radials if you mount it on the ground. If you mount it on your roof this would be a challenge (you could attach aluminum sheets or wires to the roof with the antenna more forward on the coach than you indicate. Place the antenna somewhat in the area of the engine to add to the ground plane.
Additionally you could string out wire radials draped over the coach and out into the camping area.


The Tarheel lift and lay mount would I think raise and lower your antenna. It could be mounted on aluminum angle or channel attached to the roof spanning internal roof members. Place the antenna somewhat in the area of the engine to add to the ground plane.

I am very happy with my Tarheel 100. Other more expensive brands that work well are Scorpion and HI-Q.
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:40 AM   #6
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I would think that installing the radials needed for the steppir would present a challenge in most rv parks or campgrounds. Some friends an I experimented with radials last summer in a campground in Colorado and never got satisfactory results with the limited space. I use a Tarheel screwdriver and it out performed the other antennas, hands down. Could be that we were just not dedicated enough to make it work, but we spent quite a bit of time trying. We had some success using the motor home frame as a ground plane. My Tarheel is grounded to the frame on my Monaco and it just works. Sort of like a Thermos jug.
Doc
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:57 AM   #7
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I would hitch mount.. The biggest issue I see with vertical antennas is they need a proper "Ground Plane" that is a ground radial system.. you have one radial, (Well 2 really by they are parallel) roughly 45 feet long. You call 'em frame rails.

Beyond that you are relying on the ground itself and the power cord for grounding, Not really the best of the best.

I'm looking at that compact magnetic loop in November 2011 QST.. I'm thinking I might make a six (well almost 8) foot version of that, I can hang it on the back when driving and put it atop one of my posts when parked.

Only problem is the Vacuum Variable I'd need to tune it... Well.. BIG BUCKS by my budget.
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:16 PM   #8
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Personally I wouldn't use the steppir unless I were camping in areas of solitude/remote isolation and then I would carry the antenna (somehow) to tripod install it away from the coach with proper radials.

Mouting on the bumper? How would you lay it down for transport.

The steppir costs as much as a screwdriver and with it you will be on the forefront of experimenting and fiddling when others are operating. Perhaps that's what you like to do.

Several here shoot a wire up into a tree with very satisfactory results. Of course if you are a desert camper, good luck with that.

JIM
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WD8QBQ View Post
Mouting on the bumper? How would you lay it down for transport.
Fairly simple.. Quick disconnect.. one bolt (or two) and it comes off and you can lay it down.

I currently use a 4 band trap vertical.. I loosen one clamp and pull the majority of it off the base to travel.

Same theory.
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Old 11-19-2011, 01:25 PM   #10
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Greetings,

I have been fielding a vertical antenna for quite some time while full timing in my MH and would like to offer a few pictures and some of my findings.

I chose the Butternut / Bencher HF6V, which I purchased used and did a restoration on. I modified the mounting to use a homemade round wooden mount and a Hustler antenna base. Total investment under $300.

I have researched this quite a bit and my opinion is that a vertical needs ground radials. To accomplish this I built my tilting mount and attached 16 ea 25 foot metal tape measures as easy radials to deploy and pull up. I found that this is a sufficient number of radials to achieve reasonable radiation efficiency which is somewhat verified by the narrow resonant bandwidth on both 40M and 80M.

I can deploy this antenna very quickly and it has been modified at the mounting end to come apart in 2 small sections. The other tubes telescope down inside themselves and are easily stored.

The issues with these types of verticals if they are mounted above the ground more than a few inches (I.E., ROOF OF THE FIBERGLASS RV) becomes one that requires tuned radials by band, mounted at the base of the antenna. The best website I have seen with an answer to this issue is the Scorpion antenna site, they make a kit using loaded whips that provide a tuned radial system and I believe their whips are band adjustable. See link.

http://www.scorpionantennas.com/inde...id=1&Itemid=65

I also have a great DX antenna, the Trans World Antennas TW-2010 that needs no ground plane and goes up in minutes. Great DX antenna!! This limits me to 10-20 meters so the vertical gets me up on 40-80 meters.

Alan Alexander, K0BG, has a really great website that discusses mobile verticals in much detail and for anyone considering a vertical or screwdriver on an RV or vehicle, this is a must read. The wealth of information that Alan has collected over 38 plus years will provide a sound base for this type of project. www.k0bg.com

73's

Duane
K3AL
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:03 PM   #11
WD8QBQ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
Fairly simple.. Quick disconnect.. one bolt (or two) and it comes off and you can lay it down.

I currently use a 4 band trap vertical.. I loosen one clamp and pull the majority of it off the base to travel.

Same theory.
In Made the above statement based on the fact that the Stepiir antenna comes in an 18' & 32" length, not on wondering what the mechanics of laying it down would be.

I the first post the installation parameters were for a roof top installation.

JIM
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Old 03-20-2012, 03:08 PM   #12
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I once made a great vertical using a hollow fiberglass flag pole... although I understand that you can get fiberglass painters poles...

To which you then put a small little pully or turn around bead in the top... use a fly fishing reel loaded with flex wire..at the bottom... with the coax connector/w2du homemade choke balun using five Palomar Engineers FSB-1/4 ferrite snap on beads on the coax up by the feedpoint. These act as a "choke balun"..... put the flex wire inside...and tie it to the cord... that extends up the top... then as you need it you can pull it up... making the 33 ft flag pole resonate.. similar to the more expensive stepper vertical that you all mention... as well as no one knows your on the ham radio... if you put your favorite flag on the pole also... only problem is still the ground radials which IS the other half of the antenna...
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Old 03-20-2012, 03:30 PM   #13
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I have been using the hustler 4/5/6 btv now for years. I orginally thought up the mount for the 31 ft Airstream trailer that I lived in while in the service. Using the rear bumper as the mount... with a fold over designed (sq steel tubing) and a simple ball lock pin... I came up with a mount that would be on the left side of the rear on the airstream... the left side then when the antenna was folded over...forward... then didn't interfear with the awning on the right side.. The antenna base was located at the roof line of the trailer... and would then fold flat on the roof... into a dock V attached to the refrig vent to keep it from bouncing around when under way while folded down. I used springs and longer screws for making the spider assembly fold back also... without removal. The hustler antenna is strong enough to take almost hurricane force winds... at the base down in the south. Ya it bent the large long base pole.. but for a few bux it was put back into service. I only had good things to say about the hustler 5 btv... but today with the other bands... one wonders how good it would work... of course the 31 ft Airstream being made out of Alu... provided the single leg of the ground plane... although I did have a electrical connector attached to the frame in the back of the trailer... so I could also throw out a radial or two from the rear... worked slick... and was cheap to boot... no antenna turner.. and yep we could run a linear as the antenna would handle that too... just make sure you either winde 6-10 turns of the coax at the base of the antenna.. or use today the W2DU type of choke balun... to keep the rf out of the inside of the trailer/MH... I orginally had drawings of how to build it... being a engineer... we do them kinds of things... and I have 'em on paper ... didn't have computers back then... around here somewhere... but we published the fold over trailer hitch reciever mount over on the Murry net 7.235 noon time Pac... and the NA6R.com web site...
One of the other guys (a WA8 call now SK) who went to the wally bomb camp out meeting... copied my design and posted it on the QST web site... but used some electrical rack channel.. instead of the steel tubing... you can still see it over on the ARRL net.. site...

If you need help... on how to make this work for yours... I would suggest using the hitch mount with a extension... and mount the 5BTV up on that... no need for guys or ropes... but it then could be broken down.. (use electrical tape on the tubing after finding your resonance) and the antenna stored in 3 pieces...
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