Elk Antennas 2m/70cm portable log-periodic dipole

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Chazz Layne
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Elk Antennas 2m/70cm portable log-periodic dipole

#1

Post by Chazz Layne » Fri Feb 19, 2010 2:29 pm

I've had nothing but trouble trying to get on Keller from out in Twentynine Palms. At first, I figured this was just due to my limited equipment (a HT with the stock rubber ducky when I started out) and had all but accepted the fact that I would either have to drive up the mountain, or live with EchoLink delays and drops (which are really bad on Time Warner's horrible service in this area). Later, after getting a decent mobile radio and antenna set up in the wife's truck (and verifying it was installed right by testing on simplex), I realized equipment might not be the whole problem after all. I did several trial runs by sitting on EchoLink to verify there was, in fact, traffic and listening in on the mobile with the squelch turned off - still nothing but sleep-inducing white noise (not even garbled static).

I mentioned this to DaveK before one of the Nets, and with his help was able to get this elevation profile:
tnp-to-keller-profile.JPG
tnp-to-keller-profile.JPG (55.43 KiB) Viewed 5424 times
So, I'm just over 55 miles from the Keller Peak repeater... and half of that distance is through solid rock. :lol:


Enter the Elk

On Dave's recommendation I ordered an Elk Antennas 2-meter/70-cm antenna, along with their carry bag since I figured this would end up becoming part of my standard kit in the truck. The antenna packs down small in the bag (about 24 x 6 x 1.5 inches) and is very light and easy to assemble. All of the individual rods are color-coded so there is no confusion getting them in the right order, and everything goes together without tools. The mount fits snug onto 1-inch PVC conduit readily available at any hardware store, which I have since cut to the length of my roof rack for easy transport.

Image Image Image Image Image

I was able to test it out for the first time during last night's Net, under less than ideal conditions (mostly my fault), and I am very impressed. On the receiving end it sounded as if the repeater was next door, it was like being on EchoLink only without the random lags and drops. I had to transmit on high power to reach the repeater with a useable signal, but it was still scratchy (I have not heard the recording yet). Still, most of my transmission troubles are probably due to my hastily assembled "pile of firewood and a ratchet strap" mounting bracket, only roughly knowing what direction the repeater was in, using the only very poor coax I had on hand, and strong winds blowing the entire assembly around. :mrgreen:

Image
Keller is behind the mountains in the distance on the right.

I think with a proper mount and an accurate bearing from here to the repeater I'll be in business. I also think I'm going to order a second Elk to leave in the wife's truck - something so useful and so easy to carry, it almost seems silly to be traveling the back country without it.
Chazz Laynedotcom

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OLLIE
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Re: Elk Antennas 2m/70cm portable log-periodic dipole

#2

Post by OLLIE » Fri Feb 19, 2010 2:49 pm

I have the Elk and I love it. Definitely worth its weight in gold.
"OLLIE"
(K6JYB)


APRS
K6JYB ("BugEater")
K6JYB-7 (VX-8R)


http://www.facebook.com/FJOllie

"Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world, the Marines don't have that problem."
-Ronald Reagan


CHECK OUT THE OUTDOOR ADVENTURE USA AMATEUR RADIO NET:
Every Thursday night at 7:30pm PST

Repeater
146.385+ PL: 146.2 Keller Peak (Echolink Equipped)

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DaveK
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Re: Elk Antennas 2m/70cm portable log-periodic dipole

#3

Post by DaveK » Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:32 pm

Chazz:

When you turned up the power last night, you were in the repeater very solid.

We have been using the Elk for the nets now for several months and it has made all the difference in the world. We had a bit of a situation last week where our signal went weak suddenly. I didn't realize until after the net that one of the elements was loose. I tightened it and all was back to normal. Finger tight is all that is necessary.

I welded a receiver for the Elk to the roof rack and it holds it in place very well. I'll try to post some pictures later.
DaveK
K6DTK


Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.
Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

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cruiserlarry
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Re: Elk Antennas 2m/70cm portable log-periodic dipole

#4

Post by cruiserlarry » Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:55 pm

I also picked one up on Dave's recommendation, as I can't hit Keller from my home in Stevenson Ranch (Valencia) area either. Due to time issues, I haven't had an opportunity to test it yet. I'm off to the Mojave this weekend, and I'm bringing it with me, so maybe I'll try it out there and see where it gets me...
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Re: Elk Antennas 2m/70cm portable log-periodic dipole

#5

Post by DaveK » Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:25 pm

This is the set-up we use for the nets:
Attachments
IMG_1143 (Large).JPG
IMG_1143 (Large).JPG (41.94 KiB) Viewed 5394 times
IMG_1142 (Large).JPG
IMG_1142 (Large).JPG (103.66 KiB) Viewed 5394 times
DaveK
K6DTK


Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.
Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

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Chazz Layne
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Re: Elk Antennas 2m/70cm portable log-periodic dipole

#6

Post by Chazz Layne » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:50 pm

Nice bracket, much cleaner than what I had in mind for ours.
Chazz Laynedotcom

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OLLIE
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Re: Elk Antennas 2m/70cm portable log-periodic dipole

#7

Post by OLLIE » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:12 am

Dave,

Isn't that set up for narrow beam like that? Why don't you have it setting horizontal with the ground?
"OLLIE"
(K6JYB)


APRS
K6JYB ("BugEater")
K6JYB-7 (VX-8R)


http://www.facebook.com/FJOllie

"Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world, the Marines don't have that problem."
-Ronald Reagan


CHECK OUT THE OUTDOOR ADVENTURE USA AMATEUR RADIO NET:
Every Thursday night at 7:30pm PST

Repeater
146.385+ PL: 146.2 Keller Peak (Echolink Equipped)

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DaveK
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Posts: 3059
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Call Sign: K6DTK
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Re: Elk Antennas 2m/70cm portable log-periodic dipole

#8

Post by DaveK » Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:24 am

OLLIE wrote:Dave,

Isn't that set up for narrow beam like that? Why don't you have it setting horizontal with the ground?
VHF FM is vertically polarized
DaveK
K6DTK


Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.
Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

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