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  • Bruce H. McIntosh
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    Last revised Jan 04, 2021

    Invisible airwaves crackle with life
    Bright antennas bristle with the energy

    Amateur Radio

    Portable Quad for 6 Meters

    Here's a description of the portable 6 meter quad I built. It's made of PVC pipe and #14 stranded copper wire. There's also a non-portable version up on my antenna mast; its joints are glued rather than threaded,but other than that it's essentially the same antenna. The inspiration came from KD7LXL's portable quad,with the wooden booms replaced with PVC because none of the home centers in town carried 8' long dowels,and because I wanted something that'd fit thru the trunk lid of a 1995 Honda Accord (much to my wife's chagrin!).

    The hub of each loop is a 1/2" PVC cross fitting,with short sections of pipe glued in. Each of the pipe sections then has a threaded coupler glued to it. Each of the arms is a trimmed-down 4' piece of PVC threaded-end sprinkler up-pipe. The outer end of all but one of the driven element arms has a pair of notches filed into it to hold the wire.

    The arm supporting the feedpoint has a pair of holes drilled (well, they were supposed to be drilled 1/4" apart, but the drill slipped and they wound up about 7/16" instead). Each end of the driven element was threaded through the holes,pulled taut,doubled back and wrapped. The stripped ends of a 10' length of RG-58 coax (serendipitously obtained in a midnight trashbin raid on a campus group that was discarding a bunch of old thinnet stuff) were wrapped in,and the whole mess was soldered to a fare-thee-well.

    The driven element measures 83-5/8" along the diagonals,give or take a few 1/16ths; the reflector is 88" across.

    And here we are,the elements disassembled and piled up next to the 16' PVC mast,ready to be bundled up and stuffed in the trunk for some vacation QTH fun! The boom center section is a 2x2 with the cross pieces screwed and glued to its ends,such that the elements are 24" apart. The mast-mount plate has not yet been mounted to the boom. There's a tragicomic story attached to that 16' mast; more on that in the Memorial Day beach saga.