A Call for Ideas – Planning a VHF/UHF Antenna Shootout

Ideas and suggestions are sought for a hamfest forum in June I am trying to gin up – a shootout for VHF and UHF antennas.  Have you ever been to one, participated in one, read about one, or just have some ideas for me (other than don’t do it, you dummy)?

Here’s the plan as it now stands – we’d have three categories: factory-built, homebrewed, and whips for HT’s.  I’ve just ordered a MFJ Field Strength Meter that comes next week, so my hope is to use that, stationed say, one hundred yards away from the contestants, to record signal strength as generated by the contestants’ 5 watt HT’s.  This has been stimulated by my own desire to know what antennas are best, despite manufacturers’ claims, in real-world conditions.  If the distance is too close, we could try to station someone a mile or so away, but the logistics of that in a hamfest settting, with all the normal commotion, may not be practical.  Maybe reserve that for a club meeting or Field Day.

Another method may be to have a willing ham with a station out of town, listen for us on simplex from his QTH.  I’d have to find the right ham in the right location in hilly Atlanta, and hope that he can hear any of us.

So, if my ideas are lame, please pass along your no doubt better ideas.  Tnx & 73, de Wayne, k4wk, http://www.hamdom.com.

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2 thoughts on “A Call for Ideas – Planning a VHF/UHF Antenna Shootout

  1. I’d love to know how the shoot out works for you guys I’ve been thinking of doing something similar with mobile antennas.

    If you want to make this scientific, I’d try to use the same HT for every antenna, or as close as possible, since power outputs will vary a little, or even use a common ground plane instead of a ham holding an HT.

    Curious how bad multipath would have an effect on your measurements, as well as how the radio is held, the operator’s body’s conductivity, the effectiveness of “tiger tails,” etc.

    I also have this grand idea of using a drone to measure the radiation pattern of an antenna, using a field strength meter and GPS (to geotag field measurements) on the drone, which orbits the antenna under test.

  2. I’ve bought a used MFJ Field Strength meter that I’ll try out on one of my own radios at varying levels of output, and see what I get.

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