Is that a Comet I see up there?

I’ve wanted to get a decent VHF and UHF antenna up so I can check out area repeaters around Starkville. My base rig is a Yaesu 8900R, a quad-band rig that is described by Yaesu as:

YAESU FT-8900R29/50/144/430 MHz FM Transceiver
«The FT-8900R is a ruggedly-built, high quality Quad Band FM transceiver providing 50 Watts of power output on the 29/50/144 MHz Amateur bands, and 35 Watts on the 430 MHz band. It includes leading-edge features like cross-band repeat, dual receive, VHF-UHF Full Duplex capability, and over 800 memory channels. And its 10-meter FM coverage brings the possibility of world-wide FM DX-ing to you on your drive in to work

Ok, I’ll have to be made a believer about the world-wide 10M FM stuff… but it’s a really good and compact rig that works great on 2M and 70 cm.

I have an Ed Fong WB6IQN J-pole that I use for portable ops (see www.fars.k6ya.org/docs/DBJ2_port_art.pdf) but, as my friend Martin Jue says, it’s a challenge to keep RF off of the coax with a J-pole. Besides, I like it for portable use!

I am shopping around for a good 2M/70cm base antenna but don’t want it to show since management would not be in tune with that! So, in the mean time, I’ve put up the antenna built for this quad-band Yaesu rig: the Comet UHV-4! Here’s Universal Radio’s description of this mobile antenna:

Comet UHV-4 Quad-Band Antenna

«The Comet UHV-4 is a redesign of the popular UHV-6 for quad band operation. It was created with the Yaesu FT-8900 in mind. It is pretuned for 2 meters and 440 (70 cm). Plus 10 meters and 6 meters may be tuned independently. It is a quarter wave on 10 and 6 meters. It is a ½ wave on 2 meters (2.15 dBi) and a two 5/8 waves in phase on 70 cm (5.5 dBi). Maximum power is 120 watts SSB on 10 meters and 200 watts SSB 50/146/446 MHz. The length is 54 inches (1.3 m 610 g). It has a PL259 [M] connector. An Allan wrench is included.» (I love it when the Allan wrench is included!) See the photo from Comet on the right.

I mounted it in a PVC schedule 40 pipe, 1 inch in diameter, drilling a hole in a PVC cap for the SO-239 connector to the base of the antenna. Two screw-eyes in the top end and some clear silicone caulk sealed the deal. I didn’t have to use the PVC but I needed some means of getting it secured to the line and I liked this approach.

Using my Wind-Demon tennis ball launcher (see earlier posts), I put a nylon cord up about 110 feet in a pine tree. A length of TM LMR-400 I recently purchased brought it to my entry box. I then realized that I had purchased a PL-259 to an N-connector LMR set. Bummer! (Well, that’s a nice way of putting my oversight.) So, off to Dave’s Hobby Shop on eBay to buy an N-to-PL259 connector. Dave’s got most anything like this that I’ve needed and he’s one of the good eBayer sellers. I’ll have to wait until I get that connector before I will connect it to the Polyphaser in the antenna entry box. I’ll report on how it works then. But, for now, it looks hidden among the trees surrounding my house. I’ll see how it gets out while figuring out an easy way to using these «nature-made» towers to mount a regular ground plane antenna for 2M and 70 cm.

Can you see the Comet in the sky?

Here it is.....

Updated: March 6, 2011 — 7:03 pm

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