Over the next few weeks I will be updating this post with the details on my built, tuning and on air operation of my MFJ Ham Stick Dipole.
I built the basic setup today and got it tuned on 20 meters in about 1.5 hours
Here are some photos of the start of the project.
25 feet up on a painters pole
What the dipole looks like against a cloudy sky
Detail closeup of the MFJ-347 mini Dipole mount with 2 20 meter ham stick dipoles attached
The MFJ 259B(thanks Paul Anova for the loan of your analyzer) showing a SWR of 1.4 at the midpoint in the 20 meter band. It took about an hour and 4 different positioning of the stainless steel wips into the fiberglass base of the hamstick.
This is sneak peek at the project and I will follow up with a very detailed build, tune and operation on 20 and 40 meters bands using both Phone and digital PSK31.
chris warren says
Excellent setup! It’s basically the exact same thing I use (I think I have the same tripod too). I agree that the tuning procedure is a bit tedious, but once you have it down you’re good to go.
I’ve had fairly good results with mine, although it can sometimes be a hassle to truck that stuff around. I’ve currently working on some backpack dipoles for QRP portable.
Great plan and great job!
Paul Griffith says
I’ve been thinking about doing something similar for 15m or 20m. I already have a speaker tripod, and a fiberglass pruning pole (minus the saw/cutter).
Richard Hibbert says
According to mfj you will rarely see below 1.4 swr. The impedance threw me at first. Just set my 10 m ones up and what a hassle to get 28.5! stealth dipole on roof for 20m not liking the stickds. Are you using a coax choke?
Cool setup. What did you use to attach the pole to the tripod?
Duct tape! Adapt and overcome. I have a MFJ tripod and a 16 ft painters pole, might have to try something similar. Now just to find the time.
Yes, email address is valid. I appreciate your response!
scott shepherd w7mss says
I use the same setup for qrp and digital operations. similar heights. be sure to not let the extra length of the steel whips extend into the fiberglass. they can arc to the outside coil wire and burn up the wires. tune them to freq. needed and leave an inch or so, cut off the excess. these antennas work very well for such limited size. the lower the frequency the more narrow the width. they do great on the higher bands. 40m is about as low as they work well. im always happy to share my setup with new hams or people like me stuck in the HOA limits.
Richard Hibbert says
only leave the inch? I am just starting and they are tuning way low so the whips do need to be cut back inside? Instructions are just a bit confusing but your advice will be followed as to this point about to toss them so frustrated.
Scott shepher says
Yes tune them with an antenna analyzer if you have one or on low power. Mine started very low frequency also. I had to shorten up the whip portions. I would cut the unused extra whip portion that goes into the fiberglass portion of the sticks. They can arch out inside the fiberglass if left uncut.
Dan KG5MDB says
Very useful information! I ordered this antenna for 40m yesterday and can’t wait for it to arrive. Did you have to rotate it in any particular direction (North/South, East/West) to get it to work best?
Dan KG5MDB says
That would be great! Everything arrived today and I can’t wait to go HF so any information is appreciated.
Jim KF9CI says
I’ve just lashed up a 40m hamstick dipole and put my shiny new Comet analyzer to work on it. Imagine my surprise when it resonated at about 40mHz! I predict more fiddling in the very near future :)
Our HOA limits antennas to no more than 9ft high, and our backyard concrete/rebar walls are about 5ft high. That’s probably why my Buddipole vertical seems to be Perfectly shielded from the aether.
A 9ft high horizontal should clear the wall, so I’m into Plans B, C, and D :)
Steven C. Riska, KE5BAD says
I know that your posting about your hamstick dipole is a few years old, but I wonder if you would be so kind to contact me so that I can ask you a few questions about it. I can’t seem to make mine work. Thanks!
It seems to me that Stainless Steel 102 Whips would work better that any fiberglass antenna out on the market!
Really interested in setting up this antenna myself too. After 4 years, hows this setup working for you? Thanks for any input.
Robert. It works great. I live in an HOA so it goes up for a few days and 5en comes down. Especially in high winds.
We did a NPOTA event and it was the best performing antenna that we had.
Its still working great. I am in a HOA so I erect when I want to use it.
I’m trying to do the same setup myself but I just can’t get it to tune in the 20 meter band at all. It’s mounted on a short section of PVC pipe so that’s not part of the issue. What was the final demention of the stingers you ended up with sticking out of the base unit?
I hate HOA’s…
39 inches measured from the top of the locking nut.
David Beam says
I have a question. Can i use my manual antenna tuner and radio to get the right balance of SWR and adjust accordingly. I want to do FT8 but also SSB sometimes as well so im curious as to where i should adjust it too.
Yes you can use your tuner and I do on mine.