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Bill Brown


Attention: NERD Alert
Bill's- HomeBrewed Pan Cake - 40 Meter TAK-tenna

6/11/2008 8:17:20 AM

Hey All -I've "High Jacked" Maggie's Blog for a moment. After this - Your station will soon be returned to its "Normal" program of Love, Marriage, and Dogs.

I had planned on posting a quick note about a little "Home Brew" electronics project I made over the weekend, but as I was thinking about it I wanted to really talk about my Dad as Father's Day approaches. The two topics really blend well. My Dad - Jack was the person who got me started fooling with electronics, which has now turned into a really nice career for me. When I was a kid my Dad was always making homemade electronics (Sometimes - Called Home Brewing) Projects. He knew "Everything" about Vacuum Tubes and how to make a Radio from a few spare parts he found here and there. He was a Ham Radio operator and back then that was the coolest thing to me. In High School I studied and became a Ham Radio operator too. My dad could read these weird little lines on a paper and actually make something that he could hear radio stations on. For me then that was the most amazing thing in the world and my dad was the smartest guy around. My dad has been gone since 1991, but yesterday as I was building my little electronics project I was thinking about him and all the many gifts and memories I have because of him. I still miss him a lot.
Over the weekend I was working on this little Project below.

- Bill, Jack's Son

Project Overview:

So I've been reading about this Small Space antenna that is being sold as the TAK-Tenna. Really neat idea - Has a 30 inch boom and Spiral Coils on the ends. See a picture at http://www.taktenna.com/

Looks easy to build - Right ?

So I Built my version out of wood - Mine is very ugly as compared to the store bought one. Materials and Tools • Parts: • 3 - Wooden sections - 1 1/2 in X 1/2 in X 8 ft - Cost 92 Cents each - Home Depot • 1 - 100' Spool of Steel Guide/fence Wire - Cost - $7 - Home Depot • 1 - 25 foot RG8 coax with PL259 - Radio Shack - Close Out - $5 • 2 Packages - Nuts/Bolts - $2 - Home Depot • Total Material Cost: $16.76 The commercial version uses PVC and tie wraps, which would have been much easier. Fab Time for my version was about 4 hours - Drilling Lots of Holes and feeding the wire in to make the Spiral Coils was most of the work.

However - Test wise it isn't bad I got it tuned up on 40 meters at about 8 feet off the ground and it has an SWR 1:2 to 1:5 from 7.30 to 7.175 MHZ. Also does ok on 15 meter - Tune up wise. Bad news the performance is not Great - Signal pick up is several S units below my Dipole, but it does work. From what I have read the Antenna has problems in that most of the performance is based on feedline radiation (See the links below).

I'm still testing and will upload a picture of my ugly version at some point It was an interesting experiment and the Antenna fits into a small space 24 inch X 30 inch. Hey it works. If you have no space it might be worth $20 and a few hours of your time or If you aren't a Homebrewer Buy one. If you make your own one point - I needed more wire than the 468/7.2 MHZ = 65 Feet Total or 32.5 Feet per side - I had to add wire after the fact. So I would make it about 33.5 per side.

- Bill - KA6KBC - 73's