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I built a ground spike mounted quarter wave vertical whip antenna

National parks don’t want us throwing ropes and wires into trees. So if I was going to do my first POTA activation at nearby Minute Man National Park I would need a self-supporting antenna.

I looked at a lot of options and was about to pull the trigger on a factory built antenna for a little more than $200. Then I reconsidered - I’d already constructed my own wire antennas and had a lot of fun. Can I build an easy-to-deploy, self-supporting antenna?

I really enjoyed building my own wire antennas. Could I build a field deployable vertical myself as well?

I searched around and found an easy and inexpensive antenna build on YouTube. And this blog post, A Low Cost Quick Deploy Portable Antenna. Both the video and the post described a really inexpensive ground spike mounted quarter wave vertical - exactly what I needed.

I bought the following:

Total cost for the antenna is $96

I had some banana plugs as spare parts so I could make the ground radials easier to deploy when I set up in the field.

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Here’s the assembled antenna base. Easy as can be - I tested the ground spike and radials for continuity. It all checked out.

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I cut 8, 17 foot radials and capped them with banana connectors for easy deployment.

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I brought the antenna to Minuteman National Park. Set it up to its full height to work 20 meters and it performed really well.

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You can read about my first POTA activation at Minuteman National Park here. I’m really pleased with this antenna and had a lot of fun building it.