In a couple earlier posts, I wrote about making a homebrew Buddistick using Budd Drummand’s (W3FF) plans. His plans can be found on his page located here: https://sites.google.com/site/w3ffhomepage/.
I knew when I started building my station that I wanted a couple of portable antennas. I like making things, and decided to give his antennas a shot after deciding that I might be able to actually make an antenna that worked following Budd’s directions. I made the Buddistick first, then later made the Buddipole. Both are easy to make and work well. I use them both (not at the same time) for my main antenna right now, until I can get a full size dipole hung up, and coax run to the house etc. I am fairly new to the HF world and I don’t have my home station complete yet, so these antenna were a quick and easy way for me to get started on HF.
Pictured first are the components of the Buddipole. Starting at the top-left are the two 20 meter coils. To the right, the shorter coil set is for 15 and 17 meters. To their right is the “T” component for mounting the antenna on a painters pole. The black adapter changes the threads from PVC to the painters pole. In the middle are the two antenna whips, mounted in some CPVC with speaker wire coming out of the ends allowing for connections to be made to the whips. The bottom two pieces are CPVC arms with speaker wire running through them, and connectors.
The following picture shows the Buddipole set up with the painters pole extended. The length of the extended painters pole in this picture is about 10 ft.
The plans that Budd published has the coax line ending with the spade connectors. I bought a piece of 50ft coax with PL-259’s installed already on both ends and I did not want to cut one of them off, so I made the following adapter. It is simply a small project box from Radio Shack, with a SO-239 mounted in it and speaker wires connected to the SO-239 center and ground. The orange line is old fly fishing line for hanging the box from the antenna. I use a velcro strip for this.
Here is a table that I made showing how I setup the antenna and the resulting SWR measurements. I think the higher SWR on 20 and 6 meters is due to the proximity of the metal eve troughs that the antenna is near with extended. If I orient the antenna parallel to the gutter, the SWR goes up. My house sits approx SW-NE so pointing the red end of the antenna North puts it at about 45 degrees to the gutter and the SWR goes down. This is the most convenient place to set up the antenna within reach of the radio inside allowing for the 50ft run of coax. The whip column is how many additional sections of the whip I need to extend not counting the 1 section length it is with all the sections pushed in. I think if I got this away from the house a few more feet, the SWR would come down on 20 & 6m.
|Band||Coil||Red Whip||Black Whip||Res Freq||Min SWR||Height||Red Orientation|
|20M||20M||3 + 10 in||5||14.175||1.5||12||N|
|17M||15/17||3 + 1.25 in||5||18.127||1.06||12||N|
|15M||15/17||2 + 2 in||3||21.250||1.24||12||N|
|10M||none||4 + 5 in||4||28.850||1.19||12||N|
|6M||none||0 + 4.375 in||0||51.850||1.2||12||N|
I have made SSB and PSK31 contacts on 20, 17, & 15 meters. I have not made contacts yet on 10 or 6. Someday I’ll do that.
Below are the graphs from my antenna analyzer showing the antenna setup for each band in the table above.
Overall I am happy with the antenna. I don’t expect it to work like a full size dipole, but for the ease of setup and take down, it’s working for me. I have talked to South America, Europe and all over the US with both the home-brew Buddistick and Buddipoles.
My email address is on my QRZ.com profile. If anyone has questions, I’ll be glad to respond to any email.