2-meter dipoleFor the past few years, my amateur radio activity has been exclusively CW: designing, building, and operating QRP on 40 through 10 meters. To participate locally, I finally got the itch to get back on 2-meters. Lack of a rig was solved by taking a short trip from Lawrence, KS, to Associated Radio in KC. There I picked up a YEASU FT-1900 R/E. Only one problem remained; I didn’t have an antenna for it; so, it was time to home-brew something. I wanted to keep the project as simple as possible so I opted for a quarter-wave vertical with a slightly longer than quarter-wave pipe skirt, as shown in Picture 1. Think of this as a vertical dipole.

making L barcketI rummaged about the shack and found a coat hanger. Its diameter snuggly fit into the opening of the SO-239 center connector. So I cut that to 18.5 inches in length. I had some ½-inch aluminum pipe pieces too so cut off a 19.5 inch piece for the skirt (ground section). I then cut, screwed, punched, and bent out the L-bracket – noted in picture 2 – and used that to assemble the coax feed with PL-259, pipe, bulk head SO-239 and coat hanger. 

Assembling the total was only slightly tricky, as noted in picture 3. The first step was to sneak two 6-32 screws into the pipe and get them to stick out, as noted at left. I slipped masking tape behind them to hold them in place temporarily. I then fed the coax through the pipe and screwed the PL-259 into the SO-239 mounted on the L-bracket. I then moved the pipe up so that those screws would meet with holes for them on the side of the bracket, pushed them through and secured them with solder lugs and hex nuts. A wire was then run from a solder lug attached to the SO-239 to the solder lug on the skirt pipe. Finishing up, I soldered my 18.5 inch coat hanger active element to the solder lug at center on the SO-239. Finished; one home-brew vertical 2-meter dipole!

assemblyYes! It works fine. The bigger challenge was programming the frequencies, off-sets, and PL tones into the FT-1900 R/E. The manual was decent but it took multiple reads and a few attempts to sort it all out. At present the dipole is mounted on a 1.5” by ¾” by 6 foot piece of pine secured to the top of an 8-foot fence post. I immediately worked NØTGN and KAØEEG on the local DCARC WØUK repeater. Fun!