Ham radio isn’t just one hobby. It is a bunch of hobbies ranging from chatting to building things, bouncing signals off the moon, and lots of things in between. Some of these specialties, such as supporting disaster relief or putting odd locations “on the air”, require portable operation. To encourage disaster readiness, hams participate in Field Days which is a type of contest that encourages simulated emergency conditions. So how do you erect an antenna when you just have a few hours to set up a temporary station? [KB9VBR] shows how he and his friend used a Chameleon Emcomm III portable HF antenna for Winter Field Day. You can see the video review, below.
Unlike some portable antennas, this one is almost 100 feet of wire (73 feet of radiator and a 25 foot counterpoise). The entire affair is meant to be put up and taken down repeatedly.
Unfortunately, the guys didn’t like the setup — it is always going to be tough to manage that much wire. They did like that the Teflon-coated wire didn’t hang up in the trees as easily as some wire. Overall, they still gave it an 8 to 9 out of 10. It seemed to work well, at least in two directions. The way they set it up, they were not getting out to the east and west.
According to EMCOMM, the antenna takes 15 minutes to erect, although that might not take into account the extremely cold Wisconsin weather. The antenna is rated at 100 watts for all HF ham bands and weighs in at 1.5 pounds. Should be fairly easy to stuff in a backpack for hiking.