Hiking Pole Turned Lightweight Yagi Antenna

Among amateur radio enthusiasts, there’s a subset of users who climb mountainous areas to use their gear from elevated positions. Anyone looking to take part in what’s known as Summits on the Air (SOTA) will obviously want to keep their equipment as light and small as possible. For [Stuart Thomas], that meant a collapsible yagi antenna he could easily pack away.

But one day he wondered why he was carrying around a separate antenna boom when his aluminum hiking pole would make a perfectly good substitute. All he had to do was figure out a way to mount the elements to the pole in a way that could be easily assembled in the field. He initially tried to use the sort of insulated electrical clamps used to hold down conduit, but he found they weren’t quite what he was after.

[Stuart] eventually ended up designing and 3D printing his own element mounts that use an M3 bolt to tightly clamp onto the hiking pole, preventing them from twisting while still being very lightweight and easy to adjust. To further reduce the packed size of the antenna, he cut each element in half with a pipe cutter and flared the ends slightly so he could reassemble them on location with inserts.

Even if you aren’t the type of person who owns hiking poles, let alone climbs mountains for fun, there’s still plenty of interesting applications for a lightweight yagi antenna. We’ve seen custom yagis built out of carbon fiber before and of course cobbling one together out of PVC and tape measures is a classic hack, but we think the solution [Stuart] has come up with strikes a nice balance between the extremes.

10 thoughts on “Hiking Pole Turned Lightweight Yagi Antenna

  1. That’s pretty cool. I’ll have to check out his channel to see what mode he’s working. Looks like just FM with that HT, but the Arrows are capable of working satellites, which makes me wonder if he’s doing that too. Otherwise, just keying up repeaters from mountain tops would get old, fast.

  2. The video is well worth watching – the idea of cutting the longer beam elements down and using arrow inserts to allow them to be screwed back together is a great way of trimming the bulk down.

    Any bets on how long until your favourite online Chinese store has these available as kits for SOTA fiends?


  3. Great build.

    I’m so behind on my discone ski pole antennas and tuning/upgrading the monopole ski pole antenna with screwdriver berylium copper finger and coil that I was also thinking might be an interesting center element for the discone along with upgrading the ends of the cone so to add wires along with cable (delrin/kevlar) to really increase the range of operations… pun inadvertently intended.

    Reminds me I need to wrap up the tunable impedance matching part (last left off thinking like a wiper like a pot on the curved wire… vs two lengths of house wire with tuned marks and a slider with set screws with 3D printed grips) on the telescoping yagi to upgrade the tape measure yagi hairpin design. Any ideas?

  4. 2 lbs is nothing. Lance Armstrong in an interview jokes about guys spendin thosands of dollars to save a few ounces off their bikes. He said, why not just lose a few pounds (off your body weight), its cheaper.

  5. hank you so much for these recommendations. I’ve never used poles before but over the last few months, I’ve begun to see how useful they could be. On a recent trip to the Atlas Mountains, I sprained one of my knees (I think I actually did it on the ridiculously steep stairs in our riad) but I think having poles would have made hiking during the rest of my trip a lot more comfortable. I’m also pretty rubbish at getting down things (useful, I know) so I think it’d be handy to have some extra support when descending.

  6. Why not have the two halves of each element butt into the mounts and connect through the mount as they do on the arrow itself. The treaded rod seems robust enough… Just curious as to why the additional cuts were made in the already split elements. Seems like the tuning may be thrown eaiser.
    Very cool project nonetheless! Bravo!
    ~73 de KI7ONN~

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