Ham Radio Bike Antenna Experiments

What a great feeling. You spend some time on NEC antenna modeling dreaming up how you are going to build an new antenna. Looks good on paper but you need to build it to see if it’ll really work. After an hour of building it, you hook it up to a SWR meter to test it out….

The FT-897 was my test radio. Set on five watts I noticed the meter was hooked up to the HF/50 mhz side so I figured hey, an acceptable SWR on 6m would be a big bonus. Nope. No where close. SWR off the scale! Oh well, its a 2m antenna. So I flip the radio up to the 2m band. Transmit 5 watts. SWR doesn’t budge on the meter and it’s showing 1.1:1 on the 897. PERFECT!!! Wow, what a success didn’t even require tuning. I’ll have to publish this on the net! hmm, what does it do higher in the band. 1.2:1 GREAT! So start a transmission with the 897 in power output menu and slowly crank up the power making it to 50 watts and still 1.1:1 really excited at this point. Decide to take a chance with 70cm and set at 5 watts. Meter still didn’t budge.

I flip back down to 2m… Wait a minute. Oh no. Shoot, the 897’s 144/440 port is still plugged in to my dual band ground plane I built last year. Not a experimental bike antenna. So I switched the antenna and meter over to the VHF port. SWR off the scale. 🙁 🙁 🙁 so a bit of tuning I got it down 3:1 on my favorite freq. That was the best it got. So that antenna is scrapped. Idea was alright I think and maybe after some more on paper designing I might try again. For now I’m still looking for ideas for antennas to put on my bike.

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