Ham radio is not just a hobby. It’s a series of hobbies that range from chatting, building things, bouncing signals from the moon, to many things in between. Some of these specialties, such as assisting disaster relief or sending off unusual locations in the air, require portable operation. To promote disaster preparedness, hams take part in field days, a type of competition that promotes simulated emergency conditions. How can you set up an antenna when you only have a few hours to set up a temporary station? [KB9VBR] shows how he and his friend a Chameleon Emcomm III portable RF antenna for Winter Field Day. You can see the video below.

Unlike some portable antennas, this one is made of nearly 100 feet of wire (73 feet of radiator and 25 feet of counterweight). The whole matter is supposed to be set up and taken down repeatedly.

Unfortunately the guys didn’t like the setup – it will always be difficult to manage that much wire. They found it good that the Teflon-coated wire did not hang in the trees as easily as wire. Overall, they still gave 8 to 9 out of 10 points. It seemed to work well, at least in two directions. The way they set it up, they didn’t come east and west.

EMCOMM says it takes 15 minutes to set up the antenna, although it may not take into account the extremely cold Wisconsin weather. The antenna is rated at 100 watts for all RF ham bands and weighs 1.5 pounds. Should be pretty easy to pack a backpack for hiking.

We expect most radios to need a tuner for this antenna to minimize this VSWR mismatch. We’d love to see one Network analyzer plot the antenna in some common configurations.