Discussions about “portable antennas” often get bogged down because there are many different types of portable operation, and what works well for one might not be at all suitable for another. “Portable” might range from very light antenna for backpacking to whatever can be carried in a large truck and erected in a day by a dozen workers without needing a concrete foundation. So we will discuss specific antenna requirements for different types of portable operation, as well as some general notes that apply to types of portable antennas.
General considerations for portable antennas
Masts, Trees, and other temporary supports
Casual portable antennas, for an afternoon in the park or a camping trip
Backpack Antennas, where light weight and small size are critical.
Field Day Antennas, with more emphasis on optimizing performance, and perhaps longer setup times.
RV / Caravan Antennas, especially those that are nearly self-contained.
Portable Dipole Kits. Simple, convenient and adaptable.
Ropes and other accessories
Vertical Antennas and the impacts of ground conductivity.
Site Selection. Choosing a good site.
Packaging for convenient transportation.
Antenna Height vs. Coax Loss: don’t compromise your antenna performance more than necessary.
Popular Portable Antenna Projects
Putting Up a Sectional Mast
Ropes and ropework for Portable Antennas
Winding Wire and Rope so they don’t tangle
Field Tuning of dipoles
Portable HF Yagi antennas
Multi-band Field Antennas
Wire Ground Plane Vertical antennas
2m 1/2 wave backpack antenna
Portable Balanced Antenna Tuner
Rotation of fixed wire antennas
Portable Long Wire Antennas