A POTA Vertical
Posted on 7th Dec 2022
Antenna Design for Parks on the Air: Non-Resonant Vertical with 8+/- Radials and a feedpoint Coupler.
Amateur radio operators looking to set up portable stations in parks often face challenges when it comes to antenna design. A non-resonant vertical antenna with 8 radials and a coupler at the feed point can provide a compact and efficient solution that is well suited to the demands of Parks on the Air (POTA) operations.
The basic design of this type of antenna involves a vertical radiator that is supported by 8 radials that are laid out on the ground. The radials provide a ground plane that helps to improve the antenna's performance and reduce ground losses. To feed the antenna, a coupler is used at the feed point to match the impedance of the antenna to the coaxial cable that is used to connect it to the radio.
One of the key advantages of using a non-resonant vertical antenna is that it can be used over a wide range of frequencies. This makes it ideal for POTA operations where quick and easy set-up is a priority. Additionally, the use of 8 radials helps to reducle ground losses and reflect power back to the radiator, making it suitable for a range of operating styles and conditions.
When designing and installing a non-resonant vertical antenna, it is important to take into account the local environment. For example, the height of the antenna, the length and spacing of the radials, and the type of coupler used will all affect the performance of the antenna. In general, it is best to use a taller antenna, longer radials, and a high-quality coupler to ensure the best possible performance. I have used Icom ah-4, LDG RT/RC-100, MaT 40, SEA 1615, and a few other feedpoint coupler / tuners with success, but I personally prefer the SGC-230 line of couplers.
In conclusion, a non-resonant vertical antenna with 8 radials and a coupler at the feed point is an effective solution for amateur radio operators looking to set up portable stations in parks for Parks on the Air operations. By providing a compact and efficient antenna system that can be used over a wide range of frequencies, this design offers many advantages over traditional resonant antennas and is well suited to the demands of POTA operations.
Curtis Turner - KB3CMT