KL7JR's Mobile Antenna Transporter (MAT)
"Beam Me Up Scotty, We Have DX To Work"!
It seems I'm always in need of something either antenna related or mast related as I travel around. This time it's both. You might sayMAT is somewhat related to its cousinOPAR as it is used to place an antenna in a specific spot!
Retirement finds me and my XYL Claire, WL7MY in the beautiful Dominican Republic with a small space for our antenna farm - our patio - 3 floors above the beautiful surroundings with a fantactic ocean view.
The walls, floor and ceiling are full of rebar and metal mesh fabric for structural support, and not a good friend of radio signals. I tried using our TAK-tenna 80 meter vertical dipole in the corner of the patio but it did not work well. I knew I had to get the antenna higher off the floor and further away from all the metal in the floor, walls and ceiling.
Oh, and it had to be stealthy too because I could not have any antennas here or transmitting equipment (which has never stopped me before from enjoying Amateur Radio)! We are covered well on 10-20 meters, but desperately needed the low bands as well for our WAS effort. Check out our stealthy loop here: http://www.hamuniverse.com/kl7jrstealth20meterloop.html
A Rolling Base for the Tak-Tenna 80
So, I put on my design cap and came up with a rolling base for our TAK-tenna dipole antenna that I'd simply roll out to the center of the patio at night when I wanted to get on 40 or 80 meters and then roll it back in to a corner to hide during the day.
I intended to make the base out of 2x6 or 2x8 lumber but the local lumber yard only sold the treated variety in 18 foot lengths which was way too expensive for this project! Oh, I needed 4 caster wheels but all they had was 3....it's called "making do" or the pleasures of remote island living! Now what?
Plan B soon emerged. I'd scrounge in their scrap wood pile (okay, dumpster dive, hi hi!) and use the 3 wheels in a delta shape (seen below).
Rolling base with wheels mounted
Pipe Flange and short pipe mounted to rolling base
I found enough 1 inch wide rough oak scrap boards to work so I had the lumber yard cut me 6 pieces by 16 inches long. It would have to do. I then nailed the pieces together on my patio (what pounding noises? not me!) and installed the 3 wheels. I then screwed a 1 inch pipe flange to the top and added the 1" x 12" pipe nipple that the wooden antenna mast (a new life for a discarded broom stick!) slips inside. All shown above and below in photos.
Finished "MAT" shown below supporting antenna.
Tak-Tenna "80" shown in operating position near "DX Window" before tuning
The antenna moves quite easily on our patio floor and takes 5 seconds to deploy. Maybe one day you'll need something like this to stay on the air or use for your antenna experiments. With the pipe materials and wheels I had about $20 invested.
When not in use, the "MAT" is tucked away out of site in a corner of the patio hidden from prying eyes on the ground 3 floors below ready to roll out to ham radio fun!
73 de Yukon John, HI3/KL7JR
With the Tak-tenna mounted on the MAT, it also makes a dandy home made portable
"bird perch" when visitors ask "What is that?"