Portable Roll-Up 2-Meter J-Pole Antenna
Thank you very much for your interest! Due to life circumstances it has been a few years since I built these antennas - but I do hope to resume building. I have the tools, parts and supplies. Feel free to send me a message and, even if I do not reply right away, I will eventually message you when I am able to resume building.
My target price is still around $30 ($35 shipped). I may also offer an upgraded antenna with a thicker coax.[ materials | workmanship | tested | proven | purchase | photos | owner reviews ]
2-Meter Portable Roll-Up J-Pole
Are you ready to deploy in the field with little or no notice? Do you need a durable, compact, reliable 2 meter antenna for field use? Be prepared for less than the cost of a spare battery! Keep this roll-up antenna in your Go-Kit, ready to go at a moment's notice.
In March 2005 I made a bunch of these lightweight, portable 2-meter J-Pole antennas for the Harford County ARES and RACES groups. Our members were each issued an antenna plus extra coax, barrel connectors, adapters and supplies for their "Go-Kits". These antennas were deployed in the field just 2 weeks later during our ARES mutual aid test. Each antenna worked flawlessly and gave excellent performance. They are actively used and fully endorsed by the Harford County EmComm.
With the tools on hand and materials availability, I am now building these compact antennas for you! Each is carefully made by hand, tested and ready for immediate use.
Highest Quality Materials
- Poly-clad "window design" 300 ohm balanced line twin lead. Conductor is 20 AWG, 19 strand copper-clad steel. Materials power rated up to 70 watts; field tested and recommended at 50 watts max. Great for use with most portable and mobile radios.
- 6 ft. 50 ohm RG-174/U coax - lightweight and flexible for ultimate portability!
- True 50 ohm 3-piece crimp BNC connector - no compromises.
- I build each of these antennas personally and meticulously by hand. Each is made as if it was for my own use. I have over 20 years of soldering and electrical fabrication experience, and have made dozens of twin-lead antennas of this particular design.
- Coax connections are wrapped, securely soldered and then sealed with "liquid tape". Coax is additionally reinforced to the twin-lead cable with a wire tie for additional mechanical strength. Exposed ends are also sealed for weather resistance. Then all connections and open ends are covered with heat shrink for durability.
- A true 50 ohm 3-piece BNC connector is carefully installed with a professional ratchet crimp tool. Heat shrink is then applied to coax connection for stress relief and strength.
Inspected, Tested and Tuned
- All materials are carefully inspected before use and handled with great care to avoid kinks, abrasion or other defects.
- Assembled antennas are final inspected to ensure correct measurements, solid solder connections and sealed, durable construction.
- Using a VSWR meter, each antenna is tested on the air with 5 watts input. Each is tuned for less than 1.5:1 SWR across the 2-meter Amateur band. They are broadband enough to acceptably cover the MARS/CAP bands as well!
Proven in the Field
This exact antenna design, materials list and assembly procedure has been field tested by Harford County ARES and RACES, and reported to provide excellent performance across the 2 meter Amateur band.
Useful and Practical Emergency Antenna
This antenna comes with 6 ft. of lightweight RG-174/U coax attached, with a male BNC connector for use with many handheld radios. Add a suitable adapter for your particular radio, and coax for remote installation. Many of our ARES members added a BNC to PL259 adapter and a 25 or 50 foot coax jumper.
The 2-meter roll-up J-pole is lightweight (approx. 3 ounces), compact and effective! The antenna can be set up quickly and easily by hanging out a window, attach to a ceiling, or toss a lead sinker over a tree branch with kite string and hoist it up. Slide it inside PVC pipe for rigid vertical installation (retuning required).
David Stansbury, KB3KAI
Questions or comments - email me
Rollup J-Pole Antenna Photos (click each for larger view)
true 3-piece crimp 50 ohm BNC connector
6 ft. RG-174/U coax, 300 ohm ladder line
coax soldered and attached with wire tie
ends sealed + heat shrink
building antennas at the Harford EOC
field-deployed J-Pole (click for detail)