KB1HQS Arrow Antenna Mods
Stuart/KB1HQS has been experimenting with various modifications of the Arrow II antennas. Recently, he put together a video of the various mods, well done and interesting:
Ultimate Arrow Antenna Modifications
I am a big fan of the Arrow II style antennas for VHF SOTA. Initially, I used the dualband 2m/70cm antenna for satellite work as well as mountaintop activity. This started before SOTA was even a thing, as I hiked in the Colorado mountains and made radio contacts just for fun. These days, we normally carry the 2m-only version of the antenna, with split boom and 3 elements. My personal seamstress (Joyce/K0JJW) worked up a really nice rollup case for it. Sometimes, we’ll take along a separate 5-element 70 cm Yagi, which can remain fully-assembled and strapped onto my pack.
All antennas are a compromise between cost, size, weight, performance, convenience and durability. I have found that the 3-element Yagi from Arrow fits my needs really well. I have not been motivated to modify it. The Arrow antenna has a gain of about 6 dBd and is 37.5 inches long. We handhold the antenna and that is about as big/long as I’d like to hold. I am still in search of a higher-gain antenna for those special situations when I know that a few more dB of gain could make a difference. I’ve not really found anything I like. A longer boom would likely require a mast and, therefore, a guy system, which adds more weight and complexity.
Antennas are a never-ending source of options and experimentation, so go out and try something new.
73 Bob K0NR
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Let’s enjoy homebrew.
I am very happy with my Arrow 2 as it is. I’ve used it for all my mountaintopping for over 10 years and now off my balcony. I only use it for 2m, and all three elements store inside the boom sections. I don’t find the length or weight to be an issue (I backpack and bikepack), but I do like the idea of those ‘lightening’ holes drilled in your boom. I see no reason not to do that with my stock Arrow boom if I want to shave ounces. I may do that.
On FD ’21 I couldn’t use my KX3 and had only my Kenwood Th-f6, and the Arrow mounted horizontally on the mast (for SSB with the KX3). I immediately worked a guy on Mt. Baker, and a couple on Mt. Olympus, from Nanaimo, BC. That’s about 100 miles each. I was satisfied until I realized that my Arrow should have been vertical for FM! I’ve worked much further with it, but not on FM.