2 Meter Whip Dipole AntennaBy Jose B Rivera - N2LRB
February 8, 2015 - My quest to make a reliable 2 Meter dipole antenna for use on 144.200 mhz on single sideband took a few months. I purchased wire versions of a two meter dipole from Falcon Antenna on Amazon in May of 2014. The antennas are come with a center connector piece which has an SO-239. At first this antenna seemed too long, so I shorten it, but then mended the pieces back together.
I purchased a second Falcon 2 meter wire dipole antenna in October 2015 with the intention of not cutting it in any way. I thought that maybe I had damaged the first Falcon 2 Meter Dipole in cutting it. So I wanted to keep this one in pristine condition to make sure I tested it and tested it well. I could not get this second antenna to obtain a low SWR. Using my home made Balun/RF Choke helped but not enough to use the antenna on 2 meters. I never bother to put the antenna out of the window except as held in my hand from a PVC Mast. I could hear the regular 2 meter 144.176 morning crowd, but they could hardly make me out. My guess is that the SWR was still a little high. I was hard to key up, hold the antenna and try to view the LDG meter. I decided that I would use these antennas out in the field and not out of my window.
In late January 2015 I did an internet search and found to my surprise that there was such a thing as 2 meter stainless steel whips! The price was not bad either. I purchased two 19 inch whips on ebay and got them promptly within three days! They were $9.95 each. The shipping was about $6. I quickly put the two whips to use by putting them on a double mount. I was happily surprised that the threads on the antenna and the mount were a match. Checking the swr gave me varied results. I used short and long sections of coax. But it was my home made Balun/RF Choke that lowered the SWR enough to make me believe that it might be low enough for use on 2 meters. But when I put the antenna out of the window, the SWR would not go below 2.5 or 2.0. I did put it up and talked to the morning crew on 144.176. They said I sounded low. But I was one step closer to making a workable 2 meter antenna.
I found another place which sold 2 meter whips, Buxcomm.com, and those whip were half the price of the previous whips. When they arrived at home, I measured them and found that they were half an inch longer. This was a good outcome. In that I had a feeling that the first set of 2 meter whips were a bit too short. I added these whip to the double mount along with my homemade Balun/RF Choke and was able to attain a low SWR, on the bed! Still it took a few more modifications (moving the balun, increasing the coax) to keep the SWR low while out of the window.
I was able to log into the VHF Society Net on a Sunday morning before Church and was heard by net control. I was also able to try the antenna on 2 meter and 70cm FM. And the SWR was low on most portions of those two bands. When on FM I turn the antenna to vertically polorized orientation.
I did find that the antenna elements themselves are subject to moving in and out of the stud mount. Both 2 meter whip sets do this. I tighten the screws to prevent them from moving about but will need to figure out a way to keep them in place. I could glue them to the stud mount. Maybe some locktite would be better in that it can be undone.
I am happy with the latest results. Low SWR on the SSB portion of the 2 meter band and a low profile antenna which people can barely see. I don’t leave the antenna up when not in use, so it’s profile is only visible during the time of day when most people are either still sleeping or out to work. I plan making the antenna permanent in the future. Meaning that I plan to make it so that it’s always in a 2 meter dipole configuration (assembled).