Here we have a ground plane antenna mostly used for 144, 222, 440 Mhz. Its one of the simplest antennas to make. New hams can build this with little to no experience in antenna building. I am not going to go into the details on how to built it, because its so simple. You can download the PDF from the ARRL website or you can find the link below.
The antenna in the article is a fixed element antenna. I designed mine a little differently, I wanted to have the four down ward elements be removable. So I made the antenna to the specification in the PDF but added a small loop to the end that will connect it to the SO-239 with some screws and nuts. I did this to make this antenna portable, you don’t have too, but if you plan on having a portable rig this will make it easy to put away. You can remove the elements and store them in a compact area. I also designed a mast for the antenna but that will be another article.
The antenna element are made out of 1/8” steel rods that you can get at your local hardware store. I went with this material because I had it in my junk box. Please note that steel rods are hard to work with if you do not have the tools to bend steels, like a vice and other tools. I had to stop working on the element every so often because my hands started to hurt. I only had pliers and it made it hard to bend. If you don’t have the tools I would recommend following the instruction and using #12 copper wire. If you do use the copper wire and want to also make it portable make sure you make or find a place to store the elements. You do not want to bend them.
I also had a hard time adding the vertical element on top. The rod was to fat to fix in the center of the SO-239 connector. I tried wrapping some wire around the connector and the vertical element and solder it but the rod would not take any solder. So I had to drill out the center of the SO-239 just enough for the rod to fix in without it falling out.
Once the antenna was complete and I added the elements I connected it to my SWR and tested it. I was pleased to say that I had an SWR under 1.5 and I was glad because this rod was hard to work with and I did not want to make any more cuts.
Weather you use the 1/8” steel rods or the #12 copper wire you should not need to do any trimming. This is probably why this antenna is recommend to new ham operators. Its cheap and easy to make. I will recommend it to all new hams.
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