Because I’m unsatisfied with my only antenna, a 20m dipole in my attic, I’ve decided to start working on building a Yagi for 6m (50 MHz). And as I understand it, all hams are eventually unsatisfied with their current antennas. The other goal I’m hoping to achieve is to join Sector67. One of the things that they ask new members is to bring a project; this is my project! The project serves as a natural way to on-board new members and to instruct them any machinery they may need.
I’m planning on posting more build photos as they happen. The basics design of the antenna is coming out of the ARRL Antenna Book. It is a 3-element Yagi with a short-boom design (6ft).
Another cool featuere of this project is that I’m planning it all out in a CAD program, Onshape. Yes, this is probably overkill for this sort of thing, but I’ve already found out some design flaws that I don’t think I would have otherwise. It also lets me measure out exactly what I need to order vs. what I can probably make out of existing scrap stock at Sector67. Since this is a browser-based CAD program, I can even share links:
I’m still working on the main assembly (in CAD) of all the parts & mounting brackets that I’ll need. Some stuff, like the vertical mounting pole are probably not going to be included. In the mean time, I’ve ordered some of the tubing and parts that I know I’ll need:
- 30ft (in 6ft sections) aluminum tubing in two different diameters (the elements telescope)
- 6ft 3/4” square aluminum tube stock for the boom
- Panel-mount SO-239 sockets
I’ve yet to get the Lexan/polycarbonate pieces that will act as the non-conductive mounting plates for the elements. I’m hoping to be able to machine the mounting blocks (these hold the antenna elements) out of some kind of scrap, maybe even wood? As you can see some of this is still up in the air. There’s lots of mechanical expertise floating around at Sector so I’m hoping this is all a learning experince.
On that, I think I forgot how much I like building things and laying them out in CAD. I haven’t done this kind of thing since high school and I didn’t realize that I’ve missed it. There’s something tangible and satisfying about seeing parts click together, even if only on a screen.