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Anyone Use a Slim Jim or J-Pole Made Out of Ladder Line?


maddogrecurve
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Good Morning!

 

I purchased an N9TAX dual band slim jim antenna for Murs/GMRS/FRS used from a guy.  I bought it because I had tried making them and I am having a hard time getting them to resonate with the online calculators.

 

I have been using this one indoors (my hobby room) and outoors (in my shop) and it receives really well, I think it transmits well, I am unsure as I have no repeater in my area and only hear FRS traffic.  Once in a while I chat with people.  I do use it to monitor scanner frequencies as well, and it works great!

 

Let me know if you use these and what you think!  

 

WRMQ982

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Just now, tweiss3 said:

I have used the EdFong version for 2m/70cm ham, and 220 ham. They work pretty well if constructed correctly. My dualband is currently a scanner antenna, the 220 is going back up this weekend.

Nice, I hear nothing but good about Ed Fong antennas, he is so cool!  I have emailed him because I read that he had a heart attack and was out of business for a while.  I may order one of his one day, but I enjoy making antennas, and I have the plans for his, in fact I made his dual band 2m/70cm roll up, though I used the wrong plans as there are so many out there, but I got it close enough to work!  I am having issues with designing one to work for GMRS though, the antenna calculators are not getting me close enough to resonate at the desired frequencies and no one has listed plans out there!!

 

I have made ground plane antennas for both Murs/2m and GMRS/70cm and they work great!  But J-Poles and slim jims from ladder line are giving me problems!

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1 hour ago, maddogrecurve said:

Good Morning!

 

I purchased an N9TAX dual band slim jim antenna for Murs/GMRS/FRS used from a guy.  I bought it because I had tried making them and I am having a hard time getting them to resonate with the online calculators.

 

I have been using this one indoors (my hobby room) and outoors (in my shop) and it receives really well, I think it transmits well, I am unsure as I have no repeater in my area and only hear FRS traffic.  Once in a while I chat with people.  I do use it to monitor scanner frequencies as well, and it works great!

 

Let me know if you use these and what you think!  

 

WRMQ982

I have the N9TAX dual band slim jim antenna for 2m/70cm, and I've been using it for several years. I hung it from a ceiling hook in the corner of the room, and I've just left it there since. I really don't think about it much. It just works when I need it to. I've used it with several mobile and hand-held radios, and any issues I've had have always been radio related, not antenna related.

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Good Morning!
 
I purchased an N9TAX dual band slim jim antenna for Murs/GMRS/FRS used from a guy.  I bought it because I had tried making them and I am having a hard time getting them to resonate with the online calculators.
 
I have been using this one indoors (my hobby room) and outoors (in my shop) and it receives really well, I think it transmits well, I am unsure as I have no repeater in my area and only hear FRS traffic.  Once in a while I chat with people.  I do use it to monitor scanner frequencies as well, and it works great!
 
Let me know if you use these and what you think!  
 
WRMQ982

I own and have used both the GMRS and dual-band amateur versions. Both get used periodically and they will remain part of my radio tool kit. Although I have shack with external base antennae antenna at my home, the Ed-Fongs hang from plant hanger hooks near windows in other rooms. They provide better communications when using HTs in those spaces. I also grab them and put them into my radio bag when traveling.


Michael
WRHS965
KE8PLM
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I have two. Both are N9TAX. One I modified by removing the RG58 and replacing it with RG400. It it attached to my repeater (RT97). The antenna has been in a tree for about 2 years now. It does what I need. Once I get the repeater to a more permanent position I will switch out to a more traditional antenna. 

The second is again an N9TAX SlimJim tuned for GMRS. 16 feet of RG58. I use it when backpacking once we set up camp. It definitely helps extend the range. This summer I used it to get back into my GMRS repeater which was behind some heavy obstructions (think mountain). Its hard to see, but in the photo its in the tree to the right of the tent. The antenna itself is up near the top third of the photo. It was attached to a 5 watt Vertex VX-231. There was no cell service back here. This was our only means of reaching back. The repeater was about 15 miles away behind the mountain on the right side of the 2nd photo. I am sure being in the valley helped "tunnel" the signal through and/or we got some refraction over the top edges.

 

20210803-DSC_1186.jpg

20210803-DSC_1167.jpg

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2 hours ago, maddogrecurve said:

Good Morning!

 

I purchased an N9TAX dual band slim jim antenna for Murs/GMRS/FRS used from a guy.  I bought it because I had tried making them and I am having a hard time getting them to resonate with the online calculators.

 

I have been using this one indoors (my hobby room) and outoors (in my shop) and it receives really well, I think it transmits well, I am unsure as I have no repeater in my area and only hear FRS traffic.  Once in a while I chat with people.  I do use it to monitor scanner frequencies as well, and it works great!

 

Let me know if you use these and what you think!  

 

WRMQ982

I just got two myself, the dual band GMRS/MURS and the Ham 2M/70cm band, from the Fort Wayne swap last month. I haven't tested them yet using my antenna analyzer. It's on my list when I take time off from work over the holidays.

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36 minutes ago, WRFP399 said:

I have two. Both are N9TAX. One I modified by removing the RG58 and replacing it with RG400. It it attached to my repeater (RT97). The antenna has been in a tree for about 2 years now. It does what I need. Once I get the repeater to a more permanent position I will switch out to a more traditional antenna. 

The second is again an N9TAX SlimJim tuned for GMRS. 16 feet of RG58. I use it when backpacking once we set up camp. It definitely helps extend the range. This summer I used it to get back into my GMRS repeater which was behind some heavy obstructions (think mountain). Its hard to see, but in the photo its in the tree to the right of the tent. The antenna itself is up near the top third of the photo. It was attached to a 5 watt Vertex VX-231. There was no cell service back here. This was our only means of reaching back. The repeater was about 15 miles away behind the mountain on the right side of the 2nd photo. I am sure being in the valley helped "tunnel" the signal through and/or we got some refraction over the top edges.

More likely it was reflected from the rock faces on the mountains. It's one reason 800 MHz works well in CO. They rely n the signal bouncing from the hard granite peaks in the Rockies.

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On 12/10/2021 at 10:55 AM, tweiss3 said:

I have used the EdFong version for 2m/70cm ham, and 220 ham. They work pretty well if constructed correctly. My dualband is currently a scanner antenna, the 220 is going back up this weekend.

How active is the 220 band?  I do not have my license yet, getting confident enough to take my test soon though.  

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On 12/10/2021 at 12:05 PM, WyoJoe said:

I have the N9TAX dual band slim jim antenna for 2m/70cm, and I've been using it for several years. I hung it from a ceiling hook in the corner of the room, and I've just left it there since. I really don't think about it much. It just works when I need it to. I've used it with several mobile and hand-held radios, and any issues I've had have always been radio related, not antenna related.

Pretty cool that it hangs out with you!!  I put mine up when my girlfriend is out of the house, or up in my hobby room.  Now that I have my mobile radio working, I want to put an antenna permanently up so I may try to find a spot for the N9TAX.

Mine detuned on MURS, which is really bad, I do not know why it did that, but it did.

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On 12/10/2021 at 1:12 PM, WRFP399 said:

I have two. Both are N9TAX. One I modified by removing the RG58 and replacing it with RG400. It it attached to my repeater (RT97). The antenna has been in a tree for about 2 years now. It does what I need. Once I get the repeater to a more permanent position I will switch out to a more traditional antenna. 

The second is again an N9TAX SlimJim tuned for GMRS. 16 feet of RG58. I use it when backpacking once we set up camp. It definitely helps extend the range. This summer I used it to get back into my GMRS repeater which was behind some heavy obstructions (think mountain). Its hard to see, but in the photo its in the tree to the right of the tent. The antenna itself is up near the top third of the photo. It was attached to a 5 watt Vertex VX-231. There was no cell service back here. This was our only means of reaching back. The repeater was about 15 miles away behind the mountain on the right side of the 2nd photo. I am sure being in the valley helped "tunnel" the signal through and/or we got some refraction over the top edges.

 

20210803-DSC_1186.jpg

20210803-DSC_1167.jpg

That looks like a wonderful idea!  I plan on taking mine camping as well, but I do not think any repeaters will be reachable as we have none in the Columbia Gorge.  Once I get my ham ticket though, I will also bring my 2 meter J-pole that I made out of ladder line, I should hit a repeater with that!!

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On 12/11/2021 at 12:46 PM, PACNWComms said:

Have never used one of these antennas, but came in to see what others had experienced. WRFP399's comment may make me buy a couple for hiking and camping use. Like that they are lightweight but can get out a bit. Have strewn wire into and between trees many times though.

They are light, and easy to make if single banded, but I am having problems getting my ladder line to resonate on two bands except for my 2 meter J-Pole that I made with plans off of the internet.

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2 hours ago, maddogrecurve said:

How active is the 220 band?  I do not have my license yet, getting confident enough to take my test soon though.  

Not terribly, but it's there. For me, it's the one place we use kind of like the lounge where the ragchew drifts from the normal weather/medical ailments without someone getting bent out of shape.

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Lets not give it too much credit. The VX-231 with it's stock UHF antenna was also making the trip to the repeater but just not as well. Here is an image showing the terrain. You can see how it is clearly not line of sight but the tall steep walls of the ridge lines clearly have something to do with the reception. The j-pole is good for cleaning up a weak signal at the edge of reception and or getting you out and over heavy vegetation on forest floors. I even tried it much further back with just the stock antenna and was able to kurchunk the repeater but the signal was too weak to make out anything. 1st image the the distance to the repeater from the camp. The 2nd image is an approximation of the path we took and where I was able to kurchunk the repeater from. Just prior to fording the river I was able to radio back and speak with someone.

45698f.png

45698f.png

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