Nov 14, 2017
Building a ground plane antenna is pretty straight forward, but building a mount that looks nice does take some time. Here is my take on building a 3D mount for a good VHF Ground Plane Antenna.
The dimensions follow the ARRL's reference recommendation of 19 inches vertical element, plus 19 inches radials.
The key is of course bending the radicals 45 degrees downloads, achieving 50 Ohm impedance.
My special requirement is the antenna has to be easy to assembled and disasssembled, given that space is premium at my operating location.
Therefore I design a 3D printed mount, which lets you put all these things together nicely:
The antennas and radicals are iron rods from garden supplies store. I got a bunch of 1.5M iron rods for US$1 basically. I am sure you can get these materials very cheaply at Home Depot.
The 3D mount is designed in Fusion 360, then printed and assembled in different pieces. They were sticked together with epoxy.
The total print time of different piece is around 8 to 9 hours.
The full 3D model is attached here, so feel free to print your own.
Then, you just need to solder the M connector with the vertical element, and put them with the radicals to the bottom mount. And that's about it. I did use some scotch tapes to adjust the radicals in perfect geometry. Hmm, if it looks good, it should work good, right?