The St. Louis Vertical portable antenna has been talked about and modified over the years. It’s a very portable antenna solution for Field Day or QRP enthusiasts. It’s easy to build and modify and covers 40 meters to 10 meters with the use of a tuner. Radials are a must with this type of antenna. I use a Shakespeare Wonderpole, a collapsible fishing pole. Fully extended it’s 20 feet long and collapses to 45 inches for storage and transport.
Years ago I purchased a good amount of Radio Shack twin lead for this project and like any good ham I’m
finally getting around to building a St. Louis vertical for use at Field Day and with the Ottawa Valley QRP Society group outings.
The first preparation that must be done on the Wonderpole is the removal of the two clips midway up on the first section. These two brass clips are used to hold a fishing reel. The reason for removing these two clips is to assure that the twinlead once wound on the lower section is flat against the bottom section when you wind it on. It’s more esthetics and it makes it easier to wind without the bumps of the clips underneath the twinlead.
I used a Dremel tool with a cutting disk attached to cut through the clips. I still have to smooth down the plastic adhesive used to attach the clips with a small grinding tool attachment on the Dremel.
For the last while I’ve been thinking quite hard to determine a good way to wind the twinlead onto the bottom section so it stays in place. In part 2 of this series I’ll show you a novel method that I devised to accomplish this – it’s weatherproof too.
Have been listening to 17m psk this afternoon and just finished working A71EM in Qatar with 40 watts on the R6000 vertical. 17 is a fine band with some great DX and quiet band conditions – opportune for working DX. It seems to be open early morning till sundown here near Ottawa – always with some exotic stations waiting to be worked.
Here’s a link from the American QRP Club describing the St. Louis Vertical: