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A $6.87 25 Foot 5 Band HF Vertical
"The Wonder Stick"
A good working hf vertical for the price of a hamburger and fries!

by N5VEG

I like to experiment with antennas and have built many dipoles for the various bands. I have a commercial vertical and like it but I wanted to try to build a smaller, simpler light weight vertical for multiple bands.

I came up with what I call the "Wonder Stick" antenna!

The Wonder Stick is composed entirely of schedule 20 PVC pipe and a piece of copper-weld 12 gauge wire.

I purchased 3 different sized white PVC pipes at 1", 3/4" and 1/2" in 10Ft. lengths.
(each length was $1.97 plus a 1/2" end cap for .37 cents. (the rest was tax)

I already had the copper-weld wire and 3 bolts to drill and secure the sections. I shoved the copper wire down each of the lengths separately then tied them together equally to an overall length of 25 feet. I left about 18" pigtail of copper wire through a 1/2" hole drilled 1 foot from the bottom of the 1" pipe. Once bolted together and in one 25 foot piece, I walked it over to a 3 foot PVC pipe I had hammered in the ground on the side of my house. After it was erected on the pipe mount, I connected the shield to my pre-existing radial system and the center connector to the copper wire through a large dirty balun choke coil to the tuner.

N5VEG 5 band vertical
Note that choke coil "Ugly Balun" not shown.


I used my 857D with LDG Z100+ autotuner to push the signal and it was able to tune it pretty much flat on 10,12,15,17 and 40 meters. (20M didn't tune as well except at higher end of band.) I made numerous contacts today on 12,15 and 17 meters in the U.S. and Mexico all with 5-9 RST's! Javier in Mexico said I had a strong 5-9 signal!

"Ugly Balun" shown at the feedpoint in photo above.

Antenna farm on left.

I have about 16 radials out plus a 30' X 5' wire mesh buried under the grass beneath the antenna.  Although this unit does well with just 2-31' radials, I built one for an neighbor ham and he has just the two radials.  We have no trouble making contacts in California and Canada from New Orleans.

So, if you are on a budget or just want to build a really good working 5 band hf vertical for the price of a burger and fries, try the Wonder Stick!
Don't forget the ketchup for those fries
and tip the waiter!

Questions? Email the author  

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