After yet another effort at attempting to check in to a 2m net, I’ve pretty decisively concluded that my antenna is not powerful enough. I’m using a Baofeng UV-5R with some Nagoya whip. I can hear things okay, but that’s the extent of it. Never made any contacts at all from multiple test locations.

So I’m assembling parts to follow this basic j-pole build concept:

I bought the copper, solder, pipe cutter, flux, etc. And just ordered the coax cable, along with the UHF female jack and an SMA female to UHF female to attach to the HT.

I wrote to the author of the above video about what to use for the connector bit at the feedpoint and he said I could just use plumbing solder. I already have this on hand, so why not.

I’m basically foregoing any attempt at tuning, since an SWR meter will set me back at least $60 Canadian. I’ll just follow the measurements given and hope for the best.

I found a few other j-pole videos I’ll include below, though the one above is really the clearest. It’s interesting when doing a project like this to get a few different viewpoints because different people will say or show different elements that may end up being important for your tinkering.

Lotsa close-ups of the soldering action:

I’m not too crazy about how they connect to the feedpoint here but including anyway:

This is worth reading and if I were in the US I would probably just have bought one of his – but it’s a good learning experiment to do my own as well:

Using an external antenna with your handheld radio

Starting out in amateur radio, our first rig usually is the venerable handheld radio. Compact and all-in-one design, these HT’s or handi-talkies are an inexpensive choice. In fact, now with the Chinese handhelds flooding the market, a ham can get on the air for as little as $30.

And this one is worth watching just to understand what’s really happening: