For Christmas my wife bought me a “backpacker” Yagi antenna made by Arrow. It is the 146-4BP, and it consists of a 3 piece boom and four elements. I wanted to use this as a portable antenna, but I missed out on one thing. I didn’t tell her to buy the mount. The mount is only $9, and is very well designed, but unfortunately after shipping would cost much closer to $20, so I decided that I would forgo that.
What I decided to do was to drop back and return to my PVC days. Instead of a potato cannon, I would make something much safer. I went to the hardware store and purchased a handful of items.
- stick of 2″ sch40 PVC pipe
- 5 – 90 degree 2″ elbows
- 3 – 2″ cleanout tees
- a pack of 3/4″ conduit clamps (Need 2)
- I already had a few washers and screws
Cut the PVC pipe to the lengths in the first picture. These should be two 15″ lengths, four 2.5″ lengths, and two 5″ lengths. The great thing is that you are not limited to these measurements. If you want a larger base, modify the cuts. Just keep in mind that the center piece relies on the two long pvc cuts. They need to be snug so that they don’t slip out.
For the antenna clamp, I used the conduit clamps to hold the antenna into place. This is most effective as a vertically polarized antenna, but may work alright as a horizontal. I cut a piece of 2″ PVC for this, and I didn’t measure. I just made sure that the clamps were in line. The second photo shows how to make this work. I had to bend the clamps down to the PVC to get a good grip. Using some rubber sheet would have made this connection a little more snug. I also cut a notch out the the elbow so that the boom didn’t bind against it. You can barely see this notch in the photo.
Finally, I used the remaining length of 2″ pipe as the mast.
This whole project cost less than $20 dollars. The elbows were 88 cents each, the tees were $1.50 each, the PVC pipe was about $7, and the clamps were about $1.50 a pack. The screws were free.