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Joel Gambino

I built a hamstick dipole during my trip to Road Atlanta last month. There were no trees in the paddock area where I was camping, so I needed something that was self-supporting. Fortunately, my route took me right by Ham Radio Outlet in Milwaukee. I picked up two 20 meter hamsticks and the mount that connected to the two hamsticks and provided a coax connector. I then went to Home Depot and picked up a 22 foot telescoping painters pole. It all went together easily and I extended it and lashed it to the camper jack. With the LDG tuner, I was able to make contacts on 20m and 40m. One of the contacts was to log in to the RV service net. The performance of the antenna was not as good as the wire antenna (as expected), but it did get out. The only thing I would change would be to get a different mast. The painters pole is 8 feet when fully collapsed which is to long to store conveniently in my rig. HRO has heavy duty fiberglass masts that extend farther and collapse to 4 or 6 feet depending on which model you choose.

As for 2m operation, before I left for the trip, I programmed in a bunch of repeaters in cities that I would be driving through. This worked pretty well and I made several repeater contacts during the trip. I also ran the APRS so the YL could track my progress from her home QTH.