More than just a Ham radio blog.
is an informative, cynical and sometimes humorous look at what is happening in the world of amateur radio.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

M6AKV's Rybakov 806 Antenna Variation

The experimental spirit of amateur radio lives on! I argued with someone recently about whether or not your average ham was an innovator, I am convinced that most of us are. We may never make that Earth shattering breakthrough that changes the world but each little thing we do has the potential to inspire someone else's Earth shattering moment. A couple of ideas lately have fired me off thinking "That is a great idea but how can I do that better?"

I was reading the forums on Junksale when I came across Andy M6AKV's unusual portable HF antenna solution. Read about it here. Andy has taken a telescopic fishing pole and wound it with sticky back copper tape and used a 9 to 1 balun to produce an interesting variation on the Rybakov 806 Multiband Antenna that is still one of the most popular articles on this blog even though I wrote it in May 2009. Even if this antenna is not as good as Andy would have us believe, it works and proves that the experimental spirit of amateur radio is alive and kicking.

The sticky back copper tape Andy uses is sold as Slug Tape. I wish I had found this years ago. I paid stupid prices for tiny rolls of sticky back copper to repair circuit boards. I could have done hundreds with one roll of this slug tape. I have in the past made a 2m on glass J-pole and quad from aluminium flashing tape, but had trouble connecting the feeder. This stuff solders brilliantly and would be great for stealth antennas on glass, stuck to drain pipes or the boards on the eaves of a house. A coat of paint would make them invisible. Also great in glass fibre boats or cars for making a ground plane or radials or for making protatype circuit boards. The brain is ticking over and I am sure I can no longer live without a few rolls of this stuff in the shack. I just have to try Andy's design for myself too. I am thinking 10m pole for a loaded 80m vertical. Thanks Andy!


  1. Hello Steve, didn't know this coppertape exists. I use Alu tape instead. Works fine on my vertical.
    73, Bas

  2. Using aluminium tape might be tougher than copper. I think maybe using aluminium for the top sections and copper for the bottom, so you can solder the feeder might be an idea.

    It would be interesting to see if the two types of tape connect electrically or if the glue interferes. If it does then only a small wrap of copper over the aluminium would do.

    73 Steve

  3. Hello Steve, yes the glue interferes I already found out last year. You have to stick the tape in on piece. Connecting the feeder to the tape is indeed tricky, you idea of using coppertape at the bottom is a nice idea but still the copper will react with the Alu tape. That's one thing I didn't solve. 73, Bas