ATX Walkabout

As you might have seen in other posts and or red in my page about my EDC kit (Every Day Carry), I carry the ATX Walkabout antenna with me just about every day and every where. With this Antenna I can do (80m)40m-10m with a maximum of about 20W out. The basic principle is an base loaded quater wave vertical. As this antennas need a counterpoise one has to cut a wire to length with a provieded formula. If you don’t want to carry one counterpoise for every band, there are ways to carry even less: Just calculate all required lengths and then take the longest one, and make it „splittable“ with connectors like Anderson powerpoles. So you end up with one counterpoise that you can adjust to the band you want to use be detaching the unneccessary parts of it.

Of course, a >full-sized 80m Yagi antenna< would be better of performance wise…but you will not be able to carry it. I know even in this sector there are huge amounts of ultra-super-military-light-hyper-efficent-performance-tactical antennas. Lot’s of shops promise you everything you want to hear, but it’s the facts that are interesting to me. So my requirements were the following:

  • portability, small and light enough for EDC
  • quick and easy setup
  • tuneable without an external / extra tuning device/matchbox
  • multiband capable, where as transmitting on 40m-10m (incl. WARC) and RX only on 80m is the minimum
  • understandable principle, now magical wonder wand, that does work, but noone knows why
  • last but not least: acceptable performance

The ATX gives me all that, where as the latter had to be tested by myself. All the other facts are given by the way the antenna is build. A small cable with mini-bananaplugs makes for the jumper to select the required infuctivity for the desired band. The adjustable whip gives you the ability to tune the antenna to resonance andseveral adapters let you plug the antenna to the BNC or PL connector of your Radio. I tend to use the backside PL of my FT-817ND if powersaving is not needed, as it makes the whole setup more stable. If you only have limited power sources, consider using the front side BNC, as the radio will drain less current using that one. (For using the back side connector, the radio has to acivate a relay, that is held open the entire time, and drains the battery… slowly but constantly).

In the german version of this post, you will find additional pictures, and a list of WSPR contacts I got in a less then optimal position (picture included). This antenna works and therefor I like it. If it ever as problems in performance, check the continuity and the adapters. I have had problems with them and >SurvivalTech Nord< has uploaded a video on youtube, showing >his repair of this antenna<. Please check out his >WSPR test< as well!


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