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Field Expedient Antennas

Field expedient battery:

I had to teach this a couple months ago and re-learn it myself. Field Ant are more used to gain range. Throw it up a tree. HF You need to be more careful of the length, getting the cobra heads and Insulators is hard, no one seems to use them as much with the self tuning of couplers these days.
So here's a long shot...

I've seen it a few times, I know I have a copy, but i can't for the life of me find it...

It's a booklet with field expedient antenna, and field expedient antenna repair ideas... well illustrated(May have been a US army publication, but I'm fairly certain I remember it being Canadian), maybe a dozen or so pages long.

Anyone have a copy? Anyone who has a copy willing to scan it? Or anyone know where I can find a copy?
You can try contacting someone at the Armour School.  Expedient Antennas were taught to TQ3/QL3 Armour students (Now DP1) and also on the CATS Crse at the Armour Communications Sqn.  I know I have several handouts on Field Expedient Antennas, Patrol Antennas, Ground Plane Antennas, etc.  If I remember correctly, all you need is 105 ft of WD 1 Field Wire and you will be able to cover the vast majority of freq waves.

Or you can look at these links:






Not really looking for information on field expedient antennas, I have all sorts of that, and I have a half dozen different handouts I've collected over the years, but i shall have a look through those links later. It really is a dying art, and a shame, because there a lot of effective simple antennas you can build for different conditions.

It's a very specific handout that I've got in my head that I'm thinking of, about a dozen pages, very well illustrated, almost comic book style (Which is why I'm thinking it may have been an American publication, maybe vietnam war era). All about repairs and expedient antennas. Quite informative, yet written so the lowest common denominator could understand and use.

If anyone knows what I'm talking about, and if they're kind enough to scan it, would love it. If I find it myself, I'll scan a copy and post a link.
George Wallace said:

Basically took section 4 in this one, and turned it into a comic book. Dandy little handout, if I can find the thing, I'll turn it into a PDF.
I believe you're referring to this http://www.arrl.org/shop/The-ARRL-Antenna-Book/
Not even close, it's a little comic book sort of booklet.

Sort of like this


Only not quite as elaborate.
The US publication you are looking for is called:

"What's Up?" Know how to repair and fabricate antennas.  TC 11-5. 29 April 1977

It was issued in the CF as B-GL-T11-005/FP-000

A small little 45 page pamphlet in five parts:

1) Antenna Types
2) Antenna Connections
3) Antenna First Aid (Field Expedients)
4) Formulas and Quick Reference Charts
5) Reccomendations and Reminders.

Great little pub.  I have had mine since I was given it in 1989. 


Wow, 6 yrs ago make a statement on a site and re-read it again to find out that what I said came true!  Too bad I can't get PER points for that, lol.


Not exactly a field expedient antenna but, thanks to a US company, a better way to package SATCOM antennas for rapidly deployable units.

I cut a few AE before I even joined the military, so it was a bit of a refresher, and we didn't cover it in in great detail on my 3s. We did however make up the basic dipole arrangement with insulators and a cobra head for the 138.

Long story short I believe we've gotten away from expedients because they were most effectively and commonly used with HF. Seeing as Satcom and such has really decreased the use of HF (which is a pity in my eyes) we naturally saw a decrease in expedient AE.

As long as you remember the formula -    Wavelength = Speed of light (300 for M, 926 for Ft) / Freq in Mhz then you're good to go.

The best one I ever made was for an old artillery warrant. I had an old CRT television in the back of my LS in Shilo and was playing games on it. He found out and demanded that 'as a jimmy I had to get him the leafs game.'  This was when CBC Winnipeg still broadcasted over the air.

I took WD wire, wrapped one strand around the outside of the coax on the tv, stuck the other into the center. Ran it up to the roof where I unscrewed one of my VHF AE and laid it on it's side. Connected it all, tuned to the channel and turned the Spud 1 on its side until it came in clear. He was very pleased haha.
Field expedient antennas are not just for HF and VHF!

Check out this Iridium field expedient antenna! SATCOMM!

(Half of the dipole drawn in because it has broken off)
1/4 wave (About 2.6 CM) on each side of the dipole. Shaped in to a wavy shape (to have a better impedance match).

Silicon at the center. Prevents rain from getting in and spoiling the coax.

1/2 wavelength from the feed point is the reflector.
A pickle tin from the camp cooks. It is around 3x larger than regular tin lids.  It is _NOT_ electrically attached to the coax. It is simply held in place with some silicone.

The connector is a TNC-Male. It connects to the Iridium.

There is just enough coax to get outside the mod tent and up a couple feet. Zip-tied to a cam-pole.

The coax has 3dB loss, the antenna is horizontally polarized (resulting in 3 dB loss because Iridium is RightHandCircularPolarized).
Overall you only have 1/4 signal strength. But it works! And it works better than nothing!

The same theory at HF applies for Satcomm. Get creative. Make comms work.

Iridiums standard for loss is -3dB. So this isn't that far off.
I had the pickle tin spaced off 1/2 wavelength because I was far up north and wanted to hit the satelites near the horizon. It never failed.  But if you move the pickle tin higher (to .25 wavelength), it will send more signal straight up. Might be better near the equator.  Or it might be too directional and drop signal. Try it out and find what works for you.

As for what should be carried, I would take a look at ACIMMS? or DBB? first. There might be a little handbook to carry somewhere there.
Those aidememoires sure come in handy. When you're cold wet and sleep fudged, few things help like being able to blindly follow some instructions and have it work. I had a rash on my leg from walking around with so much paper in one pocket in a ziplock.  But it has worked out more often than not.