The thing that amazes me about the Open Stub J-Pole is it’s simple design that performs well. I am not saying it will out-perform commercially built high-gain antennas but that it performs well using a few parts. I think it’s even easier than building a copper J-pole and even ground plane antennas (maybe just a step up).
One of the big complaints that I’ve been reading about the Open Stub J-Pole is that it’s difficult to tune. The only way to tune the antenna is to actually cut the stubs a little bit at a time. If you cut too much the stub is now worth it’s weight in scrap.
Now that I am the owner of a GMRS radio, I wanted to build a OSJ-Pole that you can adjust with ease. I found plans on the internet for a Copper Cactus J-Pole that used a brass screw threaded into the “Tuning element”, or the Short stub (By Glynn Rogers, K4ABT). I am using that idea on the OSJ-Pole. What I ended up doing is cutting about 3/8″ off the top of the short stub, drilling a hole down the center of the rod, tapped it with a 10-32 thread and inserting a screw with a jam nut. Now I can move the screw in and out to obtain the best SWR and then tightening the jam nut to secure the screw.
Here is a picture of what I am talking about
I tried to make a custom angle bracket with what I thought was the correct spacing but the SWR was horrible So I used a extra bracket from one of the many Dual Band OSJ-Poles I’ve built. It worked out pretty well.
Here is a close up of the tuning screw. I ended up using a lathe and a drill bit (.159) to put a 2″ hole at the end of the 3/8″ round short element. I then used a bottoming tap to make the 10-32 threads as far as I can go. I then used a 1-1/2″ Screw and a 10-32 Jam nut to lock the screw in place. I am sure this can be applied to any of the Open Stub J-poles that are out there. Just make sure to cut some material off the elements so you have room to adjust above and below the calculated line. For the dual band you’ll have two adjusters. Since most people don’t have lathe access to make the hole in the center of the 3/8″ rod. A vice, center punch (automatic or not) and a steady hand with a drill will do. I would make a pilot hole with the smallest drill bit in your stock (under #21 or .159″).
I was able to tune the AOSJ-Pole from a 1.5 to a 1.0. Since I am building more and more antennas, I saving my pennies to buy a antenna analyzer so I can give better reports with more information than what I am getting on my SWR meter.
Next project will be a GMRS 4 Element Yagi.
I’ve constructed a 144/440 Dual band Open Stub J-Pole Antenna.
I saw the plans for this on the internet (link to plans) by Allen Lowe (N0IMW). Since I had a Metal Fabrication backround I thought this would be an easy build.
I also created a PDF and JPEG Version which you can download if you like.
I did some minor changes from the above. Instead of using nuts I used pressed “PEM” nut on the underside and used thread protecting vinyl caps on the tips
Here are some SWR Shots. I don’t have state of the art equipment so this will do for now
It was a really fun and quick build. Plus it works okay. It’s no Diamond X510. What else do you expect for around $20 in parts? I love it.
If for whatever reason you can not build this. It is manufactured by the designer of this antenna and has them for sale on his website for a reasonable price. So check out ARROWANTENNAS.COM for the OSJ and other quality crafted antennas.
EDIT (5/2/11): I’ve Also built a “Adjustable” version of the Open Stub ( OSJ ) J-Pole as seen HERE.
EDIT (10/20/2011): Someone let me use a MFJ Antenna analyzer so here is a reading from the VHF side of the Antenna.
@ 145.98Mhz I got a reading of 1.0SWR with a 51ohm impedance. The antenna was resting on a wooden chair so I am not sure what the value would be when fully installed but I don’t think it would change that much since it doesn’t need grounding.