I am a ham radio operator since October 2010, when I passed my "Basic Qualification" in Canada, which gave me the callsign VA2ANK.

I also volunteered at CKUT for a while, but I didn't have time to commit long term. It was still a pretty awesome experience. See communication for more details on that side.

  1. Hardware
    1. Stuff to buy next
    2. Stores
  2. Quad antenna project
    1. Parts list
      1. Mast
      2. Antenna and accessories
    2. Discarded approaches
  3. Références
  4. Software


Total rig cost so far: 1242.60$ (not counting the quad project below)

I uploaded a few photos in this album.

Stuff to buy next

There's a great guide on how to setup a mobile HF rig that I could reuse with my FT-100d. It seems I am missing:

That guy also made an emcomm kit guide (emergency communications) that we might want to learn from. In particular, it ships:

I did a review of FmTransmitters a long time ago that is probably now completely useless.


Quad antenna project

I am working on building a new antenna. It is based on this design, which uses a mix of PVC pipes and fiberglass rods, except I adapt it to a 20m antenna and replace the PVC with aluminium for solidity. It should be possible to take the antenna apart and rebuild it if necessary.

Hand-drawn sketch of a Quad antenna
Sketch of my antenna

Parts list


Part Amount Where Weight Price Notes
tripod 1 addison ? 45.56$ ~2' x 2'
3m steel pole 1 downstairs ? 0$ to connect the boom and tripod, 1-1¼"
sandbags 3 home depot 30kg ea. 10.76$ one per leg
plywood 3'x4' attic ? 0$ 1' x 2' used for the beam/pole fitting - found some
Mast clamps (1"3/4) 4 hardware store ? 4.92$ to connect the boom with the mast, bigger mast, 1.23¢ ea
Mast clamps (1"3/8) 2 hardware store ? 1.60$ to connect the boom with the mast, 80¢ ea
guy rope 2x100' hardware store ? 63.98$ to secure the mast, using poplypropylene/nylon rope, each line should support around 300lbs of pressure, enough for the 500lbs of pressure with a 90mph wind

Antenna and accessories

Part Amount Where Weight Price Notes
1" hose clamps 8 home depot ? ? to tie the antenna line to the spreaders
tie wraps, small 100 hardware store ? 3.09$ to tie the antenna line to the spreaders
2"½ hose clamps 19 hardware store ? 26.41$ to tie-up the boom together (2), the spreaders to the spider (8) and the spreaders themselves (8), +spare (1)
8"x½" plastic tube 1 home depot ~0 0$ for spreader/wire attachment - found some
15' 1¼" fiberglass 8 mgs4u.com (type 1) 17.6lbs ~160$ - actual: 255$CAD (!!) 4.4lbs ea, unit price 19.80$
Clamps 10-pack dxengineering ~0 14.95$ to secure the feedline
4m aluminium boom 2 DX engineering 2.5lbs 24.90$
500' of wiring 1 DX engineering N/A 74.95$ only parts of this will be used (120' to be more precise)
U clamps and bolts 4 home depot Rick Adams ~0 0$ included in the beam/pole fitting
boom/pole plate 1 Rick Adams ? 45$ + 30$ shipping need to drill holes, includes reinforcement pole
spider 2 Rick Adams 2.3lbs 70$USD 14oz ea. 40$/ea, seems strong and sturdy, and Rick helped me through email, let's try!

Total planned price: ~373.77$

Total planned weight: ~25lbs++ - not including 180lbs of sandbags, the pole and tripod.


Current blocker(s): Waiting for parts to be shipped and for the rain to stop.

Discarded approaches

Those parts were considered during the design phase but were discarded for various reasons.

Part Amount Where Price Notes
welding wire aluminium 270' spool canadian tire? ? example: Aluminium 5356 MIG alloy - too hard to find
4m 1"PVC 1 home depot ? according to Rick, this could create interference
5-way 1"PVC conn. 2 creativeshelters.com 3.08$ couldn't order, they don't accept canadian zip codes, and shipping is 30$ anyways, and I don't trust PVC
1"x½" copper pipe 8 home depot ~5$ we'll use tie-wraps instead for spreader/wire attachment
8m ½"PVC 4 home depot ? PVC pipes are too flexible to hold properly, we need fiberglass
AUG 12 copper wire 44.4m ??? 29.32$ (addison?) 48.64$ pour 2x12 22m (dubo) addison doesn't have bare wire, and dubo only has bare up to 8 gage, too big (it's mainly for grounds) copper wire never comes bare, and i may have better luck finding mig soldering wire like Aluminium-5356

I had a lot of problems finding proper parts (pipes, raw materials like wiring and so on) in Montreal, which made building the antenna quite tricky, as a lot of things needed to be ordered online, which raised the overall costs because of shipping.


Je collecte ici des bons sites au sujet du ham radio.


This needs to be merged into Software

... others to follow, there's a whole hamradio section in debian.

Created . Edited .