I do my best to shake up each field activation I perform. Even if in some small way.
While it would be way more efficient to deploy the same radio and antenna combination at each park and summit I visit, I get a thrill out of trying different radio and antenna combinations.
I should add that I’m fully aware how fortunate I am to have a lot of radios and even more antennas to pair in various combinations. I keep reminding myself that building and buying radios and antennas is still cheaper than restoring a 1940s era Willys CJ-2A.
Recently, a reader reached out and asked my opinion about the Chameleon Tactical Delta Loop (CHA TDL) antenna. I think the TDL is a brilliant antenna system, actually, and the one I recommend the most from Chameleon because of its versatility.
Not only can it be deployed as a multi-band vertical delta loop but it has all of the parts needed to be an MPAS Lite vertical as well, save the counterpoise.
The CHA TDL comes with a 25 foot wire that connects the two 17′ whips into a loop configuration, but the clamps on the end of that wire can’t connect to the ground lug on the MPAS ground spike terminal as-is. That said, you could easily make a short connector cable or connection point that would allow the CHA TDL wire to clamp to the ground spike terminal. Else, of course, you could cut a dedicated 25′ counterpoise from pretty much any wire you might have around the shack.
You can buy the same counterpoise used with the MPAS Lite package, but it’s more affordable just to build your own since there’s no magic in the counterpoise. And, FYI, configured as the delta loop, there’s no need for a separate counterpoise; only if you configure it as a vertical.
This same reader also has an Icom IC-705 and an mAT-705 Plus antenna tuner. He was curious how well that combo might work with the CHA TDL. I knew that the combo would work well, but I thought, “why not try it?”
I realized that it has been ages since I last deployed the CHA TDL in the field.
Zebulon B. Vance Birthplace (K-6856)
Tuesday, February 28, 2023, was a gorgeous day weather-wise, although it was a bit gusty at times.
I arrived at K-6856 and decided to film the full set-up of the CHA-TDL.
For an antenna with a fairly large profile when deployed, it’s actually very compact, albeit a bit heavy (mainly due to the weight of the solid stainless ground spike and TDL hub). That said, I did take this same CHA TDL setup on an 11 mile round-trip SOTA hike once and didn’t find it too heavy.
I placed my Icom IC-705 on the table in the picnic shelter and connected the mAT-705 to it with a 2′ BNC-BCN RG-316 cable and the ATU control cable. Continue reading QRP POTA from 10 to 20 Meters with the Chameleon Tactical Delta Loop and Icom IC-705