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ANTENNAS FOR 100 POUND DXPEDITIONS

2 ANTENNA ASPECTS OF DXPEDITIONING Preparing an antenna for your home station may involve weeks or months of planning and execution. Erecting a tower, for example, may involve obtaining permits from your community’s planning board, digging the footing, filling it with rebar and concrete, and waiting a month for that concrete to cure. Only then can you attach the tower and begin thinking about hoisting the antennas to height. The weight of an antenna system for a home station is rarely of concern except perhaps for the shipping charges for the delivery of the parts. Heavy tower sections or antennas are a minor inconvenience if they require extra hands during assembly. And, once a system is assembled we are rarely interested in how easily it can be disassembled and shipped again. Antennas for DXpeditioning violate many of the assumptions that we might have for antennas in our home station. We care about their weight. We care about assembly and disassembly time and complexity. The antennas must be assembled, disassembled, and shipped repeatedly for us to get value from them. Put more starkly: it doesn’t matter if an antenna performs well if you can’t bring it. Antennas that are too heavy, too complicated, require hefty support structures, or cannot be broken into small (48 inch) pieces cannot be considered for this use. If you plan a trip for a week to some beautiful destination, you cannot afford to spend two days assembling antennas and another disassembling them. Antennas that require that kind of investment might make fine home station antennas, but they are all but useless for lightweight DXpeditioning. The baggage allowances set by airlines provide a general guideline for the physical dimensions of the antennas we can consider. These allowances are typically: •

Two checked bags. Some airlines allow three bags (such as Southwest), but the general allowance is two bags for most US carriers. In this age of high fuel prices, some carriers are now charging a fee for the second and even first checked bag. Still, it is a reasonable assumption that two checked bags can be brought without excessive charges.

Fifty pounds per bag. Some airlines are more lax on this point than others. You can also pay to have your bag accepted for weights up to 70 or even 100 pounds. This is helpful when you may be living within the 100 pound combined limit, but one bag is heavier than another.

Size of 62 linear inches. The combined height plus width plus depth of a bag cannot exceed 62 inches. The Pelican 1610 case is one of the largest cases that satisfies this requirement.

Golf and sports bags. There is an exception to the above rules for sports enthusiasts, or at least those of us who use similar equipment. Golf bags, ski bags, and similar equipment bags are exempted from the size restriction and sometimes from the weight restriction.

These are general guidelines. Check with your carrier for the specific rules of your airline. 2

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Antennas for 100 Pound DXpeditions - volume 1  

Computer-based antenna modeling and direct experience with lightweight portable antenna systems. Volume 1: Selected high band antennas [20-6...

Antennas for 100 Pound DXpeditions - volume 1  

Computer-based antenna modeling and direct experience with lightweight portable antenna systems. Volume 1: Selected high band antennas [20-6...

Profile for ne1rd
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