Vertical HF whip antenna for mobile or base operation

Making up this basic vertical HF whip antenna is pretty straight forward, cheap to buy and consumes very little room. Ideal for portable operation as well as base station use, the performance is great and looks professional. 

There is nothing new here, although it maybe useful to see all the items together including the mounting method which could be a mystery to anybody that had not seen one of these before.

Mobile whip operation

Of course antenna performance is critical, keeping the system nimble enough to setup quickly, light and portable can be a challenge.

Bellow I will share my experience of temporarily activating a boat using COTS whip antenna system and other off the shelf parts.

This solution is compact, light weight, very easy to set up. It would also make a great base station solution as it all looks robust enough to be left outside in the elements for some time.

Chameleon clamp mobile whip antenna
Chameleon clamp mobile whip antenna

Advantages of a vertical whip?

Vertical antennas are radiate in all directions around the antenna, unlike dipoles which are a bit directional. Also, vertical whip antennas radiate towards the horizon at a low angle, helping to make those far off contacts. They are less efficient than a dipole, and the do require a very good ground connection. I have found that an antenna tuner is always needed to operate these effectively.

Different results may be achieved from a dipole, making  a vertical antenna project a 'must' for most hams.

The shopping list

Antenna system:

  • RHF Single Band HF Mobile Antenna fitted with 3/8th thread (also know as a Hamstick)
  • Chameleon Jaw Mount (Hamstick mount)
  • 105ADT Heavy Duty Stud Mount 3/8 Fit 

Optional items

  • Fishing bag 150mm
  • Counterpoise (quarter wave length)
  • Antenna tuner
  • Feeder




These whip antennas need to be well grounded. If the clamp is attached to a well earth object then a counterpoise may not be needed. If this is not possible, then a counterpoise needs to be used. Ideally, the counterpoise should be one quarter wave length long. More counterpoises are better, a good ground connection can be combined with the counterpoise if you wish.

Mounting the antenna

The use of the chameleon clamp makes mounting the antenna easy. An iron gate post, boat hulls, or a table top will all do. This clamp makes antenna mounting easy as it appears to fit anywhere. It is made from high grade stainless steel and can be used in many different ways.

Great performance

This antenna system work very well, I was amazed by the performance on all modes. A good earth is key!

Make a directional dipole with a Chameleon clamp

Using the the Chameleon clamp and two Hamsticks, it would be very easy to make a balanced, compact directional dipole.  All for less than $80. It would still fit into a fishing bag and be super light!

Return to the QSO Shack Homepage.