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New to Ham radio - shack set-up advice? (2 replies and 1 comment)

7 days ago
(unknown) 7 days ago

Hoping there are no stupid questions.

I have picked up a second hand 50W VHF/UHF base station transceiver to start building my 'shack' with... I should add that it has 5W and 10W settings for my Foundation Licence use.

Now, as well as the necessary regulated power supply, a suitable length of coax and appropriate connectors...

Can you recommend me a budget rooftop antenna, and AMU suitable for my rig?

Anything else that should be on my shopping list to get it up and running? RF earth?


Peter M0PWX (2E0PWX)
7 days ago

VHF / UHF normally don't need an AMU / ATU

for the antenna

SQBM200P MKII Dual Band 2/70 Vertical (SO239) | Moonraker ( 

£45.00, 1.5m tall (taller and a few db better gain than one below)


SQBM100P MkII Dual Band 2/70 Vertical (SO239) | Moonraker (

£40.00, 1.3m tall (this is the one i have)

if you are mounting on the house a T & K bracket to get the antenna pole out past your guttering (subtract about 3 inches from the bracket size, eg a 12" bracket will provide about 9" from wall) and a pole (43mm will be ok)

and coax, depending on the length get the best you can budget for, as due to being VHF/UHF, coax has higher losses the higher the frequency, so i would ideally look at RG8, RG213 for VHF (it is 10mm thick and don't like sharp bends) and get the relevant plugs for the coax and your rig and the antenna base

in total i would budget about £100 for antenna, brackets, cable etc

if you have a suitable tall washing line pole close enough you could mount it on that and save some cost

you can make some savings by using amazon / ebay if you are happier to wait extra few days for delivery (coax plugs are much cheaper, antenna / coax not so much)

there are cheaper options like a single band ladder line slim jim you can make for about £20 and hang it from the eaves, but you will still need the coax and plugs, and you have to tune it, so you need an swr meter, nanovna or another ham with these to help etc



6 days ago

Thanks Peter. That antenna looks a good option. I will go down that route.

It's quite built up around here. I think rooftop is the way to go. Possibly in the attic. But that's probably not a good idea?

Peter M0PWX (2E0PWX)
6 days ago

the attic may be an option, depending on the roof structure and materials, and how much they affect the signa, BUT remember you will be closer to house wiring, TV antenna etc so be mindful of RFI / interference when deciding where to place antenna in the attic but 10w max you should be ok and FM is the modulation type least likely to cause interference

always worth a try put the antenna up there and test it, remember amateur radio is all about learning by experimentation

putting the antenna in the loft will mean you can split the cost (antenna and pole / bracket) and make it more affordable, and if it works really well you may not need to mount the antenna outside at all, saving the issue of working at height to install the antenna

one of the runner up in the RSGB construction competition last year was a home made rotator for a 2m yagi in a loft used for satellite / ISS work, so give it a go, you may be pleasantly surprised by the results

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