This page contains construction details on a 2 metre 144MHz VHF Yagi beam antenna, designed for portable use. Since an old 5 element version (v1) of my antenna was shown in the July 2011 edition of RadCom, a few people have contacted me asking for some information on how it was constructed. It has gone through a few revisions over the years (this is version 4) and is now a 6 element Yagi Uda (poor Uda never seems to get a mention), based on a DK7ZB design, with a little tweaking in EZNEC.
The challenge for this antenna was that it had to be compact enough to walk up a mountain and be very quick and easy to assemble and disassemble. 6 elements was chosen, as the boom length is 2m (6.5ft) which keeps it portable, whilst still having good gain. The next problem was how to build it so it can be put together quickly. After a lot of thinking, I decided to use wooden clothes pegs to mount the elements and driven element. Previous versions I have made used large screw terminal blocks, perspex, plastic booms, but this is certainly the best version so far!
Note: The version I built, as described on this page, is optimised for SSB at the low end of the 2m band (144.3MHz) and will not be suitable for using at or above 146MHz. Bill, VE7WNO built this Yagi and observed the SWR shot up above 146MHz (see SWR plot above 146MHz here), so I have designed a version of this antenna centered on 146MHz for more broadband coverage of the USA/Canadian allocation of 144-148MHz. The dimensions for the all band coverage version can be seen here and SWR plot is here. It also uses ¼” tubing (6.35mm) instead of 6mm. See Bills comments at the bottom of the page for more info. OK, on with the 144MHz build…
The dimensions are below:
Of course there are many ways to fabricate a Yagi antenna, but hopefully this page gives you some idea of some options. Below are some photos showing in detail how the antenna is put together.
Gil, F4WBY built this antenna to use with his new Icom IC-251E and made a video of his build, which you can see below. Cheers Gil!
Some photos of using my original homemade Yagi are below. I shall add some of the new one shortly!
If you decide to build this antenna, I wish you good luck. I would love to hear your results if you do, please get in touch! John.
59 CommentsAdd a Comment
Where do you get your box section from please
I use aluminiumwarehouse.co.uk – They are in Hertfordshire, but deliver.
Regarding the question about rod or tube, either is fine. Of course tube is lighter and more rigid than rod.
Greetings John, I am new in amateur radio and I built a version of your antenna to try to reach out from the little valley where I live, with only a hand-held radio. It works very well. I’m thinking of using it for a more powerful system like a 25 Watt base station. How many Watts do you think this unit can handle? Thanks for the effort to post the plans and other info. It was a fun project for $30 that has paid off well. I’ll send a photo, if I can.
25W should be fine. I only used a small choke, but that’s the main power limiting factor. The antenna itself i’m sure would be OK with 1kW!
Nice to hear about your experience.
Good Morning John,
I just came across your design for your 6 element yagi beam antenna and was wondering if you may have time to answer a couple quick questions for me regarding it? I guess I will find out, lol. First I have what’s left of a JoGunn Pistol groundplane antenna that was used on the 11Meter band before a couple of the elements were broken but I’m 99.999% sure that I have enough to build myself at least a decent 3 element version, just wondering if these aluminum JoGunn Pistol elements will work or just throw everything off? Any information or input from you or anyone else who has been successful at building this, the more I think about it, the more I think I should just stick with the original design that’s posted.
Thanks for all the great ideas,
73’s From KG5PBF Chris In Arkansas.
I’m not sure of this antenna, but as long as the diameter of the elements is close, give it a go.
As I’m replying 4 years too late, you may well have done already!
wanna use 12mm tubing have at hand will this make any difference in over all build sizes pse
Yes, it will a little, all elements would need to be a little bit shorter. If you want me to remodel it for 12mm tube, please drop me an email.
Hello, I am building your antenna and want to make a video… Could I use some of your images in my video? With all credit going to you of course and a link in the description…? Thanks. Clothes pegs are a stroke of genius!
Sure, that’s not a problem. I hope your build goes well and you have fun with it!
Hi, here it is:
Great video! Thanks for sharing it, If it’s OK I’ll add it to the page 😉
Maybe work you on 2m SSB with your new Icom soon!
All the best, John.
I wish to construct a yagi tansmitting at 147.300. Do you have a calculator for that? Thanks
Please see my comment at the link below, I think it will be good for you! Good luck, John.
10q very much. already bought all materials. will start building this week
Very good antenna!
You can see my realization of your antenna:
Thank you very much!
Wow, amazing what you can build one out of! Glad you had success with it!
All the best, John.
What would be change in element size and spacing if I use 3/8 inch diameter elements ?
Hi. The spacing would stay the same and the elements would be slightly shorter. You could build it as it is, see how it goes, and cut them down a little at a time, say 5mm, then see. It wont be a lot!
Good luck, John.
thanks for your prompt reply
Love the clothes pin element holder!!
Hi. I’d like a 3 element version centered on 144.3 Mhz. I wonder what that would mean for the lengths of the reflector, driven element & director 1. Any idea? Thanks. Rich
This version is fine for 144.3MHz.