Technical Articles

Going on Vacation? Great Options for Bringing Ham Radio Along for the Trip (Part 3)

In our first two posts offering suggestions for vacation-ready ham radio equipment, we looked at the AlexLoop HamPack Portable Magnetic Loop Antenna System and TransWorld Antenna Packages —excellent choices for HF operation that are easy to pack and even simpler to deploy. Today, we’ll be discussing another antenna that offers both convenience and proven performance, whether you take it on the road or install it in your backyard.

But first read this insightful article from blogger Anthony, K8ZT, “Memories of Field Day Adventures,” in which he details how he combined some of his summer vacations with portable operating.

Par End-Fedzâ End-Fed Half-Wave Antennas

DX Engineering offers 26 models of these popular monoband and multi-band low-power antennas that come with a match box coax connection at the end of the wire. Manufactured by the team at Vibroplex, these antennas can be mounted horizontally, vertically, or as a sloper without the need for a ground plane or counterpoise, making portable operation a breeze. If you’re on a camping vacation, you can simply hang the far end from a tree limb or use a telescoping mast to get the antenna high in the air. Staying in a hotel? Just send the wire out your room window or balcony. If you’re planning on a staycation this summer, they make a stealthy, hard-to-detect option when dealing with non-ham-friendly property restrictions.

Features include:

  • UV-resistant black ABS plastic housing with a support rope attachment hole that encloses the matching network to allow the antenna to be fed with standard 50-ohm coaxial cable with PL-259
  • Stainless steel hardware
  • Silver-plated SO-239 connector with PTFE dielectric
  • Either 18 or 26 AWG stranded Copperweldâ with 200-pound breaking strength and a tough, 100% UV-stable black polyethylene jacket

Choose from a range of power ratings and band coverages:

  • 100W or 200W power handling on standard models; 300W on high-power models
  • Lightweight QRP PolyStealth models handle 25W and are ideal for portable operation
  • Three models handle 1,000W SSB/CW and 250W AM/Digital: EF-ALLBAND-KW (nearly 133 feet in length) covers eight bands, 80M through 10M; the 74-foot EF-8010-JRKW operates on 80/40/20/15/10M; and the EF-40-10-KW covers 40/20/15/10M.

What do hams say about the 80-10M EF-ALLBAND-KW model?

Five Stars: “I recently took it camping with me to Dolly Sods Wilderness area in West Virginia. It packed well and took up minimal space along with my Yaesu FT-818. I didn’t even have to use a tuner on 80/40/20 bands, which were in decent shape. I was able to make a few contacts on 40 meters with decent signal reports despite running QRP. Look forward to using it some more the next time I go to the field.”

Five Stars: “All of my contacts say my antenna is worth its weight in gold. I have made contacts with hams all over North America, Central America, the islands, and Europe running 95 watts barefoot. Great product.”

Five Stars: “A great antenna that’s a breeze to put up. I’m very pleased with the Par End-Fedz EFHW antenna. It’s got an SWR less than two across all bands and is working extremely well. I was reaching well into Europe on my first try using FT8 and 75 watts. I’m in Chicago. I’m also in an HOA and it’s impossible to see strung between the trees.”

Find all Par End-Fedz models at, along with other vacation-friendly gear:

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