To work satellites, improve any handheld radio’s stock antenna: Most stock ducks are rated at -6db gain or worse! An improved whip will help on ... but for reliable success you really need some gain, which you’ll achieve with a handheld beam or Yagi - either a home-built (~US$20) or commercial model (~US$160).

I continue to hear more silly “Elk vs. Arrowmis-information ... I own them both, and have commented on them here.

Working a satellite with handheld Arrow antenna.

Improve that Stock Antenna ...

Stock Whip Substitutes

Diamond’s SRH-320A - ~ $45

(always 17” long!)


Smiley’s 270A - ~ $24!

(collapsible, protective coil/spring at base)


(both available at HRO)

Yagis, Beams ... and More

K6LCS’ “modified” Arrow Sat Antenna - model 146/437-10WBP.

Click here for more mod photos.

  1. -Doug KD5PDN wrote a great article on working the ISS with just an HT and tape measure beam! It’s in the Feb. 2012 issue of QST magazine - or click here for a copy!

  2. -Doug KD5PDN does it again! Read how he worked the ISS with an antenna made out of barbed wire! Download the 10/2013 QST magazine article by clicking here (3.1mb .pdf) ... then watch the video:

  3. -CQ Amateur Radio magazine published my sat tutorial in the May, 2012 Special Dayton issue - click here for a copy.

  4. -Ed Fong’s CLASSIC j-pole construction articles (NOT high-gain antennas by any means ... but EVERY ham working 2 meters and 70cm should enjoy building and using a j-pole!):  DBJ1   DBJ2

  5. -AMSAT-UK published my tutorial in their March, 2015 issue of their AMSAT-UK OSCAR NEWS magazine. Click here for a copy.