Have you ever looked at your car’s sunroof and thought, “That could be an antenna!”? Probably not. But that’s precisely the kind of unconventional thinking that led to my latest DIY project: a stealth sunroof slot antenna using just 1″ copper tape. This post chronicles my journey from idea to execution, highlighting the challenges, successes, and the sheer joy of innovation.
The idea was sparked by John Portune’s enlightening resources on slot antennas. His work, particularly his book on Amazon titled “Slot Antennas,” serves as a testament to the fact that antennas don’t need to be towering structures. They can be sleek, nearly invisible, yet highly effective.
The process began with figuring out the correct frequency and length of the antenna. It was a game of trial and error, adjusting by mere inches to achieve the desired frequency. The aim? To shorten the antenna just enough to raise its frequency. Throughout the build, I constantly tested its performance, ensuring I was on the right track.
The real test of any antenna is its performance. With fingers crossed, I reached out on the repeater as Victor Echo 6, the Sierra Foxtrot X-ray. The response? A clear signal and confirmation from fellow ham radio enthusiasts. The joy of hitting the repeater, especially with a DIY antenna, was unparalleled.
The Stealth Factor:
One of the standout features of this antenna is its stealth. Taped discreetly inside the sunroof, it’s nearly invisible to the casual observer. The best part? Even if you don’t have a sunroof, the principles can be adapted to other parts of a car, making it a versatile solution for many.
Antennas are more than just transmitters and receivers; they’re a testament to human ingenuity and perseverance. Whether you’re a seasoned ham radio operator or a newbie, I hope my journey with the stealth sunroof slot antenna inspires you to think outside the box and tackle your own DIY projects.
A heartfelt thank you to John Portune for making complex antenna concepts accessible and inspiring countless enthusiasts like me. Your work has not only enriched the ham radio community but also brought immense joy and purpose to many.