Building the SQualo antenna for 2m
For some time now I am very active on FT8 on HF.
I enjoyed it so much because the high QRM level I have on HF.
Then some fellow amateurs at the club, asked me if I was active on 2 meters too?.
I got home, hooked up my TS-2000 with digi interface and tuned in on 144.174MHz and there I was active on 2m.
Well… yeah, active on a vertical Diamond X-300.
I managed to work some UK and German stations, but with reports all beneath -18dB or more.
Since I have no easy way of putting up a yagi or whatsoever, I was looking for a way to be Horizontal polarised but omni directional.
Then the following idea came, It would be nice if I could put it on my mast that I use for my HF Wire dipole.
I came accross several antenna desings that meet up with my preferences.
1. The Bigwheel antenna
All designs looked very promising!
My eyes felt on the 3d option, The SQualo.
Why?, I had all materials on stock to build one on the fly and it is one of the easiest and lightest designs to build.
As the SQualo is a (SQ)uare folded dipole. I needed some tool to bend the corners of the antenna.
Lucky me, as I bought pipe bending tool on Ebay for a few bucks last year.
You can find one here: https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=pipe+bender+6+8+10&_sacat=0&LH_BIN=1
I was able to find a brief drawing with dimension on the website of LA8AK
Note!: the dimensions of the element(side) length are measured from the center of the element!!
The design of the SQualo was made for 8mm diameter element.
As I have plenty 10mm pipes and no 8mm, I just took the original measurements and see what will come of that.
The SQualo antenna in its complete form.
Bending the elements was super easy with the pipe bending tool!, It took me less then 5 minutes to fold the dipole.
I can really recommend the pipe bending tool!!
The first gamma match I have made was somewhat too short.
The measurements of 135mm on where based on mounting the gamma match to the side of the SQualo element.
The “dip” was way too low almost near 142MHz based on my idea of attaching the gamma match to the element.
Therefore I had to cut a new one. this time I cut a piece of 150mm and see what that will do.
To mount the N connector to the SQualo element I took a piece of 20x2mm flat strip.
The distance of the center conductor of the N connector and SQualo element is 35mm.
To mount the gamma match to the center pin of the N connector, I just cut off a small piece of threaded rod.
Sanded one side so I could solder it into the pin.
Better closeup of mounting the gamma match to the N connector.
To mount the anntena on top of my mast, I took some sewer pipeing.
If you look close you will notice the antenna is somewhat bended togheter.
This is done for tuning the antenna.
1. Gamma match is tuning it to the desired frequency.
2. Bending the antenna inwards or outwards is for getting the impedance as close as possible to 50ohm.
A close up how I simply tywrapped the endcaps to the element.
After some little tuning, I managed to get the SQualo dipped on 144.180MHz with a very good SWR of 1:1.72
The results of the antenna where amazing compared to my Diamond X-300.
Not really strange as the difference between Horizontal and Vertical can be over or more then 20dB.
So a station on my SQualo that is received at -22dB, is approx -42dB or more on my X-300.
Conclusion: no reception of the station at all on the vertical.
If you have any questions about building the SQualo, don’t hesitate to contact me via the contact page!