Think Like a Backpacker: George KJ6VU on Wire HF Antennas for Portable Use

George KJ6VU

Our March monthly meeting featured an exceptional program through Zoom by the well-known amateur radio operator George Zafiropoulos KJ6VU. He is the host of the wildly popular Ham Radio Work Bench podcast and proprietor of PackTenna, a make of wire antennas for portable use. Those familiar with George’s history also know he is the proprietor of Sierra Radio Systems, manufacturer of repeater controllers famously used in the Cactus Intertie and in other repeater sites.

VARC Vice President Frank K4FMH told the group, “Those who know George are very familiar with him being in a conversation about some device or circuit to automate a task. Within a day or two, he will come out with a custom printed circuit board to do just that! I have learned a lot from KJ6VU over the years. I was delighted that he agreed to my invitation to speak to the club in Vicksburg this month.”

George walked us through his personal desire some years ago to design an antenna system that worked for his backpacking adventures in the mountains near his home in San Jose, CA. He wasn’t sure how his personal interests would coincide with what other hams would need. But, boy, was that some incredible self-doubt that proved highly incorrect! The explosion of Parks on the Air activity in ham radio was the latest expression of hams having a desire to do mini-versions of the traditional Field Day experience. In fact, struggles to keep up the product stock to meet the increasing demand for the innovative line of antennas and related items.

Slide in KJ6VU’s talk about the motivation for what became

Nearly every ham in attendance at the March meeting of VARC said afterwards that George showed by new ideas and cleared up some scattered thoughts each had about portable wire antennas. And explained very simply. This is the basis for a great club talk!

VARC President Chris Dunn AF5OQ sent George this note afterwards: “Just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you for taking time out of your schedule to give a program to the Vicksburg Amateur Radio Club last evening.  The talk was well received by everyone and several members expressed to me how easy the program was to follow and understand.  Keep up the good work and thanks again!”

See George’s presentation here, on the VARC Youtube Channel: