It occurred to me that since
the STEP-IR was such a great
antenna that it should be
possible to copy that basic
idea using entirely different
materials to create a dipole
antenna that could be used on
all bands just like their
If we start with two
barrels of PVC
connected together
for the entire length,
we can form an
element and a take-up
system that would
work like a cable and
throttle mechanism
similar to what
controls the speed on
your lawnmower.
By taping the 2 PVC
tubes every foot or so,
loose, so as to not
choke the movement
inside the tubes, we
can attach them to
support poly rope that
will serve as a strain
relief, and offer full
weight relief  for the
system. In other words
the dipole PVC
elements will ride on
the mounting ROPE.
When the 2 TUBES are
mounted, the BRASS
element can be easily
slid down inside the
first tube. When it
comes out the far end,
a high tensile Twine
can be pulled back
through to the center
drive mechanism. If
the length is 140 feet
overall, then 140 feet
of twine is needed.
Once 70 feet of twine
is loose at the center
and 70 feet is inside
the tube, the Brass
Element can be
passed down the
second PVC pipe. The
element are super
glued at this far end
after being placed
over the U-TURN to be
described below.
When the Antenna is
set to it's maximum
length of 70 feet on
each side, one tube
will have 70 feet of
Brass Cable, and 70
feet of Twine. When
the antenna is made
smaller, the Brass will
be wound onto the
center take-up reel,
driven by the Drill
Motor. When the Brass
is entirely pulled into
the center drive, then
140 feet of twine will
travel down both
tubes. When the motor
turns the twine will
reverse course at the
far end. This is the
U-TURN device that
accomplishes that. The
Brass Element will
never go around this
bend, just the twine.
Here is a layout of a
U-TURN made of PVC.
The U is a metal
device that channels
the twine, and is
polished to protect the
twine from wearing.
The end cap has an
EYE BOLT installed
with heavy washers,
and the support Poly
Rope is tied to the Eye
Bolt. That Eye Bolt will
serve as the
connection point for
support ropes that will
suspend the elements
When the Brass
Conductor is pulled
from the center of the
antenna, it is moved
over a VERY VERY
strong Magnet. That
magnetizes the
element very nicely,
and it is conceivable
that we could wind up
with a 140 foot long
MAGNET suspended in
space as an HF
antenna. I will be
curious to note if it
improves the
performance of the
system when it is
magnetized? I don't
think this has been
done before !?
N  8 "A" "D"

Cheap to build...

The PVC tubing probably
costs less than copper wire.

Uses a Cordless Drill motor.
Any voltage will work, with a
supply that will vary speed.

PVC Pipe construction for
light weight and low cost.

I have a few miles of BRASS
CABLE -- 22 gauge X 7 --
extremely strong and flexible

If you can fabricate simple
parts it should be a snap to

Will work well with a center
support like a tower to take
the major weight off the

Magnetized Elements??
Could they be a benefit to
reception of RF?

Could be used from the
ground with ONE element as
a Vertical for any frequency.

Could be used with many
elements as a ground
counterpoise. Variable and
resonant for any frequency
of operation desired.
Ideally the center support will be hung
from a tower or some other strong  
support. This EYE will be screwed into
the TOP END CAP of the GEAR
housing. All weight will be placed on
this Eye. The elements will be
supported by the POLY Ropes, and
suspended by distant supports/trees.

This is my solution to let you
know the length of the
elements of your antenna.

The Shaft of the Take-Up and
Let-Out Reels is the drive,
and a gear is threaded onto
it. The assembly mounts to
the 3 inch diameter Motor
Mounting Assembly.

As the Drill spins Clockwise
or Counterclockwise, the
gear spins, and is mated to a
larger diameter gear.

That Gear in turn, drives a
Smaller Gear at it's center,
and that smaller gear drives
a larger gear.

That larger gear has a small
gear at it's center which in
turn drives an equally sized
small gear mounted to a 10
Turn 1K Potentiometer.

In my case the use of large
and small gears results in a
gear reduction ratio of 8:1.

As the Drill motor turns the
shaft of the Pot is rotated   
This results in 80 complete
rotations of the Reels for a 0
to 1K OHM  complete range.

At any time a resistance
measurement can be made
that will correspond to a
length of driven element.

Power does not need to be
applied continuously, and at
any time a resistance check
can be performed to learn
the relative length/position
of the antenna elements.

It has Memory!

This resistance
measurement can be applied
to a micro-controller for
predefined settings of
popular frequencies. It can
also serve to limit the
elements from being driven
past the smallest or largest
length desired (Motor Stops)
Place 3 mounting screws
here to LOCK the Drill Motor.