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"KB1DIG: 2 Meter HALO" Design Comments:
From: Larry McNeely 
Sent: Saturday, December 11, 2004 4:03 PM
Subject: 2 mtr halo outcome.

Howdy Steve, 
Name here is Larry - call W5LJM
I came across your website while looking for halo designs.  I looked for the #4 and #8 wire gauge but had no luck. I decided to try 1/4" copper tubing.  Put the antenna together as instructed and I am more than pleased to inform you that it works excellent.  Signal reports are nothing but good 5 9 all the way through 2 mtr SSB spectrum.  An SWR of 1.15:1 on 144.160 MHz. Here are pics I took with a Walmart $19.99 digital camera, so pardon the low resolution.

73, DE Larry W5LJM

From: Kim & Steve Merrill 
To: Larry McNeely 
Sent: Saturday, December 11, 2004 8:06 PM
Subject: Re: 2 mtr halo outcome.

Hi Larry,

Hope this message finds you and family well for the holidays..

Thanks for trying this Halo design.  I think of it as a dead-short-halo (It's really only an inside-out upside-down j-pole).  What ever you call it...what ever it just works great.  Good that others have had some fun duplicating it too.  

The images are perfect!!  Looks like that chain-link fence becomes a great ground plane.  Great idea with the 1/4" tubing too.  Looks like it really made the overall assembly much easier.  

Is it okay if we post this info and the images on the comments page section?  Could help others.


From: Larry McNeely 
To: Kim & Steve Merrill 
Sent: Sunday, December 12, 2004 12:19 AM
Subject: Re: 2 mtr halo outcome.

Howdy Steve & Kim,
It'd be great to post whatever you feel would help others. Oh yeah, I built the 6 mtr omni halo too but hadn't had the chance to test it out yet. Let ya know the outcome of that too if I get a chance to test it. It was made with the materials and design specified and nothing was substituted in it's construction. 
The little 2 mtr halo had a 1.7:1 SWR on 50.125 MHz as well at qtr. wave BTY.  It will not be used at that frequency but we tried it anyway just for fun.   Merry Christmas and happy holidays to your family from mine. 
Larry W5LJM

Subject: Your 2m halo
Date: 01 Feb 2003 15:47:31 -0800
From: "Erik G. Burrows" <>

First: Thanks so much for all your terrific ideas and plans, on your web site.  I've been itching to try out the 2 meter halo for a while, so today I finally got around to it.

Unfortunately, i get a very high SWR! 3/10 on my radio's (FT-817) display, and nothing I do seems to affect it one way or the other! I've shortened the loop halves each by about 1.5 inches in single 1/4" increments, with zero change in performance.

I've also tried gap spacing from 1/4" to 3". ZERO CHANGE! 

Lastly, I've bent the gamma matcher as far in and out as it will go.

Hints? Ideas? I'd really appreciate any help. 



PS: Yes, it is actually connected. :-)

Erik G. Burrows - KG6HEA
PGP Key:

Subject: Re: Your 2m halo
Date: Sat, 01 Feb 2003 22:18:48 -0500
From: Kim & Steve Merrill <>
To: "Erik G. Burrows" <>
References: 1

Hi Erik,

Thanks for checking out the Hampage.  Kim and I have a lot of fun doing this project together.

As far as the problems with the Halo.

Above all, don't panic!  There is nothing as disappointing as pulling your hair out over a project such as this.

Was thinking about this problem.  Why did it do that???  (  Hate that when it happens! )

One good thing is there is a resource of a few others that have had success reproducing this projects.
This is a shortcut link to the 2m Halo comment section:
All good people.  Should also be receptive to questions.

The first place I can think of to start looking is the short length of RG-8 coax and pl-259.  De-solder the "center feed coax" from the wire that connects to one of the halo elements.  Perform a continuty test.  This is on the off chance of a dead short from the pl-259 connector.  ( This happens to the best of us.  Self included...)

Another place to look is the mag-mount.  If you are using this?  Perform a continuty test on this also.  Normal coax length for the mag-mount is about 15 to 18 feet.  No internal inductance or capacitance inside the mag-mount housing.  Coax should be straight through.

If the antenna is on a mast section.  PVC is perhaps the best mast to use.  The 2-meter Halo could be described as an inside-out upside-down j-pole.  It's a dead short antenna, much like the j-pole.  I believe the 20" (1/4-wave) copper mast section acts as a decoupling sleeve for the antenna when mounted to PVC (or more or less in free-space).  Mostly the result of a brainstorm from another Ham that tried this, and looking at several different antenna designs that were out there.  The other thing to make sure of, is that the antenna is up in the air and away from metal, other large objects, trees...  Good coax...  Recheck the other connectors...  Normal stuff...

If any of the above turns out to be the problem... Things start working... The last thing I can think of, is the antenna is now going to match up more towards the FM side of 2-meters from the mods you have already made.  Good or bad is up to you...

Hope this helps!
73 Steve KB1DIG  ;-)
PS: NICE Laser Cannon, Erik!!!
Kim KB1GTR / Steve KB1DIG /  FN43ne
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Subject: Re: Your 2m halo
Date: 02 Feb 2003 11:13:08 -0800
From: "Erik G. Burrows" <>
To: Kim & Steve Merrill <>
References: 1 , 2

You have got to be one of the most helpful people I have ever met! However, I feel like a complete jackass for making you write such a long email when the problem was my antenna switch all along. Take it out of the loop, and my SWR is barely existant.

Now I'll twiddle the gap spacing and matcher shape to see if I can recover my lost copper, otherwise I'll just start over. (Gotta love a project that costs $5.00!)

Thanks VERY much Steve, I can't wait to try to tap into the nightly 2m PSK31 net.

(And thanks for the complement on the laser... It's a work in progress too.)


Subject: Re: Your 2m halo
Date: 02 Feb 2003 16:14:06 -0800
From: "Erik G. Burrows" <>
To: Kim & Steve Merrill <>
 References: 1 , 2

Thanks again Steve, you're a supergenious!

Between 144.1 and 144.3 it's SWR is non-existant (on my radio's readout anyway). I had to rebuild the main loop, but that took about $3.00 and 20 minutes. 

Thanks so much! I'm going to be frequently checking your site for new inventions.

BTW: If you'd like to see your design on my porcupine-like truck, here it is on my web site:


Subject: Re: Your 2m halo
Date: Sun, 02 Feb 2003 19:41:54 -0500
From: Kim & Steve Merrill <>
To: "Erik G. Burrows" <>
References: 1 , 2 , 3

Hi Erik,

This image is wild!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will post the e-mails we had back and forth in a few days.  If it's okay...  Please

I will need to chop the image down to 40k or 50k.  (typing to myself now)  Great fun!!!

Thanks for hanging in there.  This info will help others a lot....

73@be good!
Steve KB1DIG ;-)

Subject: Stealth Halo
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2002 11:47:06 -0500
From: "Bob Frick" <>
To: <>

I just returned back to the states after spending 25 overseas with the US Govt.  I left all my antenna gear to local clubs so basically I am starting from scratch in the states.  I decided to get involved with the local ARES group which is run out of the Eau Claire Radio Club in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

To make a long story short I came across your plans for the 2 meter stealth halo on the net and decided to build it. After initial construction and a little tweaking I can now hit our local repeaterr on 146.610 and the little thing seems to be working well.

Do you have any suggestions on how to use it mobile other than the magnetic mount which you showed on your internet drawings?  I would like to mount it on my F150 but since I have a fibreglass tonneau cover most of the obvious mounting suggestions dont apply.

I would like to affix the antenna to the trailer hitch but need some suggestions on how to create/build a mount.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

 Bob (W9IKC, ex-N3NGC, J28BM, A92GD,EL2RF, 4K0RF, BY4/N3NGC)

Subject: Re: Stealth Halo
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2002 20:08:17 -0400
From: Kim & Steve Merrill <>
To: Bob Frick <>
 References: 1

Hi Bob,

I don't know if you have seen the comments section about this antenna.  It works very well mounted in a section of PVC.  There is an image of how Larry WD0HSP mounted it this way for mobile SSB use.  Joe KC5SAA also sent me an e-mail about mounting this antenna in PVC and using it it off the deck in his condo.

This Halo design pops up all over the Web.  Sending along a few links to help.

This is the link to my home page:

This is a shortcut link to the 2m Halo comment section:

Hope this helps!
KB1DIG  ;-)

PS: If you can, please send me an image of the finished project!!  I will use it to torment my Wife, Kim KB1GTR... Hi hi!

Subject:  Re: Stealth Halo
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2002 16:36:23 -0600
From: "Bob Frick" <>
To: "Kim & Steve Merrill" <>
 References: 1 , 2


Finally.  Attached you will find three photos of the stealth halo which I put together.  This was initial effort and I am quite happy with it.  I could not find the correctgauge wire to use as the tuning stub so had to go with a higher gauge wire; it still works.  I soldered the 1/2 inch copper tubing to a 3/4 inch section (using a 1/2 to 3/4 inch coupler) and painted everything matt black.  Looks pretty sharp against the calypso green on my truck.

It's so 1.2 :1 swr on 144.9 and goes up to around 2:1 at 148 with 50 ohm impedence so I have no complaints.  Checked it out on two local repeaters and appears to work fine.

Thanks for putting the plans on the internet.
Bob (W9ICK)

Subject: Re: Stealth Halo
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 2002 07:27:10 -0500
From: Kim & Steve Merrill <>
To: Bob Frick <>
References: 1 , 2 , 3

Hi Bob,

Thanks for the images.  Great mounting idea!  It's "pretty sharp".  ;-)

Interesting...  You are the first person I know of, to mount this design to a mast section longer then 20", other then using PVC tubing.  It's great fun for me to see what others come up with.

I will try to post these photos in the comments section for the 2-meter halo in a few days.  Will have to shrink them down a little.

Worked a little more on the 6-meter halo page last night.  Added a little more text information.

Thank you for the images and some new twists in the design!

Be good!
Steven W. Merrill  KB1DIG ;-)

Subject: Re: Stealth Halo
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 2002 07:46:07 -0600
From: "Bob Frick" <>
To: "Kim & Steve Merrill" <>
 References: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4


I was worried about using the extra length of copper pipe as well. Was going to use PVC for the lower section but didnt have any on hand so tried this.

Strange things happen.


Subject: 2 meter halo
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2001 00:07:29 -0500
From: "Joe" <>

I built your 2 meter halo and use it off the deck in my condo, it hits the repeaters great where as I could'nt before because of the vally I'm in.  Also, after reading the comment you had on it on your site, I relized it's not dependent on the ground of a car because of the 20" pipe it's built around (ground plane).  Also it's an awesome performer on ssb.  The first one I built isn't pretty, but the next one will(the wife said so).  I'll send pics of it if you like.  One more thing before I talk your ear off, I'm a condo dweller and have experimented with a lot antenna's and for 2 meter this beats all hands down.  How big do ya think it would need to be for 80 meters LOL. 
Thanks for the great antenna.

Subject: Re: 2 meter halo
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2001 08:40:48 -0400
From: Kim & Steve Merrill <>
To: Joe <>

Hi Joe!,

That's great!  I had another Ham tell me that this Halo design didn't need the car for a ground plane.  He built his in PVC, mounted it to a tool box on his pickup and used it for SSB.  Made a 1000+ mile skip contact with it.  Please send me the image of the good looking one so I can show my wife.  Ha ha...  I'm
happy that you liked the design!

Have Fun!
Steve  KB1DIG  ;-)

Subject: FW: Good E skip
Date: Sun, 6 Aug 2000 12:52:11 -0500
To: <>


I built your 2mtr Halo and it works great. I did not use the Mag Mount method. What I did was bolt it to my Tool Box with an extend Mast It is above the Cab of the Truck and works great. Here is a rpt from a Ham in Ct I live near Omaha Ne. Enclosed is a pic of the Halo. Also on the truck is a Homebrew HF Screwdrive that I designed myself. RIg is IC-706mkiig....Tnx for the Info on your Halo.

73 Larry

-----Original Message-----
From: Del Schier K1UHF FN31 []
Sent: Saturday, August 05, 2000 12:08 AM
Subject: Re: Good E skip wrote:

> Nice to work you on 2mtr SSB with the Mobile. That was a real neat contact
> with just a HALO....Qth is Bellevue Ne EN21. I will drop you a QSL card in a
> few days....I brought the rig in side and hooked my 5 over 5 Yagis and I
> dont here a thing think the Halo is working better..
> 73 Larry DE WD0HSP

Hi Larry,

You were a new grid about #239 glad you were on in your mobile. My best 2 m
mobile contact is only about 550 miles you were about 1350 away. What is your 6
digit grid from home or from the car if you know.

I was running 4 X K1FO12's and 1.5 KW but I had no trouble copying your 10
watts. Thanks for the QSO!
73, Del

Everything below 50MHz is D.C. !!!

FN31fh 6M, 2M, 222, 432, 903, 1.2, 2.3, 10.3.......144 EME

Subject: "Good E skip"
Date: Sun, 06 Aug 2000 20:48:11 -0400
From: Kim & Steve Merrill <>


That's great!  I had a lot of fun doing this little Halo antenna.  I'm glad to see someone trying my design.  Tried to keep it simple.  It's kind of a cross between a J-pole and a Halo.  You could call it a "Dead Short Halo"...  I'm having a little trouble trying to figure out what you used for a mast from the images you sent me.  Is it PVC?  I've been wanting to try mounting this antenna to a section of PVC, for an attic antenna.  Future projects section...

Very nice mobile setup!  Have you posted your "Homebrew HF Screwdrive" design on the Web?  If so, please send me the link.

My Wife's Dad is from Fremont, NE.  She ( Kim ) sends her regards and says "GO CORNHUSKERS!"

Be good!
Steve  KB1DIG  ;-)

Question about your 2meter halo
Date:  Sun, 14 Nov 1999 15:55:22 PST
From: "David Barnes" <>


I saw your plans on the 2meter halo on your website, and it looks like something that even I could build!  I have a (hopefully quick) question:

What is the performance of this antenna (gain, SWR, etc.) compared to, say, a 2meter copper j-pole?

I want to set up a 2meter antenna, and I can either go through the trouble of putting a j-pole up on the second story roof, run coax from there through the roof vent and fish it down a platic pipe from the attic to the basement....or, I can put some sort of low-profile antenna inside the attic right near the plastic pipe.

Also, would having an antenna under a wood and tarpaper shingle roof impact the performance, compared to having it on the top of the roof?

Thanks for any advice you can provide!

David B. Barnes

I used this antenna on my van this summer.  I works very well for it's size.  It did not hit a single tree branch.  The SWR was below 1:1.9 across the 2M band.
I tuned it to be best at 1:1.2SWR@147MHz.  I did this because I wanted to use it for working the local FM repeaters.  It does have much more gain over a simple 1/4 wave antenna.  It dose not work quite as well as my 5/8 wave magnet mount mobile antenna I purchased from Radio Shack.  It has about the same gain as a 1/2 wave j-pole.  The fact that the halo design is horizontally polarized is irrelevant because, at this frequency and the size of the antenna, polarization really doesn't matter.  If it was a beam antenna then polarization is an important factor.  I think that this halo design is somewhat ground dependent.  I do not know if it will work without being on top of a metal car roof.  I have not tried this.  As you probably know, a j-pole in not ground dependent and dose not need a ground plain to work.

As far as an "in the attic antenna" goes, I don't think that performance will suffer that much.  If it was my choice, between a single element j-pole inside the attic and a colinear j-pole up on the roof, I'd go for the outside setup!  This will be the difference between night and day. (and the biggest bang for your $$$$!)  I hope this helps you David.

Good luck in your antenna projects!
Steve  KB1DIG  :-)

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