Reach for the skies!
Long a trick passed down from one roving guru to another, I have decided to share my recent experience with the home-brewed “short Arrow.” I first heard about this from my friend Wyatt, AC0RA. Others over the years have made this same, basic hack.
Essentially my original Arrow II is unmolested. However, if you wanted to start with a solid boom Arrow you could easily saw boom to cut off the end 4 elements.
I took some 3/4 aluminum tubing and created a new boom. You can buy a 6′ piece of this tubing at Lowe’s for approximately $20.
Using the original Arrow boom as a guide, I made holes in the new boom to match alignment and spacing of elements to the factory-made one. Using a drill press, I made the 6 holes required (2 for 2m, 4 for 70cm.) The original Arrow elements fit perfectly through my new home-brewed boom.
Photo of new short Arrow, old boom (in it’s 2-piece travel configuration) and excess 3/4 tubing.
Ready to test the short Arrow on a 65 degree-elevation FO-29 pass.
The short Arrow performs great, assuming you have a clear view to the horizon. I was able to work FO-29 AOS to LOS.
During a recent trip to Ohio for the AMSAT Space Symposium, I used AC0RA’s short Arrow to work a 3 degree elevation SO-50 pass. It worked very well in open farm country.
The best part is, I can assembly my original “normal” Arrow using the boom. I have the option of full or “mini” size.
All in all, this modification goes to prove “bigger isn’t always better.“