Quick Coat Hanger Dipole Skyhook, by KE3FLI came up with an idea this past Field Day when I wanted to operate using my 40m-field/vacation dipole and a solar charged battery. I eventually made my requisite five QSOs to prove that the set-up worked but I first had to fix the dipole antenna and then come up with a way to hoist it into the air.
This Skyhook was for the center of the dipole and is simply made out of one cut-and-bent clothes hanger, with just the hook section cut off, and the rest of the hanger used to support, the antenna.
When thinking about this I had a few requirements:
- It could not be pulled out of the mast section by hoisting up the antenna.
- It could not move around, making hoisting the antenna difficult.
- It had to be made with available materials, no trips to the hardware store.
- It had to be easy to make with the hand tools I had with me.
The section inside the mast had to be made as long as possible with as much movement resistance as possible.
The bottom inside the mast had a loop to fit the inner diameter of the mast, to increase the resistance of being easily pulled out. A close-up photo of the end of the skyhook that is inside the mast can be seen in Photo 1:
Photo 1: Close-up of Inside End-of-the-Coat-Hanger Skyhook.
The shape of the Coat Hanger Skyhook can be seen in the close-up in Photo 2:
Photo 2: Close-up of Coat Hanger Skyhook Shape
The long section inside the mast was bent in order to touch opposite sections of the inner diameter of the mast, plus to increase resistance and keep the outside loop from moving around easily. The common material used for the skyhook was a coat hanger. The one I used had a coating on it, similar to electric house wire. This material will rust rather quickly if unprotected so it should not be used in a permanent installation.
The mast section is four feet long and the part of the antenna skyhook inside the mast section is a bit longer than half the mast length (or a bit longer than two feet). Photo 3 shows the length of the skyhook compared to the mast section:
Photo 3: Hanger Skyhook and Mast Lengths
The length was not measured and calculated to be any specific length. It simply ended up being a little more than two feet because of the length of the hanger available. To make the skyhook as long as possible, all of the hanger was used, except for the twisted hook section which was simply cut off using a big wire cutter.
In the end, I was so pleased with this simple skyhook that I coated the ends with liquid tape a couple of times and left it in one of my mast sections for future use. The Coat Hanger Skyhook can be seen installed into a mast section in Photos 4 and 5. In Photo 4, the hoisting string is first installed through the loop before the mast section is mounted up about 20 feet.
Photo 4: Coat Hanger Skyhook Mounting Loop Close Up.
The Coat Hanger Skyhook installed into the mast end can be seen in Photo 5:
Photo 5: Coat Hanger Skyhook Mounting Installed in Mast Section
I hope others can use this or a take-off of it if they have the requisite materials while in the field. Those extra coat hangers can come in mighty handy and soon after I started driving I kept a spare coat hanger, or two, in the trunk, just in case. I’ve used them to hold up fallen mufflers, make a UHF TV and ham antenna, and now to make a simple antenna skyhook. Who knows what else we’ll make out of them?
Philip Karras, KE3FL