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Antenna Showdown – New Packable Yagi vs Vertical in the 6m Sprint

Every year, the Central States VHF Society hosts a series of Sprint Sprint contests – one of which is a 50 MHz event. It’s a 4 hour contest with a point for each contact, and a multiplier of the number of 4-character grids worked. So I figured, I should probably operate from a SOTA summit for this event.

Spring Sprint Website:

Show Chapters:
0:00 Headed up the peak
1:42 Antenna intro
4:00 Telescopic Pole and Extended Double Zepp setup
6:19 Yagi Assembly and Setup
15:05 Contest Begins
21:32 Wrap-up

Not fully satisfied with the size of my 3-element 6m yagi, I constructed a larger one… much larger, actually. It consists of a 4-section 5 meter folding aluminum C-channel boom, and arrow shaft elements. Spread out on the boom are 5 elements which give a theoretical free-space gain of about 8.5 dBd. At 12 ft above ground, with sloping terrain all around on a summit, I expected pretty solid performance. And that’s what I got.

For the contest, I set up two antennas: the yagi, and an extended double zepp – a high-performing wire omnidirectional vertical antenna. I had each connected to an Icom IC-7300 with a coax switch to quickly change antennas. It was awesome switching back and forth to compare signal strengths on each antenna from the same source. The yagi crushed the vertical for longer-range contacts, but closer stations were much more mixed, likely due to signal polarization.

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