Header image

Tape measure beam


5 elements on 2 meter and 10 elements on FRM/GMRS for direction finding. This was definitely not a $20 half-hour project like other tape measure beams on youtube. I'm $105 and 2 days into this and still need to do the feed points/matching, balun, diplexer and switchable attenuator. My first problem came when the 4-way PVC adapters had an internal shoulder and a few elements would be too close for the entire adapter. You think i could find a 1 1/16 drill bit in town? Nope. Had to find an old socket that fit snug and cut teeth into it to ream them out. Then, getting the 2m/FRS spaced so none overlapped led me to chop off the 4-way ends that fit over the pipe. Next came the custom grinding to make the 2m tapes lay flat across the 4-ways. The need for precision spacing led to the expensive purchase of lotsa hose clamps to use as guides when gluing. I ended up using super33 electrical tape to attach the elements and making that permanent with PVC cement made a nice mess on the deck. Anyhow, the hard part is over and now I get to pull out the VNA and tune this bad boy up. One more day and I should have an indestructable portable direction finding beam. Been quite the project!

road squawker

Active member
GOLD Site Supporter
turned into quite the project.

Looks good construction wise
let us know hoe it tunes up on the band(s).


I have not got back to the beam yet, although I did look into the diplexer a bit regarding component values. I need to find a metal project box for it. Hoping to get back to it tomorrow. Ill post a shot of the results on the NanoVNA when I get it done.