Thanks to Jeff, BJ, Jim and Bob for your advice, help and testing equipment with my new antenna. Here is a picture of my newest creation:
Bob says it sounded great when we talked last night, so I can't wait to get it on top of St. Mary's Peak tomorrow. It folds up nicely in my day pack so hopefully my antenna issues are over.
After I got done talking to Bob, I decided to go in the garage and find some items to make into an day pack pocket antenna.
Here is what I came out of the garage with:
1) a bamboo stick
2) some speaker wire
3) electrical tape
4) a 6" piece of coax with a So-239
This is what I built in 5 minutes:
I know it doesn't look like much but it made commo. Bob said it sounded good as well. I read somewhere that "all antennas want to work." Well, that may true; I guess we'll find out tomorrow.