Once upon a time, someone made a product like this as part of a kit, so this isn’t a major revolution- but I’m not sure if anyone sold this product as a standalone device….

I have a Gabil gra-7350 antenna to pair with my Icom 705. The upside is it is a compact 80-6 vertical for portable operations. I’ve seen it compared to the wolf river coil for build, design, and results.

The downside is that it has an SO239 base, and I don’t want to spend 160 bucks on their base / tripod solution.

There’s a number of portable hf antenna solutions that have a plate to work with some sort of tripod, but none sold as standalone…. So I rolled my own.

I will correct myself…Wolf River Coils has something similar for about 30 bucks, but… well… I wanted to see what I could come up with.

While a simple UHF feed through was all I NEEDED, I also wanted to have provisions for ground wires, and maybe a 3/8-24 standard base for ham sticks or a plain old cb antenna. One key point was that it had to be compatible with a normal 1/4-20 camera tripod. I use Bogen/Manfrotto quick mount plates for simplicity and quick mounting.

The one issue I had was finding material. If I knew what my final product would be, I don’t mind buying a chunk of aluminum… but I didn’t want to drop 15 bucks on more metal to sit around afterwards.

In wandering through Lowe’s, I found something super simple, rigid enough, and only 98 cents. .. an electrical box cover.

All I needed was ground screws, and a way to fix it all together.

Note that I used wing nuts for the connections I would be loosening and tightening over time. I torqued everything else down to the extent possible.

What I found was that something longer would be better, to better space the coax away from the tripod head, and I could easily use something narrower. The plate length is close enough, though, that I could easily gauge what I need for a final solution.

Based on this, some things I’ve tried in the past, and even WRC’s solution (http://www.wolfrivercoils.com/images_product/camera_tripod_plate_package.jpeg), I decided a flat cb antenna bracket, like this one: https://www.rightchannelradios.com/products/wide-flat-cb-antenna-mount would work well.

After extensive Amazon, eBay, and Google searching for the cheapest solution, I ordered the Firestick bracket. I decided the existing mounting holes would work well for ground wire connection… adding a hole for the UHF feedthrough would be easy, as well as drilling and tapping a hole for the tripod bracket.

The upside to the firestick bracket is that it is narrower, so it fits much better in my radio carry case and can handle more connectors for different antenna solutions.

Here’s the final product:

Some of my better laid plans (threading the holes for the tripod screws) fell short when I started snapping off taps. Also took a LOT of work to get that uhf feed through drilled…. Harbor freight step bits are not the ideal tool for stainless steel. An aluminum plate might have been easier to machine, but I got this working. I’ll be keeping a set of 3/8-16 and 1/4-20 wing nuts in my stuff….

And, of course, the screw holes I wanted to use for ground connections are too close together to use without interfering with the tripod. Bummer.

To address the counterpoise issue, I added a binding post for counterpoise wire connection to the bracket.

Below is the final product and test fit on both the 1/4” and the 3/8” tripod threads

The 1/4” is a bit tougher because the bracket is thick, and there aren’t a lot of threads available above the bracket, but it does work. Just something I need to be aware of and maybe tinker with later.