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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson

TOM BAXTER (K3MOV) on August 4, 2006
View comments about this article!

Ya know, there are two things that we have all known since the day we were born: 1) If it ain't broke, don't fix it; 2) Never have a person from Mexico, who cannot speak English, try to get your antenna higher in a tree as you are instructing him from the ground through a Costa Rican fellow who speaks English only slightly better than the guy in the tree.

A little background: As you can see from some of my eHam reports below, my Antennas & More G5RV has performed spectacularly for me. It was :- ( my one and only 75 meter antenna. It performed so well on 75 that the "gurus" on eHam started squabbling among themselves trying to come up with an explanation for its formidable DX qualities. I think they finally decided I was lying. Then they didn't have to deal with me anymore.

As you can see from the below posts, I only had 90' of space for my 102' antenna. By dark of night in my antennas forbidden development, I had attached one end to a high point on my house, about 40' high, and successfully threw (on the 25th try) the other end over the top of a pine tree which was about 40' high but very flimsy on top. I then tied the end of the 102' antenna to the base of the tree about 10' off the ground. I didn't realize it at the time, but I must have accidentally created some sort of "G5RV Inverted L Hybrid". From day one this baby was hot on 75. I worked all the DXpeditions with 500 watts and broke a lot of pileups within the first five calls. I was getting stations in Europe before some of the big boys with their 12 element fixed arrays, whatever that is. Oh, that's right, you can't work DX on 75 with a G5RV 35' above the ground - sorry.)

Well, time passed and the antenna continued to perform well. However, every morning as I looked out the window, I noticed the end of the antenna in the tree was getting lower and lower. Performance was still great, but I couldn't handle seeing the poor thing droop. What to do, what to do?? Wait a minute, the roofers are coming next week to put a new roof on the house. I'll just slip one of them $20 and have him use a plastic tie gun to really secure the antenna to the tippy, tippy top of the tree. There would still be about 12' pointing down along the tree, but who cares? That's probably the key to my good DX.

As the roofers were finishing up the job, I approached the foreman (a/k/a the fellow from Costa Rico who "speaks " English) and explained what I wanted to have done. "Yes, I understand", he said, but he seemed more fascinated with the plastic tie gun than he was with my explanation of what I wanted done with the antenna.

Enter Murphy! It was my intention, of course, to stand fairly close to the tree so I could supervise in English the foreman, who would then translate my instructions into Spanish. Well, I received a call advising me that my three year old granddaughter was not feeling well and Pop Pop had to go pick her up at school. No problem. I love seeing my Little Stinker, even when she's not feeling well, and even when I felt all hell was going to break loose as soon as I left the antenna "razing" party.

By the time I got home, the roofers were gone. It was too dark to see the antenna anyway so I decided to wait until the next day. As you probably know, some antenna purists will tell you there is no such thing as a G5RV Jr. or G5RV Lite. All I can say to that is they have not seen what was left of my wonderful, beautiful, efficient A&M G5RV. It was so mutilated I could hard bear looking at it. One of its legs was completely severed and I could not find the missing limb, which could possibly have been reattached. It was SK on arrival. It was a sad, sad day in K3MOV-'ville.

I waited a couple of days before contacting the roofing company. I knew it was important to get my story down just right. One wrong word or phrase and the owner of the company, rather than empathizing over my loss would be on my case for having his workers getting paid by him for working on my hobby. I called the company and asked to speak to the owner. Before I could even begin my spiel, he said, "Tom, what's this I hear about my men working on you ham radio antenna? Don't you realize that if they were hurt while doing that, my insurance carrier would have a fit......blah, blah, blah". At that point, I wished the roofers hadn't done such a good job on the roof so I could interject with a complaint. Murphy had bitten and he had bitten hard. It was all I could do to shut the guy up and get off the phone. How could they be so good at putting a roof on and so bad at attaching a wire to a tree??

Now, as pass the window, I no longer see the drooping G5RV that had brought me such joy. I simply gaze and sing to myself:

Don't go changing, to try and please me
You never let me down before
Don't imagine you're too familiar
And I don't see you anymore
I wouldn't leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times; I'll take the bad times
I'll take you just the way you are

Best of luck es 73, Tom K3MOV

RE: Antenna for 40 and 80 meter Reply
by K3MOV on June 26, 2006
Due to space constraints, I use a G5RV as my only 75-meter antenna. It is a flat top at about 35' and goes N / S. I run 500 watts with an Ameritron ALS 600 and an LDG AT 1000 tuner.

On 75 I constantly work DX into Europe and South America with 5/9 reports. I have also worked quite a few stations in Africa, including South Africa and all of the recent DXpeditions. Frankly, I have no idea why this thing works as well as it does. Previously I used a Radio Works 80 Special, which gave poor results. I keep toying with the idea of something "better", but inevitably returns to, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

I'm not suggesting you try a G5RV, but rather that you don't dismiss it completely with out a try.

RE: Antenna for 40 and 80 meter Reply
by K3MOV on June 27, 2006
To N3OX: I pass my personal G5RV experience along frequently, not necessarily for the benefit of the original poster here, but for those who don't even bother considering a G5RV for 75/80 meter DX because they've been told that they simply won't be able to work any DX with it. I agree that in this poster's case substituting a G5RV for an 80-meter dipole will not improve his situation.

You mention that I do not have a comparison for the G5RV. Please take another look at my post and you will see that I took down a Radio Works antenna because of poor performance. I was only getting 5/4 or 5/5 reports from G3WXX and his gang whereas I am always 5/9 with the G5RV.

Bent G5RV in Short Space vs. Shortened Antenna Reply
by K3MOV on September 28, 2005
I realize in advance that the answer to this question is most likely "it depends". But I would still be interested in your input.

I am looking to improve my DX performance on 75/80 with a WIRE antenna. Currently, I am using a full size flat top G5RV in the 90' space I have available. It is about 35' high. One end points down 90 degrees for about 12' along the tree which supports it.

The replacements I am considering are these:

1) Windom Half Square from Antennas & More.
2) (http://www.antennasmore.com/windomhq.htm)

2) One of several "shortened" coax fed antennas.

3) Cobra Ultra Lite Jr. linear loaded antenna fed with ladder line. (http://www.k1jek.com/)

4) Leave the G5RV, which does do fairly well with dx, alone. (This, of course, is contrary to everything we believe in).

Tnx fer taking the time. 73, Tom

RE: Bent G5RV in Short Space vs. Shortened Antenna Reply
by K3MOV on September 29, 2005
Thanks to all for the replies.

I'm beginning to think this idea belongs in the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it category". Since I started logging my 75 meter DX in March of this year, the following is some of the DX I have worked with 500 watts and my 35' high G5RV: EA8, I2, VP5, EA1,YY5, NP2, 9Y4, WP3, CO8, EI7, P40, 8R1, FY, HC1, PJ4, FG, TI, J88, YU1, OO5, DL, C6, CU, SP, PT, 4N1, S59, CT2, OE6, 9Z4, SM5, and on 9/14/2005 ZS6CCY.

Maybe I'm getting too greedy.

RE: G5RV installation Reply
by K3MOV on February 22, 2006
I only have 90' of space for my G5RV. Because of stealth considerations, one leg is completely horizontal and the other leg points down for the final 12'. This is my main 75-meter antenna. I am amazed at the DX I've been able to work and the pileups I've been able to break through with the antenna at only 25' above the ground.

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by K3MOV on July 26, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
What happened to all my wonderful "paragraphing". And apparently I still don't know how to attach a picture. Henceforth, it will be my responsibility to lighten things up a little in eHam. Now if I only knew how to work a computer.
 
A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by K8CXM on August 4, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Don't you know that according to all the 'experts', G5RVs don't work? I've seen so many negative comments about this antenna, I can tell that they have never used one before, or depend on modeling programs for it's analysis, or are comparing it to their full sized dipole at 80 feet. I've used several different variations of the G5RV, all with pretty good success and NONE of them over 40 feet high. I think it's the best, simple, multiple band, single COAX feedline, inexpensive antenna ever devised. The one I have up now is 94 feet long with a 38 foot ladder line matching section. It won't work on 75, but is under 2:1 on 40,20,17,12 and 10. Think ZS6BKV figured this configuration out. I use a half square on 30, and it's OK, but think it falls short in reception: too noisy, just like a vertical. Seems to get out well though.
Stick with the G5RV, in your limited space I don't think you can do better.
 
A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by WW5AA on August 4, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Tom,

Enjoyed reading this, however Iím still in the camp of those that would only use a G5RV on 20 meters, and then only if circumstances required a shortened dipole. Strange things can occur with antennas however, so if it works, it works! Hope you get it back as good as it was.

http://www.cebik.com/wire/g5rv2.html

73, de Lindy
 
RE: A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by WW5AA on August 4, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Oh, and I have tried G5RV type antennas in multiple configurations over the years and at best they are close to a 135' ladder line fed doublet only on 20 meters.

73, de Lindy
 
RE: A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by K3AN on August 4, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
My G5RV was a poor performer on 80 and 40, but fine on the higher bands. Only a 130 foot OCF sloping dipole was worse for me.

But ANY antenna is better than none at all. If that's all you have room for, then by all means put one up.
 
RE: A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by WA3KYY on August 4, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Hmm I wonder what the G5RV "experts" have to say about my 1st Place 3rd Call District finish in the 2005 CQ WPX CW contest, SO-AB-LP?

Guess this antenna doesn't work very well.

73,
Mike WA3KYY
 
RE: A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by W4LGH on August 4, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I know there are many people who say a G5RV doesn't work. I used to be one of them as I had tried several G5RV's in the past with no real luck. However, I use a remote antenna switch to change antennas, and these antennas are way out back in the woods. I didn't want the cost of long coax runs back to the shack. I had run originally a length of RG8X out to the switchbox, and it worked fine. Then I came into a fair length of
LMR-400, and figured its got to be better. So I burried the LMR thru the yard and out to the woods. I did NOT remove the original RG8X. The LMR did improve signals both xmit and rec.

Now I got into playing with my vintage radios, Drake 4B twins and a Drake TR-3, so I decided to use the old RG8X and put up a dedicated antenna for the Drakes. The easy way taken first, I decided to build what is called a G5RV Jr. or Lite. Have the size of the standard G5RV. Not exxpecting much, I was shocked that the antenna loaded fine on ALL bands without an antenna tuner (40/20/15/10). Not having the WARC bands on the Drakes ,I didn't much care about them. I also found that with the tuner I could load it to a 2 to 1 ratio on 75M ! Wow..this is unreal, but I have worked probably 100+ European stations with 100watts or less on this antenna with ease! Mostly on 20 meters, where it is 1.2 to 1.

Now I did do a lot or research on the G5RV, how it was originally constructed etc. Other than its shorten size, it is built to the original specs, no balun, spacing at the feed point the exact size, and 6 turns, 6" in diameter on the coax to keep RF out the shack. A lot of people, and manufractures dod not build them as it was originally designed, and may contribute to people saying they don't work. I can only tell you that this one works GREAT. To further make matter worse, I had to install it as an invert V.
There are many articles that say you CAN NOT do this with this type of antenna. Again, what can I say...it works and it works well, but then I also have a 5 band trapped dipole that many will say won't work either, and it too works super! I will admit that the several cut to frequency mono-band dipoles I have do work a little better, but then you'd expect them to.
The little diference in performance, to trade off for multi-band ablity, is not bad.

73 de W4LGH - Alan
http://www.w4lgh.com
14.289 SPG Vintage Net Sunday's @ 1700UTC
 
RE: A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by WW5AA on August 4, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Worked 48 States mobile during ARRL Sweepstakes last year, guess I'll put that Lil Tarheel II on the tower to replace the beam. (:-)

73, de Lindy
 
RE: A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by W7MJM on August 4, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I built a ZS6BKV (94 ft doublet, fed by about 40 feet of 450 ohm ladder line, then a W2DU-style choke balun, then 100 feet of RG-213 to the rig) which I've been using for the past few years.

The wire is strung up in a Doug Fir tree in kind of a sloping-upright-L configuration; the top half is almost vertical, topping off at about 80 feet, the mid point is at about 45 feet, and the bottom end slopes down to its terminus about 10 feet off the ground, pointing towards the southwest. The ground below also slopes towards the southwest.

It works like gangbusters, especially to the Pacific (my QTH is in Portland, Oregon)on 40, 20 and 17. It even works on the low end of 80 CW, though the SWR is a bit high there. It also works on 12 and 10; I have worked Alaska with it on 12 during an opening. I can get into Europe on 20 and 40, when those bands are open in that direction. I generally run 150 watts CW and 500 watts SSB.

The only problem is that I will be relocating my station to a new QTH in Portland, one that doesn't have any tall trees. I've considered replacing the G5RV with a roof-mounted 6btv with tuned radials at the new QTH and wonder how it will perform. Anyone out there have setups with both antenna types?
 
A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by KA0SOG on August 4, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
The back of my house is in two layers. It takes a ladder to get to roof over the covered deck and another to get to the roof of the second floor. I was doing some adjustments one day and the second floor ladder was blown over by the wind onto the roof of the covered deck below. I tried shouting at my next door neighbor he thought he heard me but couldn't see me. The YL was gone at the time and when she came home some time latter she couldn't find me for the longest time until she finally came out into the back yard. She figured it out got my neighbor who reset up the ladder and after thanking them I went downstairs and hid in my shack to lick my wounds.

Hint people don't tend to look up when they hear you shout at them.
 
RE: A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by SSB on August 4, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I am amazed at how different wire antennas work better or worse than others. Is it the better higher quality copper in the better antennas? Is there something magical in the copper wire that makes it better? Maybe the better wire antennas were blessed by Voodoo priests?

A wire antenna is a wire antenna! If you know of a verifyable and scientific explaination why one wire antenna is so much better (10-20db) that one can tell the difference without A/B tests, please submit your data so all of us can be enlightened.


Alex....
 
RE: A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by N8BOA on August 4, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
If the wind is above 35mph and the temp is below 32deg when you install your antenna then it will work good
If it stays up over one year then it is not up high enough
RF likes big ugly antennas better then small ones
N8BOA
 
RE: A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by K3MOV on August 4, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
SSB, this is the only data that I have:

"Since I started logging my 75 meter DX in March of this year, the following is some of the DX I have worked with 500 watts and my 35' high G5RV: EA8, I2, VP5, EA1,YY5, NP2, 9Y4, WP3, CO8, EI7, P40, 8R1, FY, HC1, PJ4, FG, TI, J88, YU1, OO5, DL, C6, CU, SP, PT, 4N1, S59, CT2, OE6, 9Z4, SM5, and on 9/14/2005 ZS6CCY." I neglected to mention that I am a regular participant in Tony's G3WXX group, which includes stations throughout Europe.

I will have to leave it to gurus much smarter than I to explain why my NVIS antenna insists on having such a low takeoff angle. I'm considering asking the manufacturer for a refund since he obviously misrepresented the specifications of the G5RV.

"I am amazed at how different wire antennas work better or worse than others." That's strange. I read reviews constantly of antennas working well at one QTH and poorly for the same amateur at another location or vice versa.

I would appreciate it if you could supply me with data that explains why HF mobile antennas, with their poor efficiency, allow us to talk around the world when putting out only several of the 100 watts that they started with. "Maybe the better mobile antennas were blessed by Voodoo priests?"


 
RE: A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by W8JI on August 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson Reply
by WW5AA on August 4, 2006 Tom,

Enjoyed reading this, however Iím still in the camp of those that would only use a G5RV on 20 meters, and then only if circumstances required a shortened dipole. Strange things can occur with antennas however, so if it works, it works! Hope you get it back as good as it was.

http://www.cebik.com/wire/g5rv2.html

73, de Lindy >>>

Lindy,

This begs an obvious question.

If, as YOU allude, Cebik doesn't like a G5RV and says it doesn't work, why does he endorse an antenna that is even shorter and lossier than the G5RV?

The fact is G5RV is indistinguishable from a dipole in over-the-air performance when both are installed in the same manner. However the G5RV works, the Cebik dipole will be a lot worse on the lowest band because it is even shorter.

When I had a G5RV up I compared it in blind tests with a dipole at the same height on 75M.

When I would say "this is antenna 1, this is antenna 2"....no one could tell the difference.

When I would say "this is the G5RV, this is the dipole"...the dipole would always win.

The "this is the dipole" would win even when I would call the G5RV a dipole, and call the dipole a G5RV.

That simple little test of two antennas in the clear end-to-end some distance apart and at the same height speaks volumes about what the problem with a G5RV really is.

It is in people, not the antenna. If I were a G5RV, I'd change my name and start a new life.

73 Tom
 
A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by W8JI on August 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!

Tom,

Whatever warm fuzzy feelings you have about your old G5RV, enjoy them. It is like a sweetheart that was ripped from your arms by death.

The rest of us who have been around the block won't spoil your fantasy by telling you a wire antenna about a half wave long and fed in the center is about like any other wire antenna about the same length installed the same way.

We won't tell you if your simple low wire sweetheart beat some other person's idea of his ideal wire, it was more about how poorly their sweetheart behaved or propagation at the moment than how exceptional your favorite sweetheart was.

I won't tell you I have worked the same or similar coutries from my mobile on 75 meters, and that I often could bust a pileup in five calls or less while driving down I-75. I don't want you running off with my mobile sweetheart, now that I enjoy the feel of her whip!!

You should have know better than to have left your sweetheart in the hands of hot sweaty Latinos while you ignored her to talk on the phone. We won't spoil your enfactuation by telling you it is based on emotion rather than science.

73 Tom
 
RE: A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by K2WH on August 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
A G5RV performs very well, as a matter of fact it is the best antenna in the world ---------- if you have never tried anything else.

Tom JI put it correctly. Your antenna is like a women, your only women. Ah, but then this other women comes along who's performance is say quite a bit better and guess what your current women is not so great anymore.


K2WH
 
RE: A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by W4LGH on August 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
There are 6 reasons why one antenna works better than another one. It is very scientific, and is derived for data collected over some 40+ years. The 6 reasons are:

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
and
BAND CONDITIONS, BAND CONDITIONS, BAND CONDITIONS.


There is a 7th reason, but the data is to new to fully
analize, and it only applies to 20 meters. This 7th reason is speaking SPANISH. Ever noticed when 20M is dead as a doornail, the SPANISH speaking stations are always out there with 59 signals? As I said this data is to new to fully analize the reasons, but it certainly seems to work. (grin)

de W4LGH - Alan
http://www.w4lgh.com

PS... I certainly hope everyone enjoyed the humor of the 7th reason, as it was intended.
 
A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by KD5RGJ on August 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I once checked into a net 600 miles away with a perfectly tuned antena tuner...yep! forgot to hook the antenna up. You never know !!
 
RE: A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by K8MHZ on August 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
"PS... I certainly hope everyone enjoyed the humor of the 7th reason, as it was intended."

Oddly enough, I have encountered the same thing. Many times actually. Since no one else ever mentioned it before I just thought that a Spanish speaking country was just the right distance away from me to be the very last (or first) area to close (or open) on the band.

Now I think that there is more to this. Here is my theory....

The band isn't really dead, it is just that no one is transmitting other than Spanish stations, probably located very high above sea level, and with no competition are very loud.

Perhaps there are people listening. To test my theory, next time this happens slip over to a quiet frequency and call CQ, or CQDX. The results may be surprising!
 
RE: A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by W4LGH on August 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
The band isn't really dead, it is just that no one is transmitting other than Spanish stations, probably located very high above sea level, and with no competition are very loud.

========================================

Your theory has a lot of validity to it, and is probably the case 75% of the time. However I also think that their 10K & 20K amps may have a little to do with it as well.(grin) Shear brute force!

Many times I have given thought to learning to speak spanish better so I could talk when the band was dead. (hihi) Honestly I really don't think it would help, but its been a big joke around my area for a long time.

de W4LGH - Alan
http://www.w4lgh.com
 
A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by K1CJS on August 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I just wish I had a dollar for every time someone said "That antenna won't work very well." I have a real 'compromise antenna' due to space restrictions--an Isotron set of 20 and 40 meter 'birdcages'.

I had a fellow ham down to my shack one day, and he commented on them (how 'bad' they are) and started laughing. I simply switched on the HF rig and invited him to try it out. I had the last laugh after he worked a half dozen stations--in the early afternoon--with two of them in Europe. He left with a different view than he walked in with.
 
A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by K9MI on August 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Tom I glad to hear you are having good success with your station. I've heard that G5RV initally came up with the 102' for bit more punch on 20 meters, since you have around 3 1/2 waves with that dimension on 20 meters. Also, I don't know how he fed it orginally, but in the ARRL report when he passed he was feeding the antenna all the way back to the tuner with twin lead of some sort. I think the reason it gets the bum rap sometimes is because a lot of the time, they are fed differently, they come in these prebuilt packages and some of us have alway built our wire antennas. I bought one about 5 or 6 years ago, and the performance was just not there. It seems like any time they make an antenna 102', it's called a G5RV. When I lived out of state for 16 years, we rented, so most of the time, I would use a dipole around 75 meter size, and just used it on 20/40/80.

Oh, someone mentioned a change of antenna (slight) and one was several s units better. I think what you may be seeing is a change in propogation. I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just saying the propogation gods have more to do then we give them credit for.

Also, if you have your coax fed dipole at 1.5 swr, do not lose any sleep about it, especially the lower hf frequencies. The guy on the other end will never know the difference. Unless you are using a rig that has big time foldback at a 1.5:1. And one I get tickled over is changing your orientation of your 75 meter dipole at 30ft heighth and now you are more broad side, and stronger where you want to be. Low dipoles for 40-160 at 30ft are going to be more or less omni directional.If you notice differences, it's more probably has to do more with propogation then moving the antenna.

Another thing I like to point out that I've learned in my almost 27 years of hamming is to try and maximize your antenna farm befoe you buy that new $5000 radio. I realize that we can't all have towers and beams up. But if you can, you'll be amazed at what a 3 element tribander can do at 40ft if you've only used wires and verticals before. Sure, it's tempting, especially if you have the bucks to buy the latest and greatest rig. Your improved antenna will not only help you on transmit, it improves your receive also.

73, Mike K9MI

 
A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by N0AH on August 5, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
G5RV..............great for fishing line and/or climbing rope in elementary school gyms.
 
RE: A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by K3MOV on August 6, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
N0AH: Thanks for making check my DXCC list for 75 meters. 56 entities since last October. Nothing great, but not bad for an antenna that doesn't work on 75.

LIST OF DXCC WORKED ON 75 METERS WITH G5RV SINCE 10/05

3V8DLH - TUNISIA
3Y0X - PETER ISLAND
6YZZ - JAMAICA
8P1A - BARBADOS
8R1EA - GUYANA
9A1UN - CROATIA
CO6LPB - CUBA
CT2ITR - PORTUGAL
CT3A - MADIERA ISLAND
CU2B - AZORES
DJ3ST - GERMANY
EA3AE - SPAIN
EA87S - CANARY ISLAND
EA9IE - CEUTA & MELILLA
EI6S - IRELAND
F6CTT - FRANCE
FG5DH - GUADELOUPE
FO/DL1AWI - FRENCH POLYNESIA
FS/AA4V - ST. MARTIN
FY5KE - FR. GUIANA
2E0NCG - ENGLAND
HG6N - HUNGARY
HB9SLO - SWITZERLAND
HB0/DL2OBO - LEICHTENSTEIN
HQ9F - HONDURAS
IR4M - ITALY
J7DM - DOMINICA
WP2Z - U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
WP4U - PUERTO RICO
N3KS/KP5 - DESECHEO ISLAND
LA6WEA - NOWAY
LX1UN - LUXEMBOURG
OE6MBG - AUSTRIA
OK2BNK - CZECH REPUBLIC
ON5SY - BELGIUM
P40A - ARUBA
PA0GMW - NETHERLANDS
PJ7/DL7DF - ST. MAARTEN
S59A - SLOVENIA
SM0W - SWEDEN
SO9O - POLAND
TI5N - COSTA RICA
TZ9A - MALI
RK3AWL - EUROPEAN RUSSIA
V31BH - BELIZE
VA2VFT - CANADA
VK3EW - AUSTRALIA
VP9I - BERMUDA
YL2GB - LATVIA
YO3JR - ROMANIA
YU1FJK - SERBIA & MONTENEGRO
YV5LIX - VENEZUELA
YX0LIX - AVES ISLAND
ZS6CCY - SOUTH AFRICA

 
RE: A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by K3MOV on August 6, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I decided to expand my search of my 75 meter DX QSOs back to 3/5/2005, the date I began to keep a computerized log. The below entities were added to the list.

((Please understand that it is not my intention to boast by publishing these lists - I have nothing to boast about. I am just the appliance operator who bought a PRO II, a 500 watt amplifier, a G5RV, which I had up about 35 feet in a 90 foot space before it met an early demise. I think I'm putting my money on the location, location, location comment.))

9Y4W - TRINIDAD
C6ANI - BAHAMAS
CN2R - MOROCCO
H8CN - GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, ECUADOR
HI3CCP - DOMNICAN REPUBLIC
HK3BUD - COLUMBIA
KH7X - HAWAII
LZ1JI - BULGARIA
OM3EI - SLOVAK REP.
PJ2T - NETHERLAND ANTILLES
PT7BZ - BRAZIL
V26B - ANTIGUA
VP5T - TURKS / CAICOS ISLANDS

 
A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by N1IR on August 6, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
On 75M, your G5RV is basically a top loaded vertical dipole. If the ground (below it) is good, I am not terribly surprised at the DX you have.

Sounds like fun; hope you get it back up.

73,
Chip W1YW
(ex N1IR)
 
RE: A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by SSB on August 7, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I can't believe at what some hams get insulted by. If someone doesn't have alot of faith in a particular antenna, its just their opinion, opinions don't determine fact. Why some hams get so bugged because somebody doesn't think much of an antenna, rig, power supply, automobile, shoes, hair creme (if you still have hair), or anything else is ridiculous.

I also noticed, especially in the "review" (blind testamonial / personal sales pitch) section of eHam that Hams seem to think what they currently have is the best, they will defend its honor at all cost, of coarse until they get something new, and then it becomes the best. I don't read reviews any more. "Buy one you won't be sorry" "If you can find one grab it, its the best". Too many of these dumb and useless comments.
 
RE: A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by K3MOV on August 7, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
SSB, I am not insulted by comments such as yours - different strokes for different folks. I am only bothered by the fact that someone like me, who doesn't have much choice in where or what type of antenna he can put up, would not, based on the conventional "wisdom", even consider a G5RV for DX. My Article can be summed up in a few words:

Don't assume a G5RV mounted around 35' is not capable of working DX. If it's the only thing you have room for, try it and see how it works from your QTH.
 
RE: A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by N3OX on August 7, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I might be able to put +10dBm on the 50ohm receiver input of my FT-857 without blowing it out. The minimum detectable signal is -137dBm based on the RX noise floor. Let's knock that back to -110dB for atmospherics or some QRN.

That means there's a 120dB range of power over which my RX can detect signals. That means losing five or six or ten or twenty dB on the transmitted signal by using a "bad" antenna doesn't matter, right? That means that on receive, it doesn't matter if I have a wire at 30 feet on 80m, because losing ten or fifteen or twenty dB over a "low angle" antenna like a vertical doesn't matter, right?

Uhhh...

Radio success is all about desired-signal-to-noise. If you drop 6dB in antenna efficency when you're transmitting, it *could* make the difference between copy and not for some QSO's. I'm sure the station on the other end would thank you if you gave him 6dB more signal to whatever noise he was receiving. If you run a low wire on 80m, putting up that vertical which has a pattern that helps null out the high-angle incoming thunderstorm noise will help you hear some DX that wasn't there before. Even better, put up that beverage and you drop a bunch more noise from undesired directions.

All . . . . Antennas . . . . Work

Why? Because if a guru says "A G5RV at 30 feet doesn't work for DX", someone lists the DX they worked on a G5RV at 30 feet and, bam, there's your counterexample, unrefutable proof that you can work DX on a G5RV at 30 feet. Proving the guru wrong might feel good if he's a jerk (and many are sometimes). What it does NOT do, however, is turn the G5RV at 30 feet into an antenna that should generally be recommended as a DX antenna!!! It is formal logical proof that the guru was wrong... that doesn't change the criteria for good antenna system design.

- - - - - -

Tom, you're totally right that those who can't put up anything better than a G5RV at 30 feet should try to work some 80m DX on it. It's fun, it's possible, it's rewarding. However, people shouldn't think that a G5RV at 30 feet is a good "DX antenna" for 80m. There is no antenna on which one will be unable to work some DX. There are plenty of antennas that will just beat the living snot out of a G5RV at thirty feet for DX. Part of the problem of hams praising their compromise antennas is that there's a tendency to distill antenna advice to rules of thumb and then to argue various points based only on the rules of thumb!

True statement: Good DX antennas are antennas whose main response to incoming signals is at low angles in the desired direction of reception and transmission. If they are to be used for transmitting, they should also be highly efficient.

Rule of thumb distilled from this true statement:
A low dipole is not a good DX antenna.

Forming a rebuttal against the rule of thumb is easy. I don't think forming a rebuttal against the true statement is so easy. Try finding the counterexample for this one:

For 80m DX, a four-square over a good ground system is a better antenna than a G5RV at thirty feet.

73,
Dan

P.S. someday I want the kind of 80m station where I can hear DX stations who are running 100W into a G5RV ;-)
 
RE: A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by N3OX on August 7, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I should add that part of the problem with hams praising OR DAMNING compromise antennas is trying to distill things to rules of thumb.

The gurus should stop being so grumpy and trying to tell someone they're going to fail something they haven't even tried. Good, constructive suggestions for things one might improve to work better DX would be much better received.

Dan
 
RE: A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by W5CPT on August 8, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
The first rule of Hamming is "RF gotta go somewhere." and the corolary to that rule is "What you do to your antennas often has no effect on where it goes". I have seen too many occasions of poorly built, poorly installed and badly arranged antennas that work so far beyond their expected performance AND some wonderfully executed installations that did not play worth a #@&*% to doubt this particular story. My present 75M antenna right now is a Dipole cut for 5 Mhz that was left over from a military project on which I worked, up about 35' that consistantly gets good reports. I will add a bigger higher one soon but I will never take it down (or let roofers work on it).

Thanks,
Clint W5CPT
 
A Double Hard Luck Antenna Lesson  
by KC2WI on August 14, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
My (home made) G5RV works great on 75 and 40, and fairly well on most other bands, especially considering that it cost almost nothing to build and has been up in various locations for nearly 20 years. I don't have a 'real' balun, just a several turns of coax as a choke. I think it is a great antenna for a such a simple and inexpensive thing.
 
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