eHam.net - Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net



[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't

bob raynor (N4JTE) on June 10, 2009
View comments about this article!

THE G5RV; What it is, What it ain't!

A Real World Comparison.

Bob Raynor N4JTE


During the last 5 or 6 years I have built 38 homebrew antennas, both wire and verticals from 160 thru 2 meters. Most of these were monoband gain arrays. I have never tried a G5RV so a few weeks ago I set out on this experiment.

The G5RV has been well represented on the bands and well disparaged in other venues of opinion. I figured why not build one and compare it to some other antennas in equivalent directions and find out for myself !

This article is aimed at a new ham considering a multiband coax fed wire antenna that is easy to build and costs less than a commercial single dipole. I would hope that my observations will be of use to a beginner and perhaps also to some of my crusty contemporaries.

As designed by Varney, the G5RV, is in essence, a slightly long, extended double zepp on 20 meters with an wl tuned stub. The basic EDZ will ordinarily be fed with an 1/8 wl tuned stub in the monoband configuration.

The classic G5RV is a center fed 102ft. long wire fed either with 300 twin or 450 ohm ladderline, 31 ft. or so long, depending on the choice. It is non resonant within the ham bands but is actually close enough to tune out the resultant swr and work well with the internal tuners prevalent in the newer transceivers.

CAVEAT: Stick with the original design and lengths and flat top if possible. This antenna has a bunch of well thought out compromises and Varney knew what he was doing. I attempted to optimize 20 meters by trying 10 different tap points on the 450 line and found that the 31ft. was the best, but I had to try, hi. Also, www.w8ji.com , Tom has a good swr scan at 100 ft. high ,mine at 38 ft was pretty close so check his out if interested.

COMPARISON ANTENNAS;

1; My G5RV was built in the classic design and was flat top at 38ft. with a center support and two available trees. Due to their location the actual horizontal angle was about 165 degrees as opposed to the preferred 180.

Antenna was fed thru 100ft. of RG 213 to a MFJ-986 differential tuner.

2; 40 meter double extended zepp, 165ft long at 60 ft high. Ladderline fed direct to ATR-30 tuner. Both antennas favor the E/W direction and were about 80ft. apart.

3; 2 pairs of 40 meter phased verticals covering NE/SW/SE/NW, switchable.

4; 20 meter diamond shaped quad loop at 40 ft. in E/W favor.

5; 17 meter monoband vertical at 35ft. high with 4 sloping ground plane radials at 22ft high, 45 degree slope.

ON AIR TESTS:

The testing was done during May of this year (2009), over a 4 week period with the usual zero sunspot activity with an occasional short duration small cycle 24 sunspot showing up. All tests were A-B-C, instantaneous and no antennas were identified until later discussions at the end of the qso's.

75 METERS.

Antennas; G5RV and 40 meter zepp/doublet.

1900 utc to 0500 utc

Stations contacted; 124 Stateside

12 DX

The overall consensus was that 95% of the stations worked could not discern any significant difference between the 165ft. long zepp and the G5RV. What was truly astounding was that I tried the same test on a few of the same contacts and told them which antenna I was now on. Amazingly, somehow the G5RV was now getting a 1 S unit lower report than before being named.

Go figure, hi.

The G5RV is only about 20 ft. short as a dipole on 75 so I was not totally surprised that it held up well against, in this case, a 165 ft. long doublet. I had expected a little more advantage for the doublet being longer and higher but the result speaks for itself. I did run into some RF into the laptop on the first night of testing but a 1 to 1 balun at the ladderline /coax connection took care of the problem and remained connected for all testing.

40 METERS;

Antennas; G5RV

40 meter 4 square

40 meter EDZ

1500 utc to 0500 utc

Stations contacted; 186 Stateside

22 DX

I really put the G5RV to the test on this band as I have multiple gain/direction antennas well proven on this band for stateside and dx contacts.

During local daylight the G5RV held it's own, and them some, with many stateside contacts and rag chews. When working multiple states at the same time the G5RV was the antenna of choice with all stations receiving and being heard well. The G5RV filled in the missing South and North lobes on the zepp and made for a more comfortable roundtable between MI, SC, VA, ME and NY. Both gain antennas showed a couple of S units gain when pointed at their locations but the G5RV saved a lot of time switching around and served very well in this capacity.

So; during daylight the G5RV on 40 meters was a delight to this beam/array operator as it had no problem being heard as well when put up against 3 dbd gain directional arrays. I could not see, nor document, any particular lulls on receive or transmit that would indicate any pronounced directionality with the G5RV. The G5RV has become my 40 meter daylight antenna of choice.

Nighttime testing on all paths was very enlightening in that again the G5RV was competing against two antennas designed for distance and gain.

The best example exhibited was during a test between HI and a G4 along with 56 stateside checkins on my www.omiss.net one night.

To Hawaii, the G5RV was given 5/7, the Zepp was given was given a 5/9 and the phased verticals were given 5/9 plus,(better aimed, hi). To the G4 the G5RV was 5/7, the zepp was 5/9 plus a roomful and the phased verticals had a similar report. There were many other dx contacts made during the testing period but I notated this one for the fact that both HI and England were available for testing at the exact same time. Is the G5RV a pile up breaker on DX, No. Will it be heard and worked on 40 meters when the beams/ arrays are done calling and are chasing someone else, Yes !

I was very happy with the G5RV on 40 meters as it compared well with some tough competition over 4 weeks, day and night. Bottom line is that I was impressed enough to take down the 4 square on 40 for the summer and rely on the zepp and the G5RV on this band. To be honest, I also need to put in an above ground pool. But if the G5RV did not work as well as it does the pool idea would be history.

20 METERS;

Antennas; G5RV

40 meter zepp/ doublet

Quad loop at 40ft.

1700 utc to 2200 utc.

Stations contacted; 53 Stateside, 9 Dx.

All contacts were made from here in N.Y. during midday. A test I really wanted to try was a simple dipole at the same height vs the G5RV, but I could not find a way to build them in the same direction without encountering mutual coupling, I tried, but no way! So I put up a diamond shaped single quad loop at 40 ft. coax fed, with a resultant 1.7 to 1 swr favoring E/W for extra comparisons.

The band propagation on 20 meters was pretty crappy during the 3 week period I had the time to test things but at least the playing field was level for all 3 antennas.

The only pronounced plus difference (3 S units), was shown by the G5RV when working Mexico and the Azores as compared to the doublet and the loop.

All the stateside contacts reported non discernable differences between the doublet and the G5RV, the quad loop was always a distant 3rd in all comparisons. Not having a clue what the lobes really look like on the 40 EDZ, I'm guessing that the G5RV has a small gain in it's favored directions over the zepp and the quad loop.

The G5RV proved itself as a basic, competitive wire antenna on 20 meters with perhaps some gain over a dipole and full sized vertical loop in the same direction.

17 METERS;

Antennas; G5RV

17 meter monoband Ground plane vertical at 33ft.

Daytime

Contacts; 11 Stateside, 2 DX

Another band with hit and miss propagation, but enough to give some real world results. It has been said by some that the G5RV will not work on 17 meters, well, I will leave others to define “work”. The swr on the G5RV was around 9 to 1, but it loaded up easily on 18.165 on the MFJ versatuner. The 40 meter zepp/doublet will not load up on this band so I built a 17 meter monoband vertical at 35ft tall with 4 raised radials sloping off at 45 degrees around 22ft. off the ground. SWR was 1.2 to 1 and direct coax fed.

As I said, the propagation was hit and miss but when the band was open both antennas worked exactly the same with a 5/9 here and a 2/2 there, across the country, Cuba, and the occasional South American contact.

Whether both antennas stink the same or work, will only be up for conjecture till we get some real sunspots. At least the G5RV will at least let you know when the band is open so you can aim your 6 element monobander in the right direction.

FINAL COMMENTS;

I did not try any tests on 15 or 10 meters because the band is abysmal up here in NY when I can get near it, but for information purposes, the G5RV loaded up easily on both bands and on 10 meter FM, it actually opened some repeaters in NY and MA.

OVERALL, I feel that the G5RV, after 220 plus contacts, is an excellent trapless, multiband coax fed antenna well suited for a beginner to build. As detailed during the article, it compared extremely well with a ladderline doublet and various other configurations in real time comparisons.

I hope some of the observations and comments provided here will give the antenna experimenters out there some real world, non biased, on the air comparisons to think about while perhaps practicing on their modeling programs.

Thank you Mr. Varney; G5RV, you left us a good one!

Tnx for reading.

Bob N4JTE

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by ZL3AG on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
You are very lucky to have space for other antennas to compare with the G5RV. I was most interested to read about your reults.

The G5RV has been the mainstay of my humble HF operations for the last 20 years. Mine is almost flat-top at 40 feet in the centre. 34' of home-made open-wire feeder and into coax via a home-brew 4:1 current balun. The results have been very satisfying from 80-6 mx. For 160mx the balun is switched out and the feeders are tied together and taken to groung via an inductor to give resonance on 1.85 MHz. The coax is tapped up the inductor to give a 50 ohm match.

Good to see a great antenna given some good press!

I join with you in thanking Mr. Varney for a job well done.
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by M0TAG on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for writing this article Bob, I found it very interesting.

Cyril.
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by W8ZNX on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
of no matter
what works for you
will not work for him

G5RV is a good 20 meter wire antenna
that sorta kinda sometimes works on other bands

easy to build, easy to put up
but nothing to write home about

its neither the all time great antenna
or a pile of blank antenna

rule of thumb 34
a bum antenna is better than no antenna

dit dit
mac
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by K5VY on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I've been using G5RV antennas for the last 25 years or so. My results are very similar to yours. My Palstar AT5K tuner will match the antenna well. On the Boliver Pennensula, North of Galveston Island, performed very well into South America and Africa. Austrailia and New Zealand were secondary. My Yaesu FT-1000MP Mk V really performed well into the G5RV through a variety of tuners.....My experience with the G5RV was fun!! In fact, so much fun that antenna problems were things of the past. I have always enjoyed the opponents of the G5RV. In each case, they always were slightly, more or less, outside the original configuration, wire length, feedline length or impeadence, or tuner(s)...Indeed, Mr. Varney really did know what he was doing!!.

Carpe Diem!!

Best 73
Garland, K5VY
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by N2EY on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Good article! Just one comment:

The G5RV isn't a long-wire, it's a center-fed dipole. The only unique thing about it is that the dipole length and feeder system have been designed to give a "reasonable" match on several bands.

The original articles by G5RV himself are available in PDF; they are very good reading.

Some points about the antenna itself:

1) It was designed back when the HF ham bands were 80/75, 40, 20, 15 and 10 meters, and when much of the world had only 3.5 to 3.8 for 80/75 and 7.0 to 7.1 for 40 meters. That was "all HF bands" in those days.

2) It was designed for use with rigs that could deal with SWR of 3:1 or so without a problem. That was "low SWR" in those days.

3) It was designed for use with a low-loss open-wire matching section (see original articles) and 72 ohm coax or Twin-Lead (yes, there was such a thing).

4) It was not designed specifically for any one band, but as a compromise to cover several, and yet fit into a relatively-small space.

5) Like any horizontal dipole HF antenna, height makes a big difference, particularly on 80/75 and 40.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by WA3SKN on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for the article, Bob!
As you have surmised, the G5RV is neither Demon nor Saint. It is a multiband antenna with all the compromises of a multiband antenna.
However, the term "G5RV" has been misused and tagged to so many antennas that are not G5RV antennas, it is pathetic.
Oh well...
73s.

-Mike.
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by G0RIF on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
A thoroughly interesting real world comparison - nice article!

Regards,
Dean - G0RIF
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by K6YE on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Bob,

Great article! I have only used them in conjunction with Field Day but they do work. Keep up the good work!

Semper Fi,

Tommy - K6YE
DX IS
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by K0BG on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Defining "work", is as you said, best left up to others. Well.....

On 17 and 10, the G5RV isn't such a good antenna regardless of the fact it can be loaded up with a decent tuner. You refer to Tom's information, but you didn't mention this specific point as he does.

The other issues with it, but not unique (zeps have the same problem), are the radiation patterns on the various bands. If you don't care who you talk to, this point is moot. But if you do, and you want to do so reliably, you won't be using a G5RV on the upper bands where the pattern looks like a porcupine.

The real fallacy for some seems to be, if the antenna can be loaded up; and the tuner being used doesn't arc over; and you can work a few DX stations; then the antenna is next to ideal. Such isn't the case, obviously, and we need to make sure we don't propagate this popular myth to the neophytes.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by KD5SFK on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Bob,

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for actually comparing antennas rather than giving anecdotal signal reports with no comparison. I wish everyone who posted an antenna article here on e-ham would do the same, but I digress....

I have had several G5RV-type antennas over the years, and I have been very happy with the results. When I say "G5RV-type" I mean 102 ft, center-fed with ladder line, and more-or-less flat top and straight. However, I usually run the ladder line straight into the shack and forgo the coax altogether. I have a tuner with a balanced-line output, so why throw in the extra possible losses associated with coax?

I have not always had another antenna to compare like you did, but I have had very good luck with my G5RVs, and I often got comments that the other station was surprised that a G5RV was working so well. I have used my G5RVs anywhere from 80 to 15 meters.

You mentioned that you didn't get a chance to test on 15 or 10. My experience is that you will get similar results on 15 as you did on 17. However, I found that my G5RVs were pretty lousy on 10. I think it is just too long and there are too many lobes/nulls to make a good all-purpose 10-meter antenna.

I discovered the poor performance on 10 because one day I was rag-chewing with a guy in Ohio from the mobile. I pulled up in the driveway and asked him to stand by while I ran in the house and fired up the base rig. When I got on the base, he could barely hear me. I went back out in the mobile and finished the rag chew at S9.

After this discovery, I built a 10 meter vertical out of a hamstick and 4 radials, mounted on a wooden ladder in the back yard. The hamstick vertical ALWAYS beat the G5RV on 10.

I would be interested in a side-by-side comparison of a G5RV and resonant dipoles on 80, 40, and 20 meters. I have always been under the impression that a resonant dipole will beat out a G5RV, but I've never made the comparison myself.

73, and thanks again for the great comparison.

KD5SFk
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by K7NNG on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
My G5RV is the mainstay here. I use it and a Titan Challenger. The g5rv really surprizes me at times.
I love it.
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by AE5RC on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Good article. Thank you for taking the time to experiemnt, record the results and share them. Good information to be sure.

I use a full size G5RV. Are there better antennas? Sure. For my location and the real estate I have, the G5RV fits. I did learn that below 40 feet it is a pretty average antenna (in my location). Once I was able to get the antenna at 40 feet and in a more classic dipole configuration, it seemed to work much better. Your results may vary.

Thanks again!! Great job.

73,
AE5RC
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by K8KAS on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Good job Bob, I hate articals that feature so called "modeled results" real world testing is what it's all about. I have used G5RV's for 25 years in one shape or another. Since I retired and lost my acre and 75 foot tower I have used a 32 foot fiberglass flag pole with, you guessed it a G5. I am able to work everything I hear and considering the present band conditions I can't wait until the sunspots are back and conditions improve. Bob keep it up and CU on 40 soon. Denny
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by W9PMZ on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
"The real fallacy for some seems to be, if the antenna can be loaded up; and the tuner being used doesn't arc over; and you can work a few DX stations; then the antenna is next to ideal. Such isn't the case, obviously, and we need to make sure we don't propagate this popular myth to the neophytes. "


Just what is ideal?

73,

Car - W9PMZ
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by WW5AA on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
...nice article. The problem is that you were not using a G5RV, rather an imitation that would have Mr. Varney rolling over in his grave. The true G5RV was SOMEWHERE around 102' depending height. The parallel feed line was 34' at 525 ohms. The coax was 72 ohms. Actually in his first rendition he used 72 ohm twin lead to the tuner.

73 de Lindy
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by N3OS on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Bob, a very fine article! Easy to read and follow along for the new kid on the block especially.

I have used G5RVs in the original configuation for years and always had excellent results. They were up high also! I now live in Florida with a great deal of restrictions dealing with the use of the property. I was lucky enough to buy a place which already had a small tower (25') for a TV antenna so I was "grandfathered" so to speak. I put a small yagi in place of the TV antenna but can't go any higher due to the rules. The G5RV is about at the 20' mark and is just a little bit off of "flat" as I'm using a neighbor's palm tree for the eastern end. MY tree holds the western end. With a small lot and one tree the G5RV serves me well but I am actually breaking a rule with it on another's property. It works for me.

My current setup isn't perfect, but then nothing ever is - except for your article. Again, very nice and much appreciated!
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by KD7UXQ on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
What it is... "is" in the words of our past president Mr. Clinton... "depends."

I loved the test you conducted. It leaves the more regal of the ham community to wonder if the thousands of dollars invested in various antenna arrays was worth it.

I do have an appreciation for antenna propogation and performance. And simple (cheap) always seems best (in my opinion). My view being that of a lowly commoner.
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by KE5WDI on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Great article Bob. I have had the pleasure of talking to you a couple of times on the OMISS Nets both 40 and 80, you guessed it, using a G5RV inverted V at 45' from Bonham, TX. I have had several contacts on the net at 59 and some with 22 depending on the distance to the station and conditions. Recently started using PSK31 at 20 watts into the G5RV and had contacts to Canada and several of the states at a 599 signal each time. The G5RV is my only antenna since I have only recently got my General ticket and had to go low to get started. I work several different nets on the antenna and have had some very good ragchew contacts also with good returns. Can't wait to rework the antenna and get it stretched out properly and see how great it works.

Danny
KE5WDI
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by K0BG on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Ideal? Isn't that the real question, Carl?

What it isn't, is the ability to work DX stations, or garner a 59 signal report. Heck, you can do that on a Heathkit Cantenna given enough time.

In this case, the author compared HIS G5RV with HIS other antennas, which is a valid comparison. However, the results are relative (to his other antennas), not definitive, and that's the point I'm trying to make.

Without a point of reference, trite sayings and comparisons mean nothing. It's tantamount to leaving the suffix descriptor off of dB (i or d); a very common, and unfortunate scenario.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by W7CSD on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I was wondering if anyone has ever compared the G5RV to some of the commercial "super antennas" on the market. I know many of the wire antennas marketed are just a variation on a theme but it would be interesting to hear other peoples feelings on this.

I am currently using an Alpha Delta DX-LB+ and I am curious how it would perform against a G5RV.

Eric
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by W9PMZ on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
"ideal" in conjunction with "this popular myth to the neophytes" is what I am trying to understand.

If it is a "G5RV" myth, from what I read in the article there is no myth. It works. Maybe not as good as some antennas, but I would take it over a Cantenna; even on porcupined 10M and 15M.

And for some, considering, money, acerage, wanting a multiband antenna, etc. a G5RV maybe ideal.

73,

Carl - W9PMZ
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by NG1I on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I have a 102' G5RV with twin lead to the balun and RG8 to my rig......have used it for contests, ragchews, and DXEpeditions round the world and worked the all CW, RTTY and Phone contests since 2004 100-300W.

My Swan 500C loves it.....again lot of DX and states.

Count so far 217 worked, 197 confirmed in mixed mode since 2004 and using Logger32.

No complaints.
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by G3TXQ on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Whether the G5RV works or not (whatever that means) depends in large measure on the length of the coax section: if it's very short, those folk who expect a low VSWR on several bands will be disappointed; if it's very long the VSWR seen at the shack will be moderate, but the losses will be high.

Take a look at a web page I just produced on this:
http://www.karinya.net/g3txq/g5rv/

A good example would be the numbers quoted by Bob for 17m. He says he gets a 9:1 VSWR at the end of 100ft of RG213. Try those numbers in a transmission line calculator and you'll see that the VSWR at the coax/ladderline transition must be around 60:1, and you are dissipating 78% of your power in the coax.

That doesn't mean you wont make contacts, but neither does it make it a great performer on that band.

73,
Steve G3TXQ
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by K5END on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
>
I agree with Alan, with one small possible exception, depending on semantics.

He's right about the reference, and real data.

However, I did make a DX right off the bat with a G5RV Jr. It was to the South Pacific, and it was a pile up.

I had to wait until the whole world of operators was exhausted, and then I got through. This was a matter of hours.

Now, I can tell you it was a real rush to accomplish this within days after getting an HF antenna.

That is what INSPIRED me to get serious about antennas. So it served a purpose.

It only seemed to "work" on 20 m. Everything else was a lost cause.

So, it "works."

But it wouldn't be my first choice in any case.

IIRC, Varney's notes on this antenna state up front, in effect, that this is designed as an emergency antenna, to put up after a major disaster, when you need to work multi bands and you have limited structural resources for HF antennas.

What could be plainer?

So where is that G%RV Jr. now? I had it coiled up on the back fence. It fell from the fence hook to the ground during Ike, and this escaped my notice.

Then the lawn crew came for their weekly visit.

I haven't replaced it.
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by K0BG on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Carl, your assuming something that isn't there, I think.

One of my pet peeves is using trite statements to describe how something "works". For example; <<I put the antenna up, and wow! I worked 7 DX stations the first hour. This antenna rocks!>> Or how about this one; << It cannot be inefficient, because the SWR is perfect!>> Obviously, there are a lot more of these trite references on these very pages.

Real comparisons are fine, which is exactly what the author did. The former comparisons are marks of the ill-informed.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by AA9F on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Used 10-40 vertical (4BTV) thru about 1987. Got up to 150 DXCC. Then put up a G5RV inverted vee at about 25 feet. Fantastic results. Works on all bands 10-80 (and even a few states on 160 cw). Now at DXCC 255. Also all 50 states and all ARRL sections. At first used an MFJ tuner, now the rig’s auto tuner. Always 100 watts or less. Usually cw, but not always. Unfortunately lotta growth in our trees. My latest G5RV, now 11 years old, is very sick. Without a mast, the bare wire is just laying tangled in bush and tree branches at about 12 feet-maybe. And discovered about 34 feet of the east leg has broken off -and I can’t get at the “good” end to do a splice. And of course the 450 ohm ladder is mostly horizontal, next to a chain link fence. Can’t hear or “work” as well, but in the last week managed to work S58 on 30m, KH6 and CN3 on 20, and DK3 on 40. So I have nothing but praise for the G5RV. A great choice for all band operation. But clearly quick replacement of mine is needed, and would love another G5RV. But now have too many trees. So think its back to a ground mount trap vertical. Perhaps G5RV’s (and verticals) aren’t spectacular antennas, but I’ve had a blast on all (almost) bands. Now if we could just order up a few more sunspots!
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by K5END on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Alan,

I have a Bird "antenna."

Very handy, very compact. I think it's good to 600 watts or so.

I can carry it like a briefcase...for set up in the field when I need to.

It tunes with great SWR across all bands, DC to daylight!!!

It even has its own heatsinks!!! What other antenna can claim that?

Haven't made any contacts with it yet though.

Am still waiting on the sunspots.

<cough, ahem>

Hey, I thought it was good for some humor...a little levity.

:-)
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by W9WHE-II on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Generally speaking, most "S" meters are calibrated to a scale of 1 "S" unit = 6 Db.
Thus, even with the most careful OP on the other end, you are unlikely to get any difference in a signal report unless there is at least a 6 Db difference.

Just for reference, 6 Db is equal to roughly the difference between 100 and 400 watts.
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by NN4RH on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Well the very first contact I made with my HF2V after I installed it was Chagos Island. I never worked Chagos Island with my G5RV. Does that mean that the HF2V is superior to the G5RV?

I've worked Australia multiple times on multiple bands with half-wave dipoles and verticals. But never have worked Australia with a G5RV. G5RV must be an inferior antenna. Right?

I did work Kwajalein Atol with a G5RV on 17meters once, but I have never worked Kwajalein Atol with any antenna on 20 meters. Therefore that means that the G5RV is a superior antenna for 17 meters but sucks for 20 meters. ? ? ?

In other words .... These so-called real-world comparisons are nonsense. It's comparing Apples to Oranges. There are a lot of parameters and you can't conclude anything useful about anyone else's installation.

Oh, I did have a G5RV as my first antenna. I fell for the marketing hype, too.

But after I thought about it for awhile . . . I cut off the coax and extended the ladder line all the way to a wide range tuner in the shack.
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by W7ETA on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Great prose.
Nice article.

Many thanks for all of your efforts.

Best from Hot Tucson
Bob
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by G0GQK on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
There are thousands of G5RV dipoles being used all around the world, so of course they work. Why are they so popular ? Because often its the only dipole you can buy in a plastic bag at a ham rally or ham fest and take it home.

Many people do have problems tuning all bands and its probably because they are not as fortunate as you are having the dipole up at 38 feet. Probably the average height for one in Britain is 30 feet and less, some are only able to have a wire antenna at 15 feet which will affect its efficiency. If your ATU is unable to "tune" the antenna then your problems begin, because its a fact that many find it difficult to tune 17, 15 12 and 10 metres.

What is important is the angle of radiation and very few ever consider this when discussing antenna's. The best one is one with "long legs", and at 38 feet a G5RV will certainly have longer legs than one at 25 feet above ground.! For a low dipole, Mr Cebik suggested that a dipole 90 feet long is more effective on 20 metres as it throws RF out at a lower angle, but if you want a better dipole which will tune every band easily, why not use an 80 metre half wave dipole ?

And the reason why nobody uses an 80 metre dipole is because you can't buy one in a plastic bag at a ham fest !

G0GQK
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by K5END on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
>
"Best from Hot Tucson"

Bob,

We'll trade some of your heat for some of our humidity here.

Is UPS OK?
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by AE5KM on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Nicely written article. Though not a completely scientific test, it's good information and much better than speculation or "it's not a resonant antenna" comments.

I'm a new ham with a G5RV, primarily chosen because, with a single 18-gauge copper wire, it is a very stealthy antenna (homeowner covenant restrictions), and I had two trees about 120ft apart with the crown of my roof centered between them.

I don't have much to compare with besides a fan dipole in my attic, which the G5RV readily out-performs. But that's no big surprise, since an attic is such a lousy place for antenna. I've simulated the G5RV quite a bit with NEC, and it's radiation pattern and SWR seem to be pretty close to simulations.

Just a couple comments from my research, since this is targeted at new hams....

The author doesn't mention is that the twin-lead or ladder line needs to be run carefully to avoid metal. From my reading, at least, this is very important and is probably the cause of many peoples woes with G5RVs.

The coax involved should be low-loss or very short. Or event better, and from what I can tell what the author did, the antenna tuner can be located as near to the twin-lead/ladder line as possible. The ladder line/twin-lead won't give much loss, but loss in coax due to reflected signal will be much higher.

Thought I would add a little bit of my limited experience.
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by WB2WIK on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I like the G5RV as a multi purpose antenna that's not great for anything, but passable for a lot of things.

Mine is strung up as a slightly sloping dipole with the top end at 50 feet and the lower end at about 40 feet above ground. Not ideal, but it's okay as a terciary "go to" antenna.

Compared to my beams on 20-17-15-12-10 meters, it's pretty weak. There are *many* stations on those bands, especially on 17m and above, I can work easily with the beam and I cannot even hear on the G5RV. However, on 20m, it's not so bad and on 40 and 80 meters, it works pretty well compared with my 3-band trapped inverted vee at 55 feet.

I also use a 4-position (Alpha Delta) antenna switch on HF so I can make "comparisons" in a second or less.

Interestingly, due to the vagaries of propagation and constantly shifting signal polarization, I find you have to repeat these tests many times to come to any meaningful conclusion: What's "strongest" on antenna A might not be ten seconds later. So, I take a lot of readings and try to average them.

There are times when my Hustler 6BTV (roof tower mount, at 28' above ground, with 24 tuned radials) outperforms the G5RV very handily on 40m and above. Then, there are times when it doesn't! And those "times" can be 20 seconds apart. Ionospheric propagation is constantly changing; it pays to have as many antennas as possible in one's "arsenal."

WB2WIK/6
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by K7LA on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Bob,

Thanks for the effort and sharing your findings!
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by K0ZN on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Excellent article, Bob.

That IS a legitimate comparison and sure meets the "spirit" of ham radio that has been around since the days of spark. "Let's see how this will work!" Good for you.

Ignore the "hyper tech" experts who expect every article to submitted to the IEEE for editing and approval. This is AMATEUR radio. A lot of "experts" on here have good technical knowledge but seriously lack in reality grounding and social skills.

I, like you, do a lot of back yard antenna experimenting and you CAN get a handle on antenna performance on a generalized basis. Some seem to work better than expected and some, which should be "good", repetitiously disappoint....and we learn from that. You might want to apply for some of the stimulus money and see if you can do a EE Ph.D. thesis on the G5RV at MIT or Cal Tech, then print it on here so we can have a technically "perfect" research article.

Bottomline: Your article did a LOT more good for ham radio (and especially for new hams) than bad. I hope you do some other antenna comparisons. I would like to see them.

73, K0ZN
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by N4JTE on June 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Well ,first of all I think most responders to the posting got the intent of the article, others went off on their own issues. Thank you for your comments and look foward to hearing you on the bands.
Bob
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by KC8VWM on June 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Pretty good article Bob. Thanks I enjoyed the real world analysis.

Just curious.. Can we get this as a power point presentation?

:)

My best de Charles - KC8VWM
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by G3LBS on June 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Two G5RVs are better than one. Put them 30 degrees apart and you will be able to fill the nulls. Of course use ladder line ALL the way to a true differential link tuner - no baluns.
W2/G3LBS
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by KB2DHG on June 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I had to move from a house to a condo.The only antenna I could get approval for was a wire antenna. Being that I am an advid HF operator, I needed a multi band antenna. For me the only option was a G5RV.
I built it myself using bear copper clad wire and 450 ladder line. The bear wire cut to 102 feet and the 450 ohm ladder line cut to 31 feet.
Quite to my serprize, I am able to work 80 tru 10 meters with the aid of a MFJ 949E tuner and the MFJ artifical ground.
I have worked the world when band conditions are decent and even when the band is down. I can make contacts.
It operates best on 40 and 20 meters with minimal use of the tuner. On 80, 17,15 & 10 meters I can tune it to a point where I can operate with a max of 1.5 SWR.
A relitivly cheap antenna to build DON'T BUY ONE!
It works.. Great article and I hope it helps fellow Amateurs out there get on the bands...
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by K8CXM on June 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Bob, thanks for the article and it doesn't matter if others are critical of your findings. I place more credence in what you wrote about than some of the 'experts' quoting theory and opinions with no real world experience to back up their claims. I have also used the trusty G5RV off and on over the years and find, IMHO, that is an excellent compromise antenna with at least one band that it excels on (20M) and 2 others that it can hold it's own against dipoles (40 and 80M). I never had much luck with it higher than 20M, but it DID load up with my TS2K's ATU.
Too many have decided the G5RV is a dummy load, but have never used one that was installed correctly. Too bad for them.

Jim ... K8CXM
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by G3TXQ on June 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Bob,

I see a number of postings here which imply there's a difference between your practical findings and theoretical predictions. I don't understand why folk would assume that!

If I model your arrangement - without the dog-leg - in EZNEC I get the following mid-band VSWRs and coax losses:

Band / VSWR / Coax Loss
80m / 4.7 / 1dB
40m / 4.3 / 1.3dB
30m / 11.6 / 6.1dB
20m / 2.3 / 1dB
17m / 8.6 / 5.7dB
15m / 3.8 / 2dB
12m / 1.8 / 1dB
10m / 7.7 / 9.2dB

I don't see any inconsistency between those figures and your findings: coax losses are insignificant on 80m, 40m and 20m; and on 17m where you quote a VSWR of 9:1 without the tuner, the model predicts 8.6:1 - that's close enough for any amateur purpose.

On the bands you didn't test, 30m performance looks like it would be noticeably down, and the 10m performance would be particularly poor - again that sounds consistent with the practical feedback I hear.

I just added a table to my G5RV page where I compare measured VSWRs on a **REAL** antenna with the EZNEC preditions - there is the same close agreement:
http://www.karinya.net/g3txq/g5rv/

In my experience, when the G5RV does get a "bad name" it's either because folk are using it on those bands where the coax losses are significant, or because the antenna salesman told them it would be a good match on all bands without a tuner!!

73,
Steve G3TXQ
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by K1BXI on June 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
There is no magic about a G5RV. It is a center fed wire that is 1-1/2 half waves long on 20, a 3/4 wave length long wire on 40 and 3/8 wave length on 80. The 30'(more or less with the VF) of ladder line is a 1/2 wave on 20, a 1/4 wave on 40 and 1/8 wave on 80.

One does not need to be a RF engineer to know how this combination works. With the proper characteristic impedance of the ladder line it will show a reasonable impedance at the end of the ladder line so that it can be fed with coax the rest of the way.

I have used this configuration in many locations that a full size 80 meter dipole would not fit in, and in places where I could have both. I have done this since the early 1960's and always found the results to be the same as Bob has said.

The G5RV is not an all band antenna!!....it is a tri-band dipole. 80, 40 and 20 with the 12 meter WARC band thrown in for good measure. It will show a VSWR of between 2:1 and 3:1 on these bands. Good enough for some internal ATU's.

My experience has been that using a 300 ohm lader line will give you a better SWR reading on 80 meters than anything with a higher characteristic impedance. This is due to the 1/8 wave length line feeding a low impedance. It will add the some inductive reactance to the system to resonate it around 3750.

Is it as good as a 135' center fed wire with open wire feeders on all bands?, of course not....But it's not as bad as some would have you believe.

A well done article Bob, but it won't change some peoples opinion of the "British dummy load".

John

PS...I was writing this before you posted Steve, and was wondering what you used for the ladder line characteristic impedance in your models. They seem to be close to my "real world" ones after figuring in any coax loss in 75-100 feet of RG-213. You do show a better match on 15 than I do. Or could it be because I am using a 300 ohm window line.
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by G3TXQ on June 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
>>I was writing this before you posted Steve, and was wondering what you used for the ladder line characteristic impedance in your models. They seem to be close to my "real world" ones after figuring in any coax loss in 75-100 feet of RG-213. You do show a better match on 15 than I do. Or could it be because I am using a 300 ohm window line.<<

John K1BXI,

The model has 31ft of 300 ohm ladderline with a Vf of 0.9 and a loss of 0.2dB/100ft at 30 MHz. The modelling I've done suggests that 300 ohm produces marginally lower VSWRs than 450 ohm.

A number of things might account for the VSWR differences between measured and predicted, including height and ground conditions. Also, I was quoting mid band figures - there can be a significant variation across the band. For example the modelled 15m VSWR minimum is 2.7:1 and the maximum is 4.6:1. On my own G5RV - Inverted-V, rather low, with 18ft of RG213 - I measure VSWRs between 2.8:1 and 4:1.

I agree with you, John, that there is no mystery about this antenna; and there should be no disagreements about how a 102ft dipole at a particular height radiates.

I'll repeat what I said in an earlier posting: the different views arise largely because of the various lengths of coax used by different folk. On 10m the guy who brings the ladderline all the way back to his tuner will be over 10dB up on the guy who has 70ft of RG58 in-line; no surprise then that they have different views about the antenna's effectiveness on that band.

73,
Steve G3TXQ
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by AF6AU on June 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
What I want to know is noise levels... My QTH needs some stealth, so I try to use resonant dipoles in inverted Vee, peak at 33 feet, and have QRM on the bands below 15Mhz that is unreal. Most of it seems to be TV if noise buzz.

How does your 20M Delta compare NOISE wise to the G5RV?

JML
AF6AU
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by K5END on June 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
>
I make the motion that all future questions in the forum about the G5RV be directed to this article.

Both sides made good points and I think in general everyone agrees that its convenience and versatility are offset--to some extent--by its performance.

How much that offset is depends on whose opinion is presented.
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by HAMDUDE on June 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
6000 contact's, 80,40,20,15, a great antenna, but there will alway's be those who go against the majority...
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by K9FON on June 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
There will always be some geek that will down anyhting because they will overanalyse everything.
If the G5RV is "that bad" why are there so many on the air? I have talked to hundreds of hams that use the G5RV, and it works fine. Granted, I started out with a homeade 80 meter doublet and not a G5RV and now i run a 260' 160 meter doublet, but everyone has to start somewere and I started out on the right foot. What may work for some may not work for everyone.
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by KG6MZS on June 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I've had a G5RV and a monoband 20m dipole both at 50 feet and, as one might expect, the 20m monoband dipole did out perform the G5RV on 20m but not by much. I think some of that was because the 20m dipole was oriented n/s and the G5RV e/w.

After reading this article I think I am going to replace the 20m dipole with a 17m dipole and build my own G5RV with balanced line all the way.

Thanks for an interesting article,

Hmm - now I need to figure out how to switch between two balanced lines coming into the shack to the balanced line tuner.
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by N4NZM on June 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for the article, and reaffirming what I have seen for myself in spite of what other hams tell me. I have used a a G5RV, but believed what other hams have said about it, and tried to errect better antennas. After experimenting with various types of antennas, nothing seems to beat my old G5RV. I work all kinds of DX with it, and bust through pile-ups with only 100 watts. After reading this article, I am going to just stick to the G5RV for 80-10 meter from now on.
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by N9AOP on June 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I use a full size OCF but last August I homebrewed a G5RV and used it for the month. Then in Sept. I homebrewed a mystery antenna and ran it for the month. They worked as well as the OCF on 20 and above and either antenna is easy to homebrew.
The G5 is a real boon to the ham who has a small lot and can't mount 135 or 270 feet of wire. Thanks to the author for his comparisons. I really hate s units and would rather hear loud and clear; good readible; fair readible; weak readible; weak barely readible but this is uncommon on the ham bands.
Art
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by W0CBF on June 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
G5RV - Only antenna I have ever owned for the HF bands. For my money it can't be beat. Despite all of the negatives I will keep it and work who I can work.

Good article and comments.

73's
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by G0GQK on June 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Interesting to read all the comments about the G5RV, which must be the most well known antenna amongst the huge number which have been designed, and most probably the best seller since the dawn of amateur radio. During the last 40 years there must have been many hundreds of pages in radio magazines dedicated to analysing the RF capabilities of this piece of copper wire 102 feet long.

Reg Varney designed his antenna in 1946, specifically for 20 metres, three halfwaves fed in the centre with a tuned 600 ohm feeder which could be used on different bands in the days of a valve transmitter, most probably home brewed. There is absolutely no doubt that since 1946 this antenna has been experimented with by more radio amateurs than any other dipole ever made. Among the many variations have been the W5ANB with a dipole length of 27.5 metres together with 12.2 metres of open wire feeder, and the G0FAH with a length of 29.3 metres, using 300 ohm feeder either 11.5 metres long, or 14.9 metres long. Despite bearing no relation to Reg Varney's specification,they were elastically called, improved variations of the G5RV

As some have mentioned, the G5RV is one of the most maligned antennas and in the 63 years since it appeared, amateurs have been spending their spare time trying to improve it. Many might ask why they would wish to do that !

We have 9 HF bands (for simplicity)which we use, 160 to 10 metres, and the G5RV is poor on 160,30, 15 and 10. Bill Orr, W6SAI, wrote in one of his books that in multiband operation the VSWR figure is well over 3:1 which produces a shutdown when using a modern state of the art tranceiver. Lew McCoy W1ICP in one of his discussions recommended that a transmatch ATU should be used. Some users have fed the G5RV with 75 ohm, others 50 ohm, some use 300 ohm, some 450 ohm and a few use 600 ohm, and there aren't really many other ways left to consider in feeding a dipole.

The feeder used by Reg Varney was an even or an odd multiple of a quarter wavelength at 14.00 Mhz. His second version of the dipole had a 34 feet long open wire stub fed with 72 ohm twin feeder of a random length. He knew of the Collins antenna which had been designed for the Collins Company for use with their radio communication equipment throughout the world, and were used at airports in the years before WW2. Its been said that having knowledge of the Collins antenna, Reg Varney's G5RV specifications were based
on that design.

Its quite intresting to discover that there has always been controversy about the antenna among British radio amateurs, and Mr Varney said during the 1950's, when discussing his design, that he had made a mistake in referring to the feeder as a matching section, when in actual fact the feeder only functions as a matching feeder on 20 metres. The impedance at the centre of the dipole is 100 ohms and the 72 ohms reduced the resistance to 72 ohms and was in fact, a seven section impedance transformer. His recommendation was to use an open wire tuned feeder to reduce the losses caused by the large standing waveof 523 ohms at this point on the transmission line.

The antenna he designed doesn't have a good match on any of the traditional amateur bands used in 1946, many years before the introduction of the latest additions of 12, 15, 17 and 30 metres for radio amateur use. He recommended that a balun should not be used with the antenna, as using one would create difficulties ! When the VSWR is too high, without using a balun there will be feed line radiation which will be quite severe on some frequencies.

Pat Hawker, writing in his Technical Topics articles featured in Radio communications magazine in April 1994, discussing the use of a 1:1 balun by Jerry Sevik W2FMI wrote " from this one can deduce that with a dipole antenna there is little or no need for a balun providing that the horizontal element, or an inverted vee that is balanced about its support, the coaxial feeder drops down vertically from the radiating element. Feeding a yagi antenna without a well designed 1:1 balun is another matter "

In general the need for a balun is not so important, particularly so on the 40, 80 and 160 metre bands because the diameter of the coax cable connector at the feedpoint is so much smaller than the wavelength. In an article in QST during 1995 discussing the G5RV, it quoted that Mr Varney's antenna was resonant on 3.49 Mhz, 7.52 Mhz, 14.150 Mhz, 19.500 Mhz, and 24.600 Mhz and trhe resistance figures are 16 ohms on 3.49, 31 ohms on 7.520, 148 ohms on 14.150, 48 ohms on 19.500, and 162 ohms on 24.600 Mhz

Using 50 ohm coax to feed the G5RV the VSWR on 3.49 is 3:1, on 7.52 it is 1:6, on 14.150 the SWR is 3:0 at 19.500 it is 1:04, and on 24.600 Mhz the SWR is 3:24.

G0GQK

There have always been differences of opinion on the correct balun to use. Jerry Sevik W2FMI designed a balun, a 5Kw 4:1 type no. AS-200T 1.5 to 30 Mhz @ 5 KW CW. He stated that this balun is ideal for dipoles or other antennas where a tuner is used to match the transmitter over a wide range of impedances. As examples he quoted, a multiband vertical, a Zepp antenna which is fed with ladder line.
In a description by DX engineering they state " any balun or transformer will only work EFFICIENTLY somewhere around the the impedances for which the balun was designed to match 200/50 ohms for a 4:1 balun, and 50/50 or 75/75 ohms for a 1:1 balun.
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by G3TXQ on June 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
>> G0GQK wrote: Reg Varney designed his antenna in 1946 .....<<

G5RV would be turning in his grave:

Louis Varney = G5RV

Reg Varney = an English actor, most notable for his role as Stan Butler in the 70s TV sitcom On the Buses.

Poor Louis has enough trouble without folk mistaking him for a comedian ;)

Steve G3TXQ
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by K5END on June 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
>
>
At least he did not say, "Jim Varney," aka "Earnest P. Worrell."

That would have been a downright unfortunate typo.
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by AF6NE on June 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Just a comment about "cheep." There are a hundred or more (probably) opinions about what to use to build an antenna and an equal number of whines about the cost to build one that takes a lot of wire (vertical with a billion radials, for example). If you don't mind getting out of the box, the best source of wire is plain aluminum 16 or 17 gauge electric fence wire, available at your feed store or over the internet. Runs from expensive in a botique, to about $17 for a quarter mile reel in a real farm store or slightly more over the internet. It's tempered, so it's strong. It's a nuiscence because it's springy. But if you make your insulators out of PVC pipe couplings, you can put up 1340 feet of wire in just about any configuration you want for about $40 and it doesn't corrode. Twist 1/4 inch loops on the home ends and use screws, nuts, and washers to connect it all (soldering aluminum is a magic act not everyone knows).

Thanx

Keith
AF6NE
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by KD4LLA on June 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Many of us live in the real world where we cannot put up/install the the worlds best antenna system. I use a G5RV simply because it works for me and my current situation. I would like to have 150'+ towers, high price HF radios, amps, beam antennas, rotors, and such. Not going to happen today. Thank you for your article.

Mike
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by KI4SDY on June 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I just made a contact on 10 meters with my inverted V MFJ G5RV peaked at 60' hanging from a tree limb using a 25 watt Radio Shack 10 meter transceiver. The signal report from North Carolina was S10 and his signal on me, using 800 watts into a low mounted vertical was S3. I get many reports like this on other bands!

The point is; properly installed and under the right conditions, the G5RV is a good performer. The variable is the conditions, under which different designs of antennas will perform for better or worse (like getting married). That is why most hams have many antennas and switch back and forth to see which one will make the best contact at a given time. It is, in many situations, the luck of the draw and that is what makes ham radio so exciting, as opposed to talking on a cell phone.

I also use my G5RV as a shortwave listening antenna and it performs that task well.

I would have built it, but the MFJ was cheaper and less fuss, so I concentrated on a quality installation with pulleys and brick weights at both ends. This keeps it taut but flexible in the wind. It has survived several Florida hurricanes and a tornado that came by our house a month ago (85 MPH winds). In addition, if I want to flat top it, all I have to do is lower the center peak guy rope. It is, in all respects, a convertible!

No matter what other antennas I put up, the G5RV goes up first! It is just too useful.
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by N3OX on June 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
"How does your 20M Delta compare NOISE wise to the G5RV? "

Noise is a signal.

It's not as simple as "which antenna picks up the least noise"

73
Dan
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by WB4LFC on June 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
After 35 years of being on the air,I found the G5RV an excellant performer.I have tried all kinds of wire antennas.I can't afford beams and towers so I've had to rely on the wire antennas.My favorites are the G5RV,Carolina Windom and the Buckmaster dipole.I have all 3 hangig in the air now oriented in different directions and use my coax switch to listen for the loudest signal.I have gotten good signal reports from all three.
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by QRZDXR2 on June 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Great article. Good data gathering in real time

but, what a differance a day makes for antennas.

I also would like to know how much power your ran on your testing. Finding that power differences also have bearing on antennas performance

thanks again for the findings and time you put into testing and bring that to share with us.
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by N3OX on June 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
"That is why most hams have many antennas and switch back and forth to see which one will make the best contact at a given time. It is, in many situations, the luck of the draw"

I dunno. These days when I build antennas, I model 'em first and decide whether a new idea is likely to make a noticeable difference, then whenever I can I compare the two directly.

I'm rarely surprised. Sometimes I find some pattern distortion because something is too close to some other conductors or I have to do the basic things like trim something or tweak a matching network to dial the SWR in just so. I cant measure gain better than a dB or two, so there could be minor variations there.

But even when there's some other antenna that works on a band, I've generally found the one that I predicted would work better does.

So I don't find very often that "the luck of the draw" makes one antenna much more useful than another.

Don't get me wrong, an well built G5RV with low loss feedlines and no lossy balun issues installed up 60 feet is a good antenna on many bands.

But that's probably totally predictable in comparison with whatever you're comparing it to :-)

73
Dan
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by KB8UEY on June 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Bob,

First off good to hear you back north again. Second, all I run at home on 10, 20, & 40 is the G5RVjr. The Jr. is a little (ok a lot) shorter than the full version and with a MFJ949 WILL NOT tune below 3:1 on 15 or 17m. I have however worked 24 states on 10m, 46 states on 20, and all 50 on 40m with minimal effort. I have also worked 46 different DX entities on the same antenna. All of this with 100w or less (got one rig that only runs 50w full tilt on CW). I am glad to see your comparison resluts. If I had a little bigger lot, and something to get it high enough, I would love to put up the full size G5RV. I barely get my 75m inverted V in diaganoly on my lot and have no towers (the down fall of rental property) even though they have no problem with my wires all over the place.

Catch you on OMISS again soon, I hope!

Rob KB8UEY
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by KC8VWM on June 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I dunno, from a technical point of view, if given the choice between the G5RV and an OCF.. I think I would prefer the 135 foot OCF because it exhibits some desirable lobes on many bands and additional bands you can operate on without an antenna tuner when compared to the G5RV.

Of course, I have taken the time to study both antenna designs carefully and concluded my own comparative analysis.

73 de Charles - KC8VWM
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by KB8UEY on June 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Ok, allow me to add to my response to Bob's article. First off, no he was not doing a completely scientific comparrison, just a simple comparrison of his antennas. Is he absolutely saying it is better or worse, no just providing findings of his research. For those who doubt the antenna, working VK and ZL on 40m from Wets Central Ohio almost routinely (when the band is not so short I can't hear west of the Mississippi River) seems to say it works rather well. I bought one only because I wanted a somewhat compact multiband antenna and did not wish to build one at the time. I got what I paid for. An antenna that resonates on multiple bands and is fairly compact. Does it outpreform other antennas, probably not. Does it do what I wnat it to in the space I have, yes. Will it beat a set of stacked 40m beams at 120 feet fed with hardline and an amp at 1.5kw, only when propogation allows (and it has happened).

Rob KB8UEY
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by KC8VWM on June 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Of course Rob, everyone is always entitled to express their own research and they may also express their own opinion correct?

My Best,

73 de Charles - KC8VWM
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by KI9A on June 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Fine article, Bob!

I've used a G5RV for 30 years now, with impressive DXCC totals...5BDXCC with it, only been chasing it for about 15 years.

G5RV will get you on, and you WILL have fun with it. But, I have recentally replaced it with a 135' long, open wire fed dipole, and it outperforms the G5RV by alot.

Either way, get one up, and get on the air!
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by N3EAY on June 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I thank you sir for your time and due diligence. I appreciate the review and its thoroughness. After 25 years of playing in the VHF,UHF, and microwave spectrums, I finally broke down and got an HF rig with an autotuner and was wondering about which antenna I should get to start off. I think you answered the question for me. Thanks again!
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by G3TXQ on June 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
>>N3EAY wrote: I finally broke down and got an HF rig with an autotuner and was wondering about which antenna I should get to start off. I think you answered the question for me.<<

If you are expecting to use just the internal autotuner in your rig (no external tuner), think about which bands you might be able to work. Looking at the impedances of my G5RV (with an 18ft coax section) it would be within range of an internal autotuner on:

Part of 80m
Part of 20m
Part of 15m
All of 12m

Increasing the length of the coax section will give you more band coverage, but at the cost of increased losses.

Steve G3TXQ
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by G3TXQ on June 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Refrence my previous posting: if you really are restricted to the internal autotuner, you might want to consider the ZS6BKW as an alternative to the G5RV. It would cover:

All of 40m
All of 20m
All of 17m
All of 12m
Part of 10m

It comprises a 93ft top and 39.6ft of 450 ohm ladderline.

Steve G3TXQ
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by VE3WMB on June 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Bob :

Great article, thanks for taking the time to do all of this experimentation and to document it.

My first experience with a G5RV was back in about 1981 and just
recently I put up what effectively amounts to a double-sized G5RV
at my cottage. It works quite well from 160m through 10m.

As you and countless others have discovered, when it comes to antennas there is no Silver Bullet. I frequently hear newcomers ask "What is the best antenna?" and of course the answer is "it depends". No one antenna can do it all.

My criteria in assessing antennas is quite simple :

1) Does it provide a reasonable match on the bands I am interested in?
2) Can I easily make contacts using my preferred power level (5 W) ?

The G5RV easily meets these criteria.

It is not a miracle antenna, but simply a compromise design that works well enough to be a useful workhorse antenna and is also suitable for newcomers who want to get as much HF coverage off of a single HF antenna. It is inexpensive to build, can be squeezed into a typical
suburban lot without alienating the neighbors and is can be purchased
ready-made from several different sources, at a reasonable price, for those that prefer not to roll their own.

There will always be nay-sayers but the fact is, the antenna works
well enough that it has attracted a huge following.

Best of luck,

Michael VE3WMB
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by KG4YMC on June 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Bob, good article . Glad that you have the room to run a comparison like that. I have a g5rv made by radiowavz , the 102 foot model . It has been hit with a tree, blow down a few times and spliced togeter but stil works great. I have a ncg tribander tht was made by pansonic. It is 10 watts on 40 l5 and six. I have gotten to portugual, switherland, cook islands , and california ( like a foreign country hi ). yes, guess it is a commpromimse antenna, but will tune up fine with mfj mobile tunner and economical first antenna. Just don't tell someone you are useing it until after the single report . I was even heard off the backside of a steplr r antenna , don't remembner call, but he was pointed north from me . Well, I am on home computer thanks to state budget cuts and retirement , so won't have bucks for antennas or new rigs soon. But God has plan, anyway, I can almost type on this one, so mabey I won't be quite so moronic on my post. anyway thaks for great article 73 kg4ymc
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by KC2RGU on June 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Bob- Thank you. I also like to tinker with antennas, but with tow young kids it's tough to find the time. I'm glad there is somebody out there playing with the wire and providing some real world results so that I don't have to waste my time with what doesn't work. It's also real cool that you are easily found on the air so that I can bounce ideas off of you and also to actually hear the differences between some of these antennas. Keep up the good work.

-Kurt
kr2c
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by G3LBS on June 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I was wondering how to celebrate my 50 year anniversary on ham radio and then late evening I worked Peter 1 Island on 17m with 100 watts SSB and a G5RV.
Buffalo Gil W2/G3LBS
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by N4JTE on June 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I thank you all for a lively and informative discussion. Please visit G3TXQ, Steve's website for a more technical treatment on the G5RV;
http://www.karinya.net/g3txq/g5rv/
And my site at www.n4jte.blogspot.com, for some other past wire and vertical experiments.
Usually hang around 7.185 from late afternoon to the cows come home or get bbq'ed. And evenings on the OMISS nets on 40 meters and 3940.5

Take care and be good to each other,
Bob, N4JTE
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by W4VR on June 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Bob: Sounds like it works like it's supposed to. I've never tried one because I have dedicated antennas for each band and the room to put them up. I wonder how the G5RV would compare to a trap dipole. Ron
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by N4JTE on June 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
What I found interesting Ron was that the G5RV is filling in the missing lobes on the 40 meter edz in the north /south directions. Both antennas are really close in directional layout,North /South, never expected the G5RV to be my NE/SW antenna by working so well off the ends. More I think I know about antennas, the less I really do; propagation is a humbling experience not available on modeling programs!
Take care see you on 7.168.
Bob
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by EX_AA5JG on June 12, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I have a homebrew G5RV type antenna with the center up 30 feet or so, and the ends sloping somewhat. I recently finished off 5BDXCC with it and 100 watts, so it will work on 40 and 80. Best catches on 80m with it was 5A7A (Libya), Norfolk Is., New Zealand, and South Africa. Some of the best stuff on 40m was Taiwan, Spratley Islands, 3B7, 3B8, 3B9, and D68. On the higher bands you start to see some interesting lobes and nulls on it. I couldn't hear the K5D DXpedition on 20m with it at all, but did easily work them on 17m. Glad I already had KP5 confirmed on 20. They fell into one of the nulls on the antenna.

There are better antennas out there, but for the price and simplicity, the G5RV is hard to beat for all band coverage. I have even used mine on 6m although the 6m Yagis I have had greatly outperform it.

73s John AA5JG
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by K7LZR on June 13, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Bob - Thanks, great article. I Don't pay alot of attention to those who tend to overanalyze everything. While science certainly has its place, sometimes we need to just kick that stuff to the curb and just try something anyway.

I've tried many, many antennas over the past 30+ years, and some worked well for me while others didn't. Thats hard results, not computer modeling. In fact, I'm pretty sure that most antenna modeling programs would throw their electrons up in disgust at some of the antennas I've used.

As to the G5RV, I feel that its a fine antenna. I used one here for about 9 years with good results and then replaced it with a 140' dipole.

The G5RV worked much better for all-around opeations, and I'm going to re-install it soon in place of the dipole.

Bottom line: Whatever works good for you is what you should use, even if the engineers and computers say no :).
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by G3LBS on June 13, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Question: On my old G5RV I had equal currents in each side of the ladder line (no coax used). I've just put up a new one about 140 ft high one end and about 30 ft high other end, but I can't get equal currents. I have checked all connections and continuities.
Could this inequality be due to the different heights each end please?
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by G3TXQ on June 13, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
G3LBS: you've made a "typo" with the heights. You can't have one end of a G5RV at 140ft and the other at 30ft even if it's vertical !! Did you mean 40ft and 30ft ?

Steve G3TXQ
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by G3LBS on June 13, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
G3TXQ I don't see what you mean? One end is fastened to a tree 140 ft tall and the other end 204 f away to a smaler tree 30ft tall.
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by G3LBS on June 13, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
So it's sloping yes but not vertical
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by G3TXQ on June 13, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
The standard G5RV is 102ft long. What you didn't say was that you had a "double-size G5RV".

How are you measuring the current balance?

Steve G3TXQ
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by N0GBR on June 13, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I used G5RV for years 40-10 m "in the trees" and it worked fairly well. I recently replaced the antenna with a Carolina Windom and have had (anecdotally) very good results. I'd love to see a comparison of all your antennas with the C.W. I found your article very interesting. Thanks for your efforts! John N0GBR
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by N8FXH on June 13, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I have had a couple G5RV's over 26 years of hamming and have been mostly satisfied with this antenna. I am dissatisfied with a group of hams who blatantly admit they can't hear one no matter what signal it puts to their receiver. I had the chance to compare a G5RV and a Carolina Windom on field day over a two year span and found little or no difference in signal reports received and the G5RV was quieter on receive. I like this antenna for what it is a good compromise antenna. We all wish we had the space for a full size Curtain Array but wishing only uses excess energy.
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by ZS1JY on June 13, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
In August 2006 I erected a half-size G5RV in an inverted Vee fashion with apex at around 5m above ground, and the ends of the legs at about 3m above ground. At that time sunspots were plentiful, and I managed a lot of DX with this antenna via an Icom AH-4 tuner. As the sunspot situation worsened, it became more of a battle. Early in 2009 I replaced the G5RV with dipoles for 40m and 20m, both in inverted Vee fashion with apex at 8m, and they also provided some good DX. Some weeks ago, I decided to go for a 23ft vertical antenna, with the AH-4 at ground level (2m away from the QTH wall) and using the wires from my dipoles as 4 ground wires. During the WPX CW contest I managed 57 contacts with 100W, including a few Q's on 40m with W7!

My conclusion is that if you're unable to have the G5RV at least 1/2 wavelength above ground, you're not doing well enough to cope during the low sunspot periods. However, at high sunspot periods it would probably do well. And possibly, a full G5RV flat-top at least 33ft above ground is probably the best profile for this antenna.

73 de Jacques ZS1JY
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by VK5FUZZ on June 13, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Hi there
I run a G5RV here in Adelaide with a 767 and a kenwood 520S and I am very pleased with it. I have it 10 meters high on a dog leg because of my situation and the only trouble I have is I am only allowed to run 10 watts but still have received excellent copies on 40 meters and 80 meters. Around Australia I get 5/9-5/20 reports but when I go overseas I get a 5/5 or 5/7 report. In the month of May I worked over 150 stations on the G5RV. I find it hard to work an operator overseas who is working long path as listening to the radio most of the operators going back are using a vertical so that is the only downfall I can pick with the G5RV
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by N6HPO on June 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Great article, Bob. Many thanks.

As a recent newcomer to HF, this was the first and only wire antenna that I considered putting up in the trees. I felt that my first antenna should be store bought, so I chose WA2NAN's 204' G5RV.

For the longest time, it's been hung [read "drooped"] between two, 40' tall eucalyptus trees. The ends were at 40' and the feed point was about 25'. Not the best of arrangements by any means.

However, it was sufficient enough for me to enjoy delightful QSO's with E51JD, A35RK, LU1HF and ZM4A, not to be a name dropper.

I have recently purchased a 43' fiberglass push-up mast that is in its last stage of completion. Getting the feedpoint up just might help with the rather high SWR on 17 and 12 meters.

Can't wait for the Cycle 24 to come into fruition!.


All The Best,

Alan...KI6HPO
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by AI4HO on June 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I have been using a 102' G5RV type antenna for several years now. It's up about 33' up until the week before last when a storm rolled through and the center conductor came loose of its support. I put it back up and am now limited to 80/40/20 meters, seems the internal tuner on my radio(s) doesn't like anything higher than 20 meters, and will not tune anything above that. I'll have to get out and work with it when I'm able to, but for now I can still use it on the lower bands.


Having said that, before the storm I had limited success on the higher bands, it did fairly well on 20 meters, and quite well on 40. I have a half wave dipole tuned for 40 up around 36-38' that does maybe 1 S unit better than my G5RV, its not a real issue, I can use either or on 40 and do equally well.


Will this antenna replace my Mosley TA-33 classic? No, but what it will do is get me on the air. It will handle the 600 watts that my Ameritron AL-811 amp will put out. If I'm using a wire, I very seldom say what wire it is that I'm using, cause as I have so often read in this post, when someone finds out you're using a G5RV your signal report goes down, way down.


Thus far I am pleased with my G5RV type antenna, current problems not withstanding. If I had my druthers I would like to add another 20' to it,but unfortunately, my yard isn't set up for much more aluminum, or wire. Just my thoughts on this often underrated antenna. Hope to catch you on the air, quite possibly using my G5RV.



73 de Mark
W3LZK
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by K4EQ on June 14, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for the good article, Bob. Through many years of hamming, I've heard the G5RV trashed over and over and I've grown weary of the grumbling. It's nice to hear something positive. I've built several G5RVs at several QTHs and have had good success with them. It's not the perfect antenna, but it's a good, reliable compromise antenna that will give the operator lots of fun on the air. I also have a nice plaque on my wall from the ARRL that speaks to it's effectiveness. As W9NXD/HR2, I was 1st place in the world on 80 meters CW in the 1984 ARRL International DX contest. That was running barefoot with a homemade G5RV at about 25' in the air. True, I had a great shot to the USA from that QTH, but nobody else got that plaque. :-) 73. --Dale, K4EQ
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by W5DXP on June 15, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Good article. Here's a nit and a comment.

There's no such thing as a "long EDZ". An EDZ is a 1.25WL dipole. The G5RV is 1.5WL on 20m, i.e. 1/4WL longer than an EDZ, i.e. not an EDZ.

The standard G5RV is a good performer on 75m, 40m, 20m, and 12m when driven by a good antenna tuner. When Varney designed it, there were no WARC bands and most transmitters were tubes with pi-net adjustable outputs. The standard G5RV is a marginal performer on 15m and pretty sad on 30m, 17m, and 10m where coax losses are significant.
--
73, Cecil, w5dxp.com
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by N4JTE on June 15, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Tnx Cecil, appreciate the correction, I should have just said a 3/2 WL collinear.
Best regards,
Bob
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by N7VLT on June 16, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Good article! Don't let the technical writers get you down.

A friend of mine is an engineer and works mostly QRP. He once told me that MOST Hams worry far too much about their antennas.

I let that slide, while holding tight to my prejudice that there are better-and-worse antennae. So, one night, on a Boy Scout outing, he proved it to me. He put an insulated wire down on the grass-dirt in one direction, then tossed another insulated wire over the Arizona Junipers (6-12 feet high) in the opposite direction. Both of these spiraled, non-straight wires were then screwed tight to the back of his little radio.

His first contact - with 3.5 watts - was over 800 miles away near Cheyenne, Wyoming. (I don't remember the band - too many years ago.)

Not long ago, I was without a house of my own, and put up a G5RV at about 5-6 feet off the ground - just temporary, you understand. My range and RSTs weren't noticeably different from when I could get it 35 feet high. Long live experimental radio!

de November 7 Vote Lower Taxes.
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by K9FON on June 17, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Most hams overanalyse everything with fancy scientific computer modeling programs and calcualtions but i dont use any of that stuff. I just build my antennas and put them up and talk off of them!
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by KC9MAV on June 17, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
The G5RV has been my main antenna for the last 2 years. It performs exceptionally well. I have worked every continent with it except for Antartica.

73,

Dave Johnson
KC9MAV
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by KI5IO on June 17, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Bob,

Nice explanation and good review. Refreshing and informative.

73s

KI5IO
Nolan Kienitz
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by K1ND on June 18, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Nice write-up Bob N4JTE

I first became aware of it in 1962 when Jim 9M2DQ suggested it for our use at the Secondary Trade School that I was assigned to as a Peace Corps Volunteer. With the help of the students we put one up for use at 9M2TS and 9M2JJ ~ my personal station license.

Used it there and it followed me back to the States; have had same in the air in Michigan and Maine ~ where we've lived and taught also ~ and in quite a few campsites between the two coasts. It always seems to work well with a tuner it's even better.

Regards, Jan K1ND
Professor Emeritus @ Eastern Michigan University
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by W5CMP on June 18, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I picked up a g5RV built by (((NU0R))),Its 102'L 80-10mt bands.It is built super well and works like a hose on ten meters.
You can find them on E-Bay,Super price! If you do not have room,You can make it in to a loop,Or a U shape, Or A inverted(L)comfiguration As long as its not grounding out to the earth or doubled back on its self.


73 w5cmp.
Never say Never...
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by NO6L on June 19, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
A well thought out and implemented article. However, my own results on reception of stations using a G5RV are not as glowing. Real world, on the average the stations using G5RVs are always lower in signal strength to those using full sized antennas. Yes, I'm also aware that an antenna of any length will radiate the same amount of energy as well as a resonant one right down to a Hertzian Dipole, the dipole version of an Isotropic Radiator, if it's feed appropriately. But still, average RST don't lie. It's probably the way these antennas are deployed, what with the open line feeder that may be routed wrong, etc.

In my estimation though, if you've got room for a G5RV in the desired flat top deployment, you've got room for a multiband fan or maypole dipole. Without the pain in the neck ladder line that will eventually break in windy locations from fatigue and all the irritating standoffs to keep that at a minimum. You can just tie the coax right to the center support, try that with open line feeder.

Considering the open line feeder and it's headaches, I'll take the choke balun at the feed of a "V" any day.

de NO6L
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by N6HPX on June 23, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I used the G5RV many times on my station and worked good for me, the long 102 ft and also the 50 ft version. I used the shorter one for contacts to Japan on 6 meters back in 2000 and it put S-9 in to there locations. Great antenna.

I did have to repair it as the wires on the 102 ft wore out from the salt aire and rusted out on me, Ended up replaceing it with enclosed insulated wires like those on the Radiowavz Models. The one I had was from Van Gorden's and had it strung between the houses where I live in Cavite, Philippines.
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by W5WSS on June 24, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I appreciate your experimentation. I have known for a loooong time there exists a sky wave variable that simply means arriving signals vary because of phase shift etc even with two identical antennas practically occupying the same space I have seen dramatic differences as instant A/B switching was used to observe signal strengths etc. This is true with any antenna type being compared from this kind of an attempt at somewhat controlled tests. However my point is not to say the g5rv does or does not offer utility to the Ham because that is a user choice. The pursuit of antenna diversity is a good thing when interested in sky wave hf work because instant switching can restore a signal during a variable downswing in strength to the ham trying to complete a skywave qso this offers a value. Diversity in my opinion is as valuable as other attributes of an antenna.
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by W5WSS on June 24, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Diversity then to Me" means having more than one roughly equal antennas to choose from at any instant during a sky wave contact.
 
G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by K1CEI on June 24, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for all your time and effort in letting us all have an idea about this antenna. Very well said!!
I have been using my G5RV for over 15 years after my beam came down and I wouldn't have anything else.
I have put up several dipole antennas for differant bands and the G5RV help so very much with out clutter and antenna hanging all over the back yard.......

thanks again, de Tony K1CEI
 
RE: G5RV What It Is, What It Ain't  
by N6HPX on June 26, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I have heard from many over the years that mentioned they gave the G5RV a try and just couldnt get it to work, I have used 3 different types all commerical made and they seemed to hold up and have worked alot of DX from my location in the Manila area. Including the 6 meter groups about 9 years ago. Its a good antenna and have heard others at times say they would rather use a directional antenna like the cushcraft A3 or some others. I wish I could but I have typhoons slamming in to my area at 180 mph. The G5RV and other dipoles have held up where other Ham friends had to lower there beams.I was looking at a few sloopers for portable use when I go to places like Midway,Guam and others.

73 from a marine mobile
 
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to discussions on this article.

Subscribe!
My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

Related News & Articles
Feeding an LPDA Beam Antenna
The Best First Antenna, Hands Down


Other Antennas Articles
The Best First Antenna, Hands Down
Feeding an LPDA Beam Antenna
The REMBLA
An Automatic Motor Controller for Small Loop Antennas