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from Lou KB2DHG on July 6, 2013
View comments about this article!

So, we are moving... I just completed what will be my last contact from my home QTH. I am about to pull the plug on my beloved Ham Shack...

It is a weird feeling knowing that I will not be able to be on the air for quite some time (at least 2 months) BUT the good news is I am moving from a restricted condo of which I have been operating with a stealth antenna, to a home in the country with lots of land, NO NEIGHBORS, HOA's, OWNER ASSOCIATIONS ETC.

I will be able to have any antenna I want and as many as I want, so here is my dilemma?

I am too old to deal with putting up a tower and beam (truly the ultimate antenna system), so I was thinking of a vertical...

I would like to operate 80-10 meters and would like any opinions of what is the best vertical for the buck?

Yes, I will also put up a couple of dipoles but would like to have at least one master antenna.

Member Comments:
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by WA0NDN on July 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Congratulations on your move OUT of an antenna restricted zone. I live on 10 acres in the country and you will enjoy putting up any antenna you like, xyl approved of course! I live in the corner of the lot and have one end-fed 500 foot long wire and planning a second one which is perpendicular to the first. I was planning some corner-fed delta loops which would give them vertical polarization and was going to feed two in parallel (netting me about 50 ohms of impedance) Four loops with a center pole would let me cover four directions. But, alas, the center pole I need for an all-band version just isn't growing in my yard and constructing one, well, just not easy not to mention what the xyl would consider an eye-sore. So, going the vertical route I'd investigate four or more phased verticals (not cheap if you go with commercially available), and also eye-sores according to the xyl, but perhaps yours is more accommodating or visually challenged. Good luck with the project.
by KI5FJ on July 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Lou,Unfortunately multi-band commercial verticals sacrifice efficiency for low SWR. I recommend a 50 Ft vertical conductor (wire or aluminum mast). Lay out approximately twenty 50 ft wire radials. Install a remote ATU at the base. A guyed 50Ft fiberglass mast with a wire inside is easy to guy. On 40-Meters the 50Ft is 3/8 wavelength. Higher efficiency than a quarter wavelength.My 50Ft vertical is a great DX antenna.
BTW also plan for a 80-M horizontal loop up 30 Ft.
73 Joe O NNNN
RE: Relocating  
by KH6AQ on July 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
A Hy-Gain AV-18HT Hy-Tower would be a good solid vertical that might outlast you. The only minus is it lacks the WARC bands. Those bands can covered with a second antenna.

RE: Relocating  
by K7CB on July 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I think one of the best verticals out there is perhaps the SteppIR BigIR vertical. Since you'll have the space, you can mount the antenna on the ground away from the house out in the open. Sure, you'll need to add radials but if ground mounted the length of the radials won't matter. Just add as many as you can - up to about 60. After that, you get into an area of diminishing return. The advantage of this system will be a 1:1 SWR on all frequencies from 40 through 6M with a low angle of radiation for DX. To make it easier to add radials, just get an edger and use it to "cut" a notch in the ground the length of your radials. Add some lawn staples to hold the wire down and within a week or two you won't see the notches anymore. You'll never know the wire is there. That said - SteppIR sells a version of the vertical with a 75/80M loading coil. I've heard good and bad things about it. While it probably works, you'd probably be better off getting a single band 75/80M vertical or dipole and putting that up instead. SteppIR antennas aren't cheap, however. But I used such a system at our house in Tampa and it worked very, very well. I don't think you'll be disappointed with it.
by VE3ES on July 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with the station suggesting a Hy-Gain Hy-Tower! The original version as there is a cheaper version to avoid.

Go for it!
by K3SSB on July 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I am also a prisoner in a HOA camp. What I've always daydreamed about is enough open spaces to install a phased vertical (single band or multi band) array. You can start out modestly, with two verticals, or if the inspiration strikes you go all out with a three or four vertical array.

You stand to gain great (instant) selectable (switchable) pattern rejection and forward gain. In short, the vast majority of the advantages of a tower beam combination, without most of the cost and mechanical wear and tear associated with a yagi.

What follows is a bit of food for thought:

In any case good luck with the move, the difficulty now isn't space or HOA and CC's it's imagination. ;)

tnx es 73

Tom G, Sr.
RE: Relocating  
by K8SOR on July 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Hi Lou,
Glad to see you're moving to the country.
One of the finest and easy to put up is the HF9V vert. I have mine mounted on a 5 ft chain link fence, no other radials because of yard layout and buildings. Yea I know---for a vert to work properly, you need 600 radials 360 ft long. lol Mine seems to work great with only the fence as a radial. At age 55, you have a long time to play radio---go ahead and put up a tower if you want, and enjoy your hobby.
Skip K8SOR SKCC 2483
by AF3Y on July 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
You cannot go wrong with corner fed Delta loops. EZ to build or cheap to buy and they DO produce!! I also have a little 31' tall S-9 fibreglas/wire vertical with a BUNCH of radials here in Florida, and it plays Very well. Light and EZ to handle, take down for storms, etc.
GL in the new digs! Gene AF3Y
RE: Relocating  
by KF4HR on July 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Hi Lou. Congrats on escaping the HOA scenario. But why limit yourself to verticals? Make the best of your HOA freedom and at least put a 40' tubular tilt-over tower and a yagi. It's easy to do. At only 55 years old, you're still plenty young. Go for it! GL
RE: Relocating  
by W8DPC on July 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I too have to give you a congratulations! You're doing what a lot of us can't.

The problem with asking for advice on a vertical (or ANY antenna) is that you aren't going to get a consensus on what ONE antenna to buy. Verticals are good antennae. I'm in an apartment and I used to use a Perth Outbacker with their ground coupled tripod. I literally worked the world with that thing. Only problem was that I had to manually change bands by moving the fly lead. But if THAT will work the world, then an even better vertical way up in the air will do wonders. I advise just looking through reviews, and then choosing one that fits your needs and your budget. But I think unless you buy a really cheapo antenna you're not going to go wrong.
by AA9G on July 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Since you say you have lots of land I suggest setting up a few Beverage antennas for receive. These will be far better at it then the vertical and less noisy.
RE: Relocating  
by N4UM on July 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
It's really difficult to recommend any antenna(s) without some idea of what your operating interests are or what you reasonably expect them to become in the future. Ragchewing with the locals on 40 or 75 meters is one thing. Chasing DX on these same two bands is another. One antenna is not likely to do each of these things well. How much money you want to spend, along with how much time and effort you want to put into the process are other factors to consider.

If I ever escape from my HOA and have any money left over from the inevitable divorce that would follow such an action, I would probably go for a Hustler 6-BTV with 50 or 60 25 foot radials under it plus a fairly low (35-40 ft.) 80M inverted vee fed with ladder line. If I still had some room I'd install a 40 foot tall inverted L for 160.

by AG2AA on July 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Hi All. I upgraded from a hustler 6BTV to a DX engineering 43' vertical and I am VERY happy with it. I did put down several 65' radials (it was either 8 or 12, i'd have to go look) and have had excellent results, so much so that I use the 80M carolina windom on the tower much less than expected!
by K1DA on July 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
An 18 HT with a coog counterpoise. Mine's been up at my island location since 1977.
by W3CE on July 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I'd like to suggest an off center fed 80M dipole. It will tune 6, 10, 12, 17, 20, 40 and 80 Meters with one feed line and no tuner. Alas 15M will not resonate.
I use an OCF antenna made by Hy Power antennas in Bethlehem, PA, with great results.
by W4DBV on July 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I have had very good luck with an end-fed wire configured as an inverted vee. Length 150 ft, apex height 50 ft -- over a tree branch about 80 ft from the house. I have a couple of rods and counterpoises at the shack end, but I also use an artificial ground to a separately tuned wire (25 ft) and it helps a lot. This antenna is simple, quick and inexpensive and works fairly efficiently on most bands. I get very good reports on 80-30M. It is a good high angle radiator on the low bands and has some DX potential off the ends. I did manage to work the U.K. on 80M when it was daylight here in Tennessee. I was running about 90 watts. I recommend it as a good start until you decided upon what you really want. Once the wire is over the tree branch all your other work is on the ground -- in every sense.
by N3DT on July 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I'll suggest like I do to a lot of vertical lovers. Look up C-Pole and get the article from Brian Cake, KF2YN. No lossy ground wires. My experience with an 80M one I made up (granted you need a single mounting point up about 50-60') is that it works great. It also works on 40M, 160M and some of the higher bands. The ones it won't tune with the tuner in my TS2000 I switch at the base to a 60M version. That tunes all the other bands through 10M.

It will depend on your tuner what will work, with my FT897D and the LDG tuner, it will not tune 160.

The 80M one actually works better on 40M, but not SWR wise, but good enough for a tuner, I can hear a definite difference in RX from an 80M vs. a 40M one.

Here's the SWR of the 80M one on both 80 and 40.

I filled up 2 pages of DX on 40M when I first put it up in just 1 day.

It's almost invisible too, the OL likes that.
by KD4S on July 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with K7CB. I am happy with my SteppIR BigIR with as many radials as possible of any length you like if ground mounted.

My second antenna is an Inverted-L with an LDG remote tuner at the base. I use a 30-foot fiberglass telescoping pole at corner of house with the wire going to the chimney at top of house and down to the other corner. Install as many radials as possible of any length. The wire is one-half of a 160/80 meter dipole with a tuned trap. It tunes all bands from 160 to 6 meters and works very well for small cost.
RE: Relocating  
by KF7ITG on July 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
First .... If your not in a box with the lid nailed shut you are not to old. So want a tower and a beam then do it. This isn't a practice run. This is the the only shot you get. Just do it. ;-)

James 73
RE: Relocating  
by KL0S on July 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Another vote for the SteppIR BigIR...definitely pricey if you outfit it with the 80m accessory, control cables, extra guy ring, etc. BUT it's a real firecracker on 80/40 and ok above that (having a good ground and reasonable number of radials are key). The great thing about it is being able to work anywhere on any band 80-6m. Once again, will put a serious dent in your pocketbook but I've found it to be well worth the cost.

Dino KL0S
RE: Relocating  
by K3UG on July 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Consider a horizontal loop fed by ladderline to a 4:1 balun and then a tuner.

High as possible, and long as possible .. a full wave at 160M is over 500'.

It'll work like a champ on all bands.

Nix the vertical idea... bad juju unless you have radials and don't care about working anybody local.
by W2UIS on July 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I use a G5RV (40-6) mounted as an Inverted V at 25 feet as my only HF antenna. Works very well in my rural location here in New York.
by KD2E on July 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Even if you have to save pennies for months....If you don't want to do the work, hire one of those tower guys to put it up for you. Even a short 35 foot tower, and 3 element tribander is just SO much better than any kind of wire antenna...or vertical.
Another option...join the local radio club wherever you are moving to....You buy the food/refreshments...and have a tower raising party!!! I'm sure most local hams would be MORE than happy to help out!
Good Luck, and enjoy the new digs!!
RE: Relocating  
by N6AJR on July 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I am a 100 % disabled vet and I have had my ham friends come over, and set up my 40 rhon 25 tower with a glen martin Hazer. I have a 3 element steppir for 6-20 and a couple ov verts for 40,80160 and a couple of wires on a pully on the tower. the hazer goes up and down the outside of the tower allowing me to have my antenna serviced
check out my page for n6ajr on qrz
RE: Relocating  
by K6AER on July 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!

I have done hundreds of ham antennas over the years and a A3S beam on a home eve, side mounted Rohn 25 tower at 45 feet can be erected in one day by two people. The tower, rotor and antenna can be had used for under $500 with a little patience. Off of the tower you can do a delta loop for 40/80/160 meters. Tower labor should run under $300 for a half days work. A few helpers on the ground will make short work of the project.

It is very important to have proper planing but the rewards of having 20 dB more signal than a vertical is well worth the effort.

One item you did not mention was the budget you have to work with.
by W2CZ on July 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Now Lou.... I know you and one day you'll look out at your property and.... say you know, I've had a tower in the past and I cannot shake the desire to get another.

I believe once you're settled in you'll get another tower!

All the best and good luck 73 de Efrem W2CZ
by 3DA0NJ on July 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!

I have worked with the Hygain AV 640 Patriot for 2 years now, and have made thousands of DX contacts. The antenna is not that great on 40m but it works. The new version AV 680 Patriot covers all the Bands accept 160m.
For an compromise this is a great antenna, and I believe as good as verticals get

Good luck

by ZL2AL on July 7, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Verticals are OK. Just OK! I assume you want something small, light, unobtrusive and with a bit of gain and directivity. Have a look at the Hexbeam designs. I had to trade my TH6DXX on a 65' mast a few years ago when we downsized and moved to a suburb. The Hexbeam is on a 30' simple mast and works very well. It also gives me 5 bands as a bonus. Yes, it is a 2el antenna with half the gain of a TH6DXX but it works.

To be honest, I don't really notice a lot of difference. I must admit that I run a KW when looking for DX and CW is a winner against SSB. It's just an idea to consider!. There is one downside. Lots of raw polished aluminium elements up in the air does it for me. I still can't get used to the look of a Hexbeam. Additionally, one must tolerate the slings and arrows from neighbours commenting on demented clotheslines hung upside down.
73, Lee ZL2AL
by AD5VM on July 7, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
600 foot horizontal loop of copper clad antenna wire, ~50 foot up, suspended by four treetops. fed with ladder line to a Palstar BT-1500A balanced tuner.
by N9ZI on July 7, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Hi Lou

I moved from a Villa to a little over an acre almost four years ago and have had a great time with a Zero-five 43 ft vertical, 48 radials, 100 ft of bury flex coax and tune it with a AT2K tuner, it works great on 40 & 30 meters, and good on 80 meter DX, not so good on 80 meter short distances. I also put up, with help, a K4KIO hex beam on a 40 ft Universal tilt over tower, and a small G450 A, it really works wonderfully on 6 through 20 meters, you could even use a push up pole antenna only weighs about 25 lbs.

Good luck, lots of good options.

73, Terry N9ZI
by KB3FEI on July 7, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Please take a look at "Low band dxing" (ON4UN). It will give you more information about vertical antennas than you can digest in two readings. Also, will it be ground mounted or as a ground plane? GL and enjoy the vertical. Dale, kb3fei.
by AC5WO on July 7, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Lou, your question is impossible to answer because you don't specify why you want a vertical antenna. If you want a vertical for simple aesthetics and DX, I'd probably go with a home-brew vertical tubing 5/8 wave long for the highest band you care strongly about with an automatic remote transmatch at the base of the vertical. If you want multiband without a tuner, I'd probably put up a Butternut HF-9V. In both cases put at least as much effort into installing a good radial ground system as you do in selecting the antenna. I'm not a big fan of trap verticals.

You'll also probably want horizontal wire antennas for NVIS 80m and 40m and a 2 band fan dipole for those bands is nice to have. As an alternative, a non-resonant doublet fed with low-loss ladder line is very flexible if you don't mind using a transmatch. Your vertical will likely be a poor performer for close-in contacts on 80m and 40m.

If you want the ability to make changes to antennas while standing on the ground, you could have some wooden electric utility poles installed with a dacron rope and pulley system at the top. That way you could raise and lower wire antennas, horizontal or vertical, without doing any climbing.
RE: Relocating  
by N6AJR on July 7, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
You have the room, you do not need permission, put up anything and everything you want. several towers, a couple of push up masts, a vert with raised radials, Go crazy, have fun.

If you join a local club, or make some friends on a local repeater or two, you will find lots of folks who will come over to help. Do it, enjoy it.

I usually have some Pizza, or some sandwiches from subway, or such, and lots of bottled water, sodas, and even a 12 pack of beer. a box of tater chips from costco ( 50 bags for 10 bucks ) will work.

some folks come over with experiance and enjoy doing tower stuff, some folks come over and want to learn how to do it from others, and some folks just want to play radio.

really, put up some stuff. invite folks back over for a contest or two as a multi single.

have fun get some stuff up ya, go for it.

RE: Relocating  
by WB4BYQ on July 7, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I am 57 and just put of a rohn 25 tower with a tilt plate and wench to lower and raise the tower with a Mosley
TA-33jr and to sets of dipoles. I live on 5 acres and I really enjoy ham radio now. You can do it real easy, just think about what you want to do. Painted the ant system all black, really hides the tower and ant.

Look at my QRZ listing to see pictures.

by KH6DC on July 7, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
SteppIR Big IR works 6-80 (with 80m coil). It's just another quarter wave vertical but the element adjusts automatically with your rig so you'll get low swr throughout the band.
RE: Relocating  
by W4VR on July 7, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
You said you have lots of land, but no comment about trees on your lot. The Hy-tower is OK but it does not cover all bands. The SteppIR I believe does not cover 80 meters. The 43-footer that we've all read about may do the job, but on 80 it's a little short. Whatever you end up using make sure you lay down mucho radials. You could put up a couple of masts and hang a 80-10 dipole between them and feed with open wire line.
RE: Relocating  
by W1RKW on July 7, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Master antenna: 80m dipole up at a minimum of 60ft feed with a balanced line and tuner. That should get you running right off the bat. Any other antenna including vertical can come afterward.
RE: Relocating  
by W1RKW on July 7, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
just to add: the antenna mentioned above will work on 80m thru 10m.
RE: Relocating  
by K9MHZ on July 7, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Hey Lou,

I'm glad the S meter on my 7700 is all electronic, since an older one would get a workout from the big signal you'll soon be putting out!


RE: Relocating  
by WA8FOZ on July 7, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
"RE: Relocating Reply
by W1RKW on July 7, 2013
Master antenna: 80m dipole up at a minimum of 60ft feed with a balanced line and tuner. That should get you running right off the bat. Any other antenna including vertical can come afterward....
just to add: the antenna mentioned above will work on 80m thru 10m."

Exactly. This has been my master antenna in 4 permanent and many portable locations for 40 years.

I would not have it any other way. Efficient, flexible, all that. Trees or masts. If necessary, telescoping masts to GOTA right away. The wire vertical with lots of radials and an autotuner at the base will be a good second antenna, especially for DX on 40-80-160.

I also agree with suggestions for some sort of tower or mast and a beam - maybe a roof tripod? Go for it! But get the balanced line dipole up ASDAP and have fun!

by K5WKS on July 8, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
The HG-18 HT is a great antenna. Now you can get 17meter add on and 160 meter coils. One antenna with great signals.
by KE7TMA on July 8, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Just build a couple of dipoles and some Beverages. Towers are overrated.
by W9ACF on July 8, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I ran a Gap Titan DX for 8 years on a tilt over stand. It gave me very good service on 160-10 meters with 100W output. Never had a problem with it in the harsh temperatures and weather of a midwest winter. I had it guyed in two places and striaght line winds never gave it a problem. SWR was also good. Once a year I would tilt it over and check out all the components. Never had to replace any parts. With this antenna I was able to work countries around the world and all 50 states of course. Best wishes and 73. Jeff
by K1LLR on July 8, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
hex beam,hex beam , hex beam,you wont be sorry just heard
RE: Relocating  
by NZ5L on July 8, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
KI5FJ is on the right track. 20 or more radial wires, even if a few are as short as 20', and a long vertical wire - if you plan to be on 80 and 160, try for higher than 50'. Use the extra wire for top loading, a la "Inverted L" style, and don't worry much about SWR if you have a wide range tuner in the shack. At this QTH, a simple "L" network at the wire base gets the SWR within tuner range on 3 bands, I don't worry much about a 3 or 4 to 1 on frequencies below 10 Mhz (with good quality coax, RG-213 minimum).
More important to keep ground losses low.
On 20 and above, you can't beat the Extended Double Zepp (EDZ)dipole. Put it level at 35 to 40 ft, feed it with ladder line to use on the higher bands as well. You will have the benefits of a multi-band set-up without the high cost of commercial antennas. good luck, 73.
by W6CAW on July 8, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Your "master" antenna should be an off center dipole (Windom) It out performs my R-7 verticle 95% of the time. If you must have a verticle I bet the Cushcraft R-9 would be a good choice. My R-7 tunes well.
by W5QDF on July 8, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Check with the local radio club near where you are moving to.

I have helped put up towers and antennae for hams that were members of our radio club. We even started a small group to go do repairs for hams that did not have the skill, health or knowledge to make the repairs.

See what the local club can or will do to help you.
by N9NJM on July 8, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Build a W1AB killer antenna from wire and ladder line. It tunes up all bands 160-10m and is easy and cheap to build.
RE: Relocating  
by KB2DHG on July 9, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Hi Eferm...

Yea your right but... right now with all my expenses I have to errect a afordable solution... maybe next year or so I will get another tower?

RE: Relocating  
by K8QV on July 9, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
With all your available real estate you can put down an extensive radial system or screen. With that, any vertical 1/4 wave radiator that can be made to resonate on the desired frequency(ies) will work well, and it's a cheap solution. Ten and usually 15 meters don't get out so well on a ground mounted antenna, but 30, 40, 80 and 160 should rock!
RE: Relocating  
by VE3TMT on July 9, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Hi Lou,

Everyone else has put there .02 in so I might as well. I used to use an R7 vertical at 15', and honestly it would break many pileups with ease, I was amazed at how well it worked.

Sold it and picked up an A3S which is on the top of the tower at 32'. Not sure whether it is the height or just conditions, but I have to chuckle when I get the DX over all the other guys calling. It's nice to sit back and hear the other guys fight it out. And all this with only 100W.

I'd still like a small amp for the difficult times, but 100W to the beam worked 99% of the time.

Have fun with the new station.

RE: Relocating  
by KA4KOE on July 9, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Inverted L, constructed with military surplus telephone wire, WD1T (unzipped, two conductors). No insulators needed as insulation is VERY strong. Run through tree limbs without worry.

Run betwixt two trees or suspend from one as a vertical. Try to slope out from tree if configured as an L as the tree WILL absorb some RF.

Put down a minimum of 4 radials, as long as you can make them. Don't bother with ground rods, unless you are doing a lightning arrestor thingie-dingy.

Install an Icom AH4 remote tuna at the base or equal. You can make a VERY simple tuna interface if you don't have an ICOM radio.

Run feedline from the house to the tree, buried if possible. Will work like gangbusters, guaranteed.

My L is 60' high, 85' long, works all bands 160m thru 10m, with 6 radials. I have very conductive ground as I'm near a swamp here in SE GA.

I have 3-10' long ground rods interconnected with NO. 4 AWG and then bonded to the radials for lightning protection.

In my case, I did NOT install a tuna as I am also using an SG500 amplifier. Instead, I tune in the shack with a Heathkit SA2060A.

Yes, I know, this is blasphemy of the highest order. You aren't supposed to tune an aerial this way via a run of coax.

Works like gangbusters. I use good quality Wireman buryflex coaxial cable.

This is a VERY cheap and simple way to do it. The great plus is the freedom to run that wire anywhere due to its incredibly tough insulation.

Good luck.

RE: Relocating  
by KA4KOE on July 9, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
The WD1T wire, when unzipped, has the added benefit of near-invisibility.
by KB2DHG on July 9, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Let me make it a bit simpler... THE XYL does not want me to put up tower and beam NUFF SAID... Any other antenna is OK. So I will have my trusted G5RV... but wanted to try a verticle this time around. I plan to install many radials.
I am basicly looking for people that have experence with verticles and the Hustler verticle antenna lines.
RE: Relocating  
by WB2WIK on July 9, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
The Hustlers are good antennas and a lot of bang for the buck. However bandwidth on 80m is very narrow (like 30 kHz) and they don't cover 12m/17m.

They're actually very good on 20-30-40m, if you like those bands.

Although I do have beams and a tower, I also have a 6BTV with radials, and on 30m it's the only antenna I have -- worked a lot of DX with that. On 40m, I don't have a beam and comparing the 6BTV with my 40m inverted vee at 55 feet, there isn't much difference most of the time. The inverted vee is a bit better in its favored directions, but the BTV holds its own very well.

On 10m and 15m, my beam clobbers the BTV. No comparison. On 20m, my beam beats the BTV also but not by as much, maybe 6-10 dB. Still, I've worked the whole world with the BTV on 20m.

With conditions and timing, a vertical can work just fine. I think its main drawback is picking up noise from all directions! If you're in the middle of nowhere with no local noise sources, that may not be much of a problem.
RE: Relocating  
by K8QV on July 9, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
<<<I plan to install many radials.
I am basicly looking for people that have experence with verticles and the Hustler verticle antenna lines.>>>

In my experience with many verticals, the ground system is the important part. I can't see any difference between the 5-BTV, aluminum pole, or a Butternut when an extensive ground system is in place. A quarter wave is a quarter wave, and any differences in efficiency due to traps or slightly taller or shorter physical height is not noticeable unless the ground plane is compromised. In your case, anything vertical will work if tuned to the frequency.
by KB2NAT on July 10, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I am glad that you are going to be HOA free...what joy! You doubtless have gotten (and will get) a zillion ideas, most of them good. There are always limitations, though: time, amount of effort and money you can spend, trees, etc. First, however, is the fun factor and what do you want to do? There are some great verticals out there to choose from and it's nice to have one wired into your antenna selection switch. I'm lazy, elderly, and watch my money, so my second antenna is a horizontal loop. Being lazy and having small trees, I put up as much wire as I could, a balun, and a short run to the shack. It doesn't really have to be high, and a tuner lets it work on any band (as long as you have enough wire). Any shape is fine. I also added a NVIS antenna (dipole)--another very inexpensive antenna. I have a random wire for my SW rcvr. If my trees were taller I'd have several dipoles for direction and freq considerations. Anyway, the fun is in the doing, and it can be done without a great deal of expense. Just have fun and enjoy the results.
RE: Relocating  
by AB8ZX on July 10, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
put up an 80 meter full wave loop and be done with any thoughts of verticals. my loop crushes any antenna I've ever had, other than a yagi or quad.
RE: Relocating  
by K8NDS on July 10, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Here goes the bashing guys.
I could not help myself after reading this blog. I posted an article on my Helical Loaded magnetic loop over a year ago now here on this site. I was bashed beyond recondition from the so called antenna guru's here. Watch closely they will return here soon after reading this.
Now after almost 2 years thousands of stations have heard my signal in Awe, check it out! The proof is in the pudding! If you really don't believe this email me and make a schedule, I will be glad to blow your socks off. I have worked the Falkland Islands With an attenuator in-line down to 250 milli-watts Q-5 copy on SSB.
Go to my QRZ site and read concerning my HL-Magnetic loop antennas.
They are very small. they work better at near ground level then elevated, they handle 1.5KW and down to milli-watts. Low angle of radiation at less then 8 ft above the ground. About 10 db better signal to noise ratio then any vertical of horizontal antenna the I have. rotatable in the loop plane, very directional plus E-field noise noise nulling as much as 50db to loop side. My 2 element versions are over hundreds of contacts proving 6 to 8db increase in the loop plane compared to the signal element versions. The single element versions are as good as any dipole or better.
This HL design is about 50% smaller diameter then a text boot solid ore mag loop. Great for XYL's and HOA's. My friend Ke7NI just get permission to install in a DelWeb community with strict antenna restriction. He is now working all the DX the he hears with great reports. His new HL loop is 39 inches in diameter and mounted 5 ft above the ground, tunes 40 through 15 meters. My noise level with my FT DX-5000 is usually less then S-1, pretty much Zero with the pre-amp off.All you need to work on them is a step ladder. Downside... a bit pricey; around $500.00 construction cost, maybe $600.00 for my dual element design.
I have coverage with two loops from 80 to 10 meters with very High-Q and efficiency. I now have extensive data on how well they work. Contact ZL2JBR for just one of the stations that will testify the results. His statement the other night on 20 was that I was the ONLY station that he was still hearing from the USA. John has a big signal from New Zealand. No matter what anyone has too say concerning this design, unless you go to my HL-Magnetic loop group and talk to many there who have now duplicated this design you will never know just how good these antennas work. Much better then a dipole at 1/2 Wave elevation. Check out my QRZ page or just Google K8NDS, Now I will wait for the Guru's bashing. Hi hi but I really will smile when they come running. Anyone here to bash, please don't expect a response from me, I am not here this time to argue, just to state facts. Rich K8NDS
by KE4LJH on July 10, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Congratulations on getting a little room to run and play in. So much depends on what you want to do, which I believe may change as you get settled in and have the time to review your site and see what natural supports may be available.

In the true spirit of ham radio, antenna experimentation is what many like to explore. I have used many antennas over the years including large HF multiband yagis and vertical antennas. They all have there place and use. There is no such thing as a bad antenna if it gets you On The Air.

I think a vertical antenna is a nice compliment to the farm. I have always had, until recently four or five antennas to choose from. Propagation changes and sometimes makes the determination on which antenna you may use at any given point in time.

Multiple antennas set up for recieve and transmit capabilities and for nulling out interference. Trnasmit on one antenna and recieve on another. Beverage antennas and multiple dipoles oriented at different angles with the ability to switch them in and out of line for best recieve.

For an overall performer and the main system antenna, provided you have the supports and the desire for it, a 160m horizontal loop at 60 feet or better fed with ladder line and a 4:1 current balun rated for 5kw is tough to beat.

For the vertical part of the system, you can build or buy. What ever you decide to do, research the antenna take your time and look at more than one for cost, installation requirements etc. Verticals make nice DX antennas when installed properly.

I build all my antennas both vertical, yagi and wire.
A few known designs I could mention. The center fed Extended Double Zepp cut and tuned for the band you find yourself using most of the time. What ever you decide to do with a wire antenna think about taking the extra time and effort to get it HIGH, sixty feet or better. The real benefits will come from height above ground for the feed point. HIGH = DX when it comes to wire and yagi's.

NVIS propagation: 40/60/75 meters. The ideal height for the feed point of a Near Vertical Incident Sky Wave antenna for the local rag chewing is 0.15 wavelengths above ground. The purpose of this antenna is to radiate your signal as close to vertically straight up as possible to ionize the ionosphere. Many use a 75 meter inverted V antenna for this with great success. This is to cover the local stuff on 40m during the day and 75 meters at night. This is not your DX antenna.

Another antenna I would like to mention which has already been mentioned in this thread. The helically loaded magnetic loop. I have talked to a number of stations using this antenna and was impressed with the signals from this perspective. In comparison to other signals on the band at the time and existing prorogation conditions when I spoke with these stations I was impressed and believe this antenna is a real contender. It is an experimenter’s delight. But not everyone wants to build there own and experiment like I do.

Don't limit your antenna choices to low SWR. Get a good antenna tuner capable of 10:1 tuning or better.

Use ladder line as much as possible for efficiency.

High SWR is not necessarily bad and does not mean the antenna is not resonant. The Coupler provides the "conjugate" match to the antenna and that is what you want.

I think everyone who responded to your query has given insight and shared there experience with you. I hope I have had something to add that one might find of value.

Best Regards,

Steve Sherer

Relocating and Self-Limiting  
by AI2IA on July 12, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Radio gear is my excuse for having antennas.

So why does this guy limit himself? He is finally free of the HOA gulag and what does he say?

" I am too old to deal with putting up a tower and beam (truly the ultimate antenna system), so I was thinking of a vertical...

I would like to operate 80-10 meters and would like any opinions of what is the best vertical for the buck?"

What makes anyone thing a tower and a beam is truly the ultimate antenna system? Not!

"What is the best vertical for the buck?"

Why does he limit himself to a vertical?
Why does he limit himself to a store bought vertical at that?

Conclusion: You can take the ham out of the HOA gulag, but you can't take the HOA gulag out of some hams! So sad! So very sad!

Make your own antennas. Make lots of them since you have the space. Make wire antennas. Make beams. The only thing I would not suggest is making your own very tall tower. Little towers? Ten foot? Twenty foot? If your up to it, why not? Hey, you've got the land, go have a blast. Lives there a ham with a soul so dead who never to himself has said: I am going to make my own darn antennas anyway I want them. I will bend them up like pretzels. I will dare to different. I will prove myself to myself by making my own conventional antennas.
Go on! No body is going to laugh at you, and even if they did, so what? Make your own antennas!
by KE4LJH on July 13, 2013 Mail this to a friend!

Here is an antenna that I designed back in the 90's for 6 meters and posted on a QRP forum. It has been so long ago that when I checked not too long ago the post I made of this design has now disapeared into the ether. It can be used for both vertical polarizatioon needs and horizontal polarization needs. It can be scaled to any band 160m to 23cm and above. It has no limit.

I found someone in Europe recently, touting this same design now as the ultimate HF antenna.

In the 90's I called it and published it as,

"The Double Diamond"

Two full wavelengths in phase.

Visualize two squares, one standing on top of the other, each standing on a corner. It will look like two diamonds.

Draw this on a sheet of paper with a pencil. In the center, where the wires come together, (at the two conrners), the wires do not cross and they do not touch. They merely converge closer together and then diverge away, within a few inches.

This is also your 52 ohm feed point.

In perfect conditions which we all know do not exist for antennas, each full wave loop has a characteristic impedance of 104 ohms. Two full wave loops in phase as described, have a characteristic impedance of 52 ohms. (At perfect elevation figuring in ground effects, soil conductivity, near by metal object and on and on. Don't worry about these two much).

How many times have I seen 52 ohms as a reference in the ARRL antenna book!

How many times have I reviewed over the years the secret knowledge the ARRL still continues to publish today, for wire antennas, the graph, "Wavelengths vs. Gain".

One does not build a 160m horizontal loop just for 160m.

Let's see. How much gain will this antenna have on 20m by virtue of the number of wavelengths per acre?

When building wire antennas of any configuration consider the following:

(1005/Fmz) X (Velocity Factor if insulated wire is used)= One wavelength in feet.

This is the ROOT equasion that the 468/fmz number was derived.

The venerable equasion 468/fmz was specifically designed for use with 12 guage insulated wire with a known velocity factor. This is why every time one uses the 468 number, their antennas are cut either too long or too short every time.

This antenna is also used commercially in the microwave region, sat phones and satellite comms.

Yes, it can also be used at HF/VLF.

It is not published in so far as I know, in the ARRL Antenna Book.

If I had a magic wand and could have everything I could possibly want.

Honey, Buy Me A Diamond......

From the antenna files of

"The Double Diamond"
by KF4LVC on July 13, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
The antenna world is at your fingertips! I can only offer a couple of comments. First, several of the suggestions for the commercially available multi-band verticals are great choices. Hy Gain, Gap, Butternut, and even StepIR have several great selections and there are many others sporting great reviews on eHam and other ham-radio sites. My suggestion to you is to review your needs/wants: Do you plan to work more DX or ragchew, or both equally? Which bands are most important to you, or do you wan to work all of them? Do you plan to use an amplifier? Obviously, with so many choices on the market, you can help narrow your selections by answering these questions. Also, you may want to get a great "all-bander" vertical for general use, and a single band vertical for obtaining more performance if you want to work DX...for instance on 20 meters.

Second, I have constructed and tested many configurations of wire antennas. I have found that a full-wave horizontal loop cut for 80 meters gives me great performance on 160-6, using a decent tuner. The antenna need not be very high in the air, either; I had one up for years when we lived on a small lot, only 15-20 feet up. I always got great results working DX. Now I live on over 4 acres and have a loop up about 40 feet. I never had a problem busting through a pile-up with just 100 watts into the loop. I always use ladder line to feed my loop. And the loop doesn't need to be a perfect square or triangle (delta), so it is very forgiving to shape.

Good luck with your new QTH and antenna endeavors!
by N7WY on July 13, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I moved from a deprived hiatus of not being able to operate from nice towns in CA with lots of zoning and local restrictions to where I could find some affordable land, and get back on HF. I knew that during my waning years I wanted to be heard, and heard well. Accordingly, I chose to put in the effort to assemble a nice tribander, and put it up at 70+ feet. The results are rewarding.
RE: Relocating  
by K9MHZ on July 13, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
>>>>By K8NDS on July 10, 2013
Here goes the bashing guys.......<<<<


Looks like everyone is being very civil and helpful. Ummmm....didn't the thread's author make mention of MORE room for antennas? Why would you come on here and resurrect the mudslinging you started a year ago after you were singing the praises of your super-duper mag loop?

I think we caught a troll red handed trying to start up round 2.

RE: Relocating  
by K9MHZ on July 18, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Lou (and others),

This might be a thread veer a bit, but hopefully interesting.....

KL7AJ gives a fabulous presentation as written as some very thought-provoking articles in QST concerning HF antennas and their relation to the layers above. Way too much to summarize in this format, and I wouldn't be so presumptuous to even try, but one thing that caught my attention was the changing geometry of the layers the farther you travel away from the equator and toward the poles. Essentially, they become less "flat" like the ceiling in your shack, and much more angular relative to the aspect of your signal. The two types will diverge in orientation at higher latitudes, some polarization effects occur, etc. In the end, you might have a transmitted signal perpendicular to a received signal, or even have at times those signals impinging upon your antenna from above rather than from a beam heading as Cushcraft or Mosley may lead you to believe. Too, great circle beam headings are academic at best.....way, way more at play than just pointing a beam and going for max blast on your signal.

The point is that since you're now able to put up some wire antennas on some land, think about some designs that the government/military have used for many years....since the days or Art Collins developing and selling SSB gear to Curtis LeMay and SAC for their Giant Talk operations. Hint: those installations have NEVER used HF beams like what we hams have come to accept as standard....ESPECIALLY at higher station latitudes. Eric also has some nice designs which easily handle signals coming down from the layers, circularly polarized, you name it.

If you have the time and the land, I would not just open an HRO or AES catalog and pick whatever looks cool in their antenna section. Remember, they're still selling snake oil Isotron (Bilal) antennas, if that tells you anything.

Good luck, let us know what you decide. I'm envious.

Brad, K9MHZ
by HP1KL on July 22, 2013 Mail this to a friend!

Save the money and put up the cheapest and easiest antenna. A full wave horizontal loop (four times 35 feet) laid out horizontally about 8 to 10 feet above ground level. use a 4:1 balun and rg-58 or RG-8 coax and work ALL BANDS without a tuner. This is my set up in our mountain retreat

73's Tony/HP1kl
RE: Relocating  
by K9MHZ on July 24, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
RG-58? Why would you use RG-58 for anything, except maybe for a short run in a mobile? That stuff is terrible on so many levels.
by AC2KK on July 24, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Antennas are a personal thing; but I had a HyGain 18-AVQ back in 1971 and it seemed to do the job pretty well. I'd keep the transmission line short, though. Congratulations on the new found freedom OM.
by N5CMF on July 26, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I would seriously look at the Butternut HF9V. Several years ago I used the HF5V with two radials per band with very good results. Example, with 100 watts, I worked all states and Canadian provinces in one weekend during Nov. Sweepstakes.
RE: Relocating  
by KS1G on July 31, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Amen to WA8FEZ's suggestion. A simple dipole cut to the lowest operating frequency, balanced line (window line, home-made open wire, whatever), and a tuner will quickly get you on all the HF bands. If getting balanced line into the radio room is a problem, use coax and place a remote tuner (SGC, MFJ, etc.) at ground level. The antenna can be an inverted-V or dipole depending on what supports (trees, masts, chimney mast) you have available or are willing to install. Fiberglass and aluminum push up or tilt-up masts can get you up to 40-50 ft, and I recall seeing a web page describing a significantly taller mast using irrigation pipe. Guying and a solid base are required, but no climbing necessary.
by N2MWE on August 4, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I miss living where i used to. I had a G5RV and a Cushcraft R6000 and regularly rag chewed with Europe on 17 meters, Now I live in a condo where there is so much frigging noise it just isn't funny.
by KG6ABF on August 4, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Check out the ZERO-5 antennas. They have excellent ratings and stand up to most environments well.

Spoken with or if you prefer had several QSOs with others who use them and they sound quite good. I am told those who use them are quite pleased with the antennas and the receive on them is as good or in most cases better than any other premium vertical available today.

In case you are wondering I am not connected in any way with the company who makes them, just passing along what I have experienced and been told. I do plan at some point to invest in one of the 80-6 meter antennas when I get to that point in my station set up. Currently I use an MFJ 1798 and it works fairly well on 20-10 but 80/40 are a bit tricky and have to use a tuner to get any real bandwidth.

Hope that helps in your decision.
by W5XJ on August 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I also recommend the Steppir Big IR vertical which I use at my QTH in the city to good effect. Mine has the 60/80 meter remote coil option which is great. It loads like a D-5 Cat on the low bands. In the clear, away from fences, houses, cars, etc, it will be great. Radials are the key to vertical performance so be sure to put down a load of them. I also use a gas powered edger to cut slits in the ground for the wires to lay in. QST had a great articel a few years back about radial length and number. Better to have many of various lengths than 4 long ones unless you are on the beach.

You should consider a diversity receive Beverage antenna also for RX since you have so much land assuming your rig can do diversity.

I'd put up a dipole as well to use on 160 M and up with a nice tuner.

Enjoy the new QTH!

73 de W5XJ (EM12ou)
RE: Relocating  
by WO7R on August 7, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
<<< I am too old to deal with putting up a tower and beam (truly the ultimate antenna system), >>>

You don't need to limit yourself to a vertical.

1. You can hire people to climb towers. With planning, this isn't as expensive as it sounds. If you do enough advance testing and on-the-ground testing (more doable than you think) then the expense is bearable. Maybe 500 bucks a year even if the guy charges a lot.

2. If you don't want to do that, what's wrong with push up poles? You can still get them for upwards of 40 feet and even 50. I've installed them and you don't have to be a young man (I am not) to deal with them. They would go up in a weekend. Not hard and not terribly expensive. You can service them with a step ladder or even at ground level via a pulley.

With a push up pole, or even two, you can have all kinds of fun with wire antennas or even a hex beam or a spider beam. 40 to 50 feet will still get you a lot of DX on 17, 15, even 20, pretty much throughout the sunspot cycle.

There are Moxons, "C" poles, and all sorts of things you can try at ground level, too. Or, how about vertical dipole arrays?

You can go way, way beyond a simple vertical and have much more fun than just what a vertical will give you. Verticals shine on the low bands, especially as most of us can afford nothing better. But, you have the space _and time_ to do much more if you really want to.

Oh, and don't forget VHF. You can do a lot with meteor scatter, satellite operation and (depending on where you live) Aurora, all with little more than poles in the ground.

So, put up the vertical if you have your heart set on it.

But don't stop there!
by N6JWN on August 19, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
After reading your post and most of the replies to you I must concur with the gent that suggested a Stepper Big IR Vertical antenna with the 80m Coil. I have owned and operated with one for more than 7 years and I have made contacts all over the world with it. It is a little pricey but I think well worth the money. Like all of the others have said the key to any vertical you install will be the number and lengths of radials on the ground I currently have 24 cut to different bands and used a stainless steel radial plate. You also should have a good ground at both the antenna and the shack. When I installed mine, I drove in three ten foot ground rods around the base of the antenna and another at the Hoffman box next to the house. I ran a separate grounds from the bench to the grounding rod outside by the house and to the copper water pipes and used grounding straps at the antenna end. My main electrical box for the house is grounded to another source. This reduced the noise level to s2 on bad days. All in all do what you can with what you got and get on the air again.

Keith - N6JWN
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