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N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas

from Don Keith, N4KC on December 4, 2016
View comments about this article!

N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas
By Don Keith, N4KC

Copyright 2016 by Don Keith

A few years ago, I wrote an article for eHam.net titled “N4KC’s Top Five Get-on-the-Air-Quickly Antennas.” I also posted a printable version of it on my web site and included a modified and updated version in my book, “Riding the Shortwaves: Exploring the Magic of Amateur Radio.”The article must have met a need since it continues to generate email and remains the most requested of my writings from those asking for permission to reprint it in club newsletters and other Amateur Radio publications. (Permission which I happily grant when asked, by the way.) I also did an article on the top five station accessories I felt would be valuable to operators. That, too, has generated quite a bit of re-print interest, for which I thank you.

Both articles are exactly what the title says, information on what I consider to be the quickest and easiest antennas to put up in the air and get going on the HF bands and my opinion on a few pieces of gear you might want to consider to get the most from our wonderful hobby. Since then, many of you have made other suggestions, most of which were good ones, but I’ll stick to my original top five in both cases. (I got some not-so-good suggestions, too. For example, I did not consider throwing out the window a piece of 50-ohm coax with a 50-ohm resistor between shield and center conductor to be worthy of my top five aerials. Sorry. One criterion for that list was that the antenna gives a relatively satisfying experience...which might include making contacts for some of the tougher critics among our ranks.)

In the spirit of that article, I have been considering and asking others what similar lists might have value to readers. That is how I came up with this latest one, and I hope it not only helps many of you but also generates a good discussion on the subject. That is the beauty of the Internet in general and this web site in particular. I also encourage comment and contributions, whether you agree with my choices or not.

“Now, why, specifically, multiband antennas, Don?” you ask.

There was a time in the not-so-distant past that we Hams only needed a couple of antennas. 160 meters was, for most, a static-dominated wasteland. 60, 30, 17, and 12 meters were not yet a part of our spectrum playground. Those fortunate enough could get by with a couple of dipoles and a tri-band beam. Most simply used wire antennas and matched them the best they could, usually with the output circuitry in their transmitters. And they fed them with something called ladder line because that was really all they had. -- More on that later.

Now, though, with the development of top-band for DX and the addition of WARC and post-WARC bands, I count a total of ten swaths of radio frequency we can use just in the high-frequency bands, and six meters is not that far off. And now, most modern radios include that band. That’s the big thing, you see. Almost any transceiver you buy now and in recent years have coverage from 160 to 6. But are you blessed with antennas that allow you to explore all that real estate? Odds are you do not.

Okay, let us say you have lots of space there around your shack and can erect an antenna for each of those bands. Congrats, but this article is not for you. Or if you are perfectly content to yak with the same bunch of guys on 40 meters that you have talked with since the 1950s, move on. That coax-fed dipole cut to frequency is probably all you need. But if you want to take a whack at some of those other bands, and especially as sunspots become more bashful over the next few years and you seek activity, read on.

First, let me make one bold statement: not all “all-band antennas” are truly all-band. Especially those that make fantastic claims about gain, lack of radials, low SWR, and such claptrap.

I will make an even bolder statement: no antenna fed by coax is going to be a good “all-band antenna” with the possible exception of a fan dipole. And that particular arrangement has its own set of problems we’ll discuss later.

This is why I titled this article “multiband antennas,” not “all-band.” All the ones I list will give you decent performance on several bands so you don’t have to put up enough antennas to be a hazard to ornithological traffic in your backyard but will still be able to communicate on multiple Amateur Radio bands. I think you will see what I am saying as I attempt to describe each radiator and give what I perceive to be their pros and cons.

So here are my top five, in no particular order:

Multiband antenna #1 – the G5RV

Boy, I can already hear the gnashing of teeth. Few antennas conjure up as much controversy as Mr. Varney’s dipole variant. Part of that is because some unscrupulous marketers of the antenna advertise it as an all-band device. You and I know that practically anything can be called an all-band antenna if a robust enough matching device (commonly called an “antenna tuner”) is employed to give the transmitter end of the feed line an impedance near 50 ohms. Chance are, though, that such an arrangement, while allowing some hard-earned contacts, won’t be the antenna system you need to fully enjoy the hobby.

Our friends at Wikipedia define the G5RV as: a dipole with a symmetric resonant feeder line, which serves as impedance matcher for a 50 Ohm coax cable to the transceiver. In the real world, that means a piece of open-wire feeder, ladder line, window line or whatever you choose to call parallel wires kept a uniform distance from each other that runs from the feed point of a typical dipole to a point where it is hooked to a run of coax cable. The ladder line is the “symmetric resonant feeder.”

That means the impedance of the matching line you use determines how long it must be. There are also variations, such as the ZS6BKW, in which the dipole part is even shorter than the traditional version. Luckily, you are not on your own. There are some good articles on the Internet, such as this one, and this one on eHam.net. Let Google be your guide and you’ll get plenty of help. The ARRL Antenna Book is useful, too, not only for the G5RV but other multiband antennas.

There are also a number of commercially available G5RVs. Check reviews. Some are better constructed than others. There are also some kits you can purchase and simply hook everything together. The one I use is a ZS6BKW version marketed by The Wireman. The kit actually cost me less than the insulators, wire and feed line would have if purchased separately.

PROS: Shorter than a full half-wave dipole, it fits in less space. With the proper length of open-wire matching stub, a full-size G5RV can be tuned with the typical internal tuner in today’s transceivers to work relatively well on 80, 40, 20, 17, 12 and 10 meters. It is actually a very good antenna on 20 and 17, offering some gain over a dipole.

CONS: That stub does need to be relatively precise in length. You also need a 1:1 balun at the transition from open-wire line to coax to keep RF off the coax shield. The longer the run of coax you have from transition point to tuner output, the more loss you will have on those bands where the tuner will tune, allowing you to transmit even though the impedance is way high or way low at the antenna feed point. Even a full-size G5RV will likely not tune but on a narrow portion of 80/75.

Multiband antenna #2 – the dipole fed with open wire parallel feed line

About as simple as it gets, this is a tried and true way to be able to operate on most Amateur bands using one antenna and feed line. This is also one we can thank our predecessors for since they were using it well before most of us were causing QRM. I am talking about the basic wire dipole—two pieces of wire with an insulator in the middle to which the two sides of your feed line are attached, electrically and physically.

Many use this antenna and feed it with coaxial cable. Well, that is fine so long as you only intend to use it on frequencies on which it is reasonably close to being resonant. And on bands that fall on its odd harmonics. So if you cut a dipole for 3.950 megahertz, it will not work all that well on any other Ham band. Oh, it may “tune,” but the loss in the coax because of the mismatch will degrade your signal considerably.

Feed it with ladder line or window line and you don’t have to worry about that little issue. It is beyond the scope of this article to explain why that is the case as well as the various issues involved and solutions for such issues when using open-wire line. But again, there are many helpful articles online and in The ARRL Antenna Book. I also have a couple of articles here on eHam.com on the subject. You can read them here and here. And printable versions of each are on my site at www.n4kc.com by clicking on the “Articles” tab.

PROS: Simple and effective, a dipole fed with open-wire feed line will typically work on the band for which it is cut to resonance and for each band higher in frequency. There is little or no feed line loss, even if the antenna presents a sizeable mismatch.

CONS: In many cases, you may need more matching capability than what is offered by the internal tuner in your radio. This requires a more robust matching device. There are challenges in keeping open line feeder from coming too close to other conductors or the ground, and especially getting into the house or shack and hooking to your radio or many tuners. (But it is worth the trouble! Again, Google the subject and you will see suggestions, including in my eHam and web site articles linked above.

I also recommend my web article titled “Feeding the Beast – Transferring Radio Frequency Energy from Your Transmitter to Your Antenna.” )

Multiband antenna #3 – trap verticals or dipoles

“Traps” are simply electrical devices that allow the passage of radio-frequency energy only within a pre-designed frequency range. If you have a dipole cut for 75 meters, you can put a trap in each leg of the dipole that would prevent 40-meter RF from “seeing” a portion of the wire, effectively shortening it to be resonant on 40. Then you can add other calibrated traps at other points in the antenna to shorten it for each succeeding higher band.

You can build your own, including the traps if so inclined. There are also many commercial traps available for sale and also trap dipoles and verticals on the market and they work pretty well. I have a Hustler 4BTV that is resonant on 10, 15, 20 and 40 meters and, with a nice radial field beneath it, it works fine. (In all directions. It has the same positives and negatives of any vertical radiator, but with the traps, I have an antenna that performs almost as well as a single-band antenna. Almost? See the cons below.)

PROS: Simple and effective. Can be fed with coax with reasonably good results.

CONS: Traps can have some loss. They can also be susceptible to environmental factors, such as water, ice and insects. They can also be heavy, especially if you use a bunch of them to get more bands, risking bringing down the antenna in windstorms or with accumulated ice. And they must be rated to handle the amount of power you will be running, with a margin to spare. Sparks raining down in your backyard may not endear you to neighbors and indigenous flora and fauna.

Multiband antenna #4 – the Windom

With this entry, I am talking mostly about the newer “Carolina Windom” variation of an old off-center-fed-antenna design from the 1930s. The original Windom used a single wire feed line which created considerable RF-in-the-shack issues. The Carolina version uses a length of coax—which is attached to the antenna nearer to one end instead of in the middle—as a deliberate radiator, causing RF to be induced on the braid. Then, 22 feet from the feed point, a balun isolates that section of coax—at least the shield part—from the rest, the run to the shack.

This makes the antenna have both horizontal and vertically polarized radiation, which can be a good thing. And because the feed point on the dipole part is carefully chosen, as is the length of the radiating vertical piece of coax, it is close to resonant on all bands from 80 through 10, with some help from a tuner. And the balun serves to prevent RF from showing up on the braid of the coax that runs to the transmitter.

PROS: Relatively simple and effective on multiple bands. Radiates both horizontally and vertically. Easy for most to construct on their own but several vendors sell commercially built versions.

CONS: Measurements are critical. Needs to be hung in the right space so off-center feed point is in the right spot for getting it to the shack and high enough so the vertical matching stub is, truly, vertical. Any mismatches on any bands can cause high SWR loss if the coax run to the shack is too long. There is also a balun dangling around up there about 22 feet below the feed point so keep it away from potential collisions with trees, towers, the house or other solid stuff and make sure there is a good mechanical connection for the coax at the antenna feed point. That balun also has to be able to handle the power you intend to run or else you’ll add a new set of fireworks to your Independence Day pyrotechnics.

Multiband antenna #5 – the “fan” dipole

This is really just the simple dipole but a bunch of them, all using the same center insulator and feed line. Yes, you just cut wire dipoles for each band you wish to operate (40 and 15 can use the same one), attach them all to the center insulator and feed line and scurry from band to band with ease.

Of course, you have to figure out how to keep the various wires from touching each other when the winds blow. And to make sure they all stay up there and don’t get tangled up. But if you can handle the physical challenges of hanging all those wires, arrayed in a fan-like pattern (hence the name), then you basically have a dipole for each band for which you cut and hang wires.

But doesn’t the RF energy from your transmitter see that arrayed bunch of wire and get confused? Nope. The beauty of the deal is that radio-frequency energy gravitates toward the best match…the set of wires that are closest to resonance on the frequency at which that energy vibrates. It finds it and gets radiated, just as the radio gods declared.

PROS: You have a wire dipole that is more or less resonant on each band for which you have one built and hung. You can feed them all with one run of coaxial cable. It only requires three insulators (one in the middle and two at each end) and two support points (at each end, though if you try to put too many wires in your “fan” you may want to support the middle, too).

CONS: All that wire can be heavy so use strong rope on the ends at the supports as well as between elements if that is how you keep them uniformly spaced from each other. The real issue with the fan dipole is electrical interaction between the elements. You may find that if you trim one dipole to be closer to resonance on its band, one of the other bands goes out of whack since there was some interplay between the two. With four or five different sets of dipoles, it can be really tricky.

(Note: I deliberately did not go into various beams, such as the very popular hex beam, embedded Moxons, quads, trap multiband beams, and the like. I was primarily considering antennas that could start at 160 or 80/75 and work most or all bands upward from there.

Had I picked a Multiband antenna #5.5, it would likely have been a hex beam, simply because this interesting wire beam works very well as a two-element directional beam on all bands from 20 to 6 meters, and some guys are experimenting with versions for 30 and 40.

5.5 might also have been the one-wavelength horizontal loop fed with open wire feed line. I know it works well because I built one. And my article on that monster is my third most-requested-for-reprint article.

Maybe I should have made this my SEVEN top multiband antennas! Aw, you’re right. I would have come up with several more. I’ll leave that up to you.)

So those are my five multiband antenna ideas. What about you? I wager a lot of you have some ideas of your own.







(Don Keith, N4KC is a long-time active Ham and former broadcaster. He is also an award-winning and best-selling author with more than thirty books published, fiction and non-fiction, on a wide range of subjects, including three books dealing with Amateur Radio. His novel Firing Point is now in production as a major motion picture under the title Hunter Killer, starring Gerard Butler and Gary Oldman. He recently received the Bill Leonard Journalism Award from the ARRL for an article on the hobby he wrote that appeared in American Legion Magazine.

Don’s web sites are www.donkeith.com and www.n4kc.com The latter site features numerous articles about our hobby. Don also blogs on the subject of rapid technological change and its effect on media, society and Amateur Radio at http://n4kc.blogspot.com.)

Member Comments:
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N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by PA0HOP on December 4, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Hello Don,

Thanks for the useful article.
My favorite antenna is #2: the wire dipole fed with openwire. Mine in fact is an inverted vee like dipole fed with openwire. It's only 2 x 10 metres with the apex at approx. 9 metres agl. Works fine, however you miss 80/160 metres, but I don't care about that. If one has the space for it, make 2 x 20 metres par example. In the early sixties I even used a trapped W3DZZ antenna. No, not fed with coax but also with an open wire feeder. No problem at all.

Gud luck and health.

73
Hans, PA0HOP
 
N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by N4NYK on December 4, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
FYI: I'm not affiliated with DX Engineering, but there is a very informative article (in their balun section) concerning effective multiband antennas on their web site. It is titled Choosing the Correct Balun by W8JI.It is a PDF file.
I used this data, that of The Wirebook IV, by N8UG, and other theoretical antenna books to construct effective multiband antennas.
 
RE: N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by NO9E on December 4, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
One new choice: well designed and constructed endfed. With space for 20m wire, low SWR on 40-20-15-10. With 40m wire, all bands. Possibly short coax and can take a KW.
Ignacy, NO9E
 
N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by W6CAW on December 4, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
My main dipole is a 160/80 Meter, OCF Carolina Windom, Fan Diople. Instead of the normal one above the other my "fan" wires are at the same elevation 45 degrees apart. www.craigwilliams.com/radio .
 
N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by ZL1BBW on December 4, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Don,t forget the original G5RV was designed for 3.5 - 3.8 the UK band, and as such it probably had more usable coverage, also back in them days we had Pi Networks to tune with.
 
N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by VE3CUI on December 4, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I always came to favour the use of an open-wire fed half-wave dipole which was cut for the lowest band that I planned to operate on…even in "…bent-to-fit-within-physical-restrictions" it performed flawlessly, the only caveat being that it needs a transmatch/antenna tuner to feed it properly.

In later years I employed plastic-covered 300-ohm foam-type TV twin-lead feeder to feed a 160-meter dipole, in the absence of true "classic" open-wire feeders --- and it never let me down, either, allowing me to work practically any station that I could hear from 160- to 10-meters, inclusive, with my 100-watts.
 
N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by K1VCT on December 4, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I'll put my 2c in for the trapped vertical as being a pretty decent bang for the buck, when you consider the performance, ease of installation and tuning, and maintenance - versus - the costs involved.

Close contacts have not been possible with my 4BTV, and yes... a 5BTV will cover 75/80 meters, but its bandwidth at 75/80 meters is very narrow, hence going with the 4BTV.

On the other hand, DX contacts have been excellent, amazing really. I'm in south Florida, and regularly contact stations all over the USA, Europe, Canary Islands, Madeira, Central and South America.

And... the neighbors don't complain!



 
RE: N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by NN2X on December 4, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I compared 3 Mono Banders and Hex Beam (5 Band)

I have the K4KIO 5 Band against the following

1.10 Meter Band 4 Element Mono Bander 12 ft boom Force 12 / Up at 55FT

2. 15 Meter Band 3 Element Hygain 12 FT boom / Up at 50 FT

3. 20 Meter Band 3 Element Mosley, 24 FT boom / Up at 45 FT

Hex Beam (K4KIO) up at 40 FT....

The K4KIO Hex beam is on a push up mast with TV Rotor, The Hex beam was performing as well, and sometime better than the Mono Banders....I still have this in my property...I did these tests for 3 months...

Yes, we all know that 2 Element versus 3 Element generally is no real difference, my point is the Mono Banders took, Tower, heavy rotor, but the Hex Beam, cost with mast and TV rotor 150 (USD)...Amazing

 
RE: N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by NN2X on December 4, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I compared 3 Mono Banders and Hex Beam (5 Band)

I have the K4KIO 5 Band against the following

1.10 Meter Band 4 Element Mono Bander 12 ft boom Force 12 / Up at 55FT

2. 15 Meter Band 3 Element Hygain 12 FT boom / Up at 50 FT

3. 20 Meter Band 3 Element Mosley, 24 FT boom / Up at 45 FT

Hex Beam (K4KIO) up at 40 FT....

The K4KIO Hex beam is on a push up mast with TV Rotor, The Hex beam was performing as well, and sometime better than the Mono Banders....I still have this in my property...I did these tests for 3 months...

Yes, we all know that 2 Element versus 3 Element generally is no real difference, my point is the Mono Banders required Tower, heavy rotor, plenty of concrete...But the Hex Beam, only required a push up mast and TV rotor, total costs $150 (USD)...Amazing

If I did not see it myself, I would not believe it..!

 
RE: N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by AC7CW on December 4, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for the article but as an aside:

Monoband center fed dipoles/vees

Pros: Wide bandwidth, less harmonics transmitted, reduced rfi, lightweight, no tuner required

Cons: Cover only one band except 40m unit can be loaded up on 15m
 
RE: N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by K9MOV on December 4, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for the nice article. I have been using #2 for over 20 years with a Johnson Match box. It works very well on all bands.
 
N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by KC2WI on December 5, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I have been using home made G5RVs for 30+ years. They work well and can't be beat for low cost and simplicity.

I converted one in to a ladder line fed dipole and it is even better. I use a remote autotuner to solve the problem of getting feed line in to the house. I can match at any frequency from 160M to 6M.

Since no one makes a balanced output autotuner I use an AH4 with coiled up feed line and control line as chokes to prevent RF in the shack. AH4 is expensive but I happened to have one.

You could use any autotuner. Connect the ladder line directly to the output to minimize feed line losses. Put chokes on the coax and control lines, essentially "floating" the tuner. Cost of an LDG or MFJ autotuner <$200. Yes it makes it an expensive dipole but it works very well.
 
N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by W2UIS on December 5, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Over the years I have spent a fortune on HF antennas. I have concluded there is no perfect antenna.

I have used both the G5RV and the Hustler BTV antennas with satisfactory success.

Today I use only a 20 meter inverted v dipole antenna without a tuner. This has provided me the best coverage on the only hf band use.

 
RE: N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by K3VO on December 5, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
My old friend Lew Mc Coy W1ICP {SK} worked at ARRL and wrote many articles for the Hand Book and QST. His specialty was antennas , tuners , and SWR bridges. You can Google up many of his articles at Le McCoy W1ICP.
I met Lew when I lived near the league and was W1EGM. One of the first conversations we had was on antennas. Lew told me to hang as much wire as I could feed with open wire and a Balun. Don"t bother
measuring it. Following his advice I had about 175 feet of dipole and would work Europe every night on 75 meter SSB. I even worked a VK on 75 at 5 in the evening.
Bill Orr W6SAI {SK} author the Radio Handbook did a serious study of the G5RV. He found it to be a poor antenna except on 20 meters.
Back in the fifties when the G5RV came out we used xmtrs with Pi Networks which would load just about anything. In 1958 I ran a KW from Baffin Island and had no idea what my SWR was and the Pi Network would tune anything I put up.
As a novice in 1954 I had 67 feet of wire end fed with 300 ohm TV line and would load it on 80 meters with my Viking Adventeur which had a Pi Net work.

If you go to the trouble of putting up a G5RV why not put up as much dipole you can and feed it with open wire and it will load up on all bands and out perform the G5RV
 
N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by W3TTT on December 6, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
#2 is my fav and it is the main one that I use. My other antenna is a 80 meter vertical with raised radials. I have three radials at 10 feet over ground.

I feed it with a coax but the coax is only 10 feet long, so I disregard any coax losses.

I tune both of the antennas with antenna tuners/matching tuners. I use both antennas on all bands.

73, Joe W3TTT
 
RE: N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by N4KC on December 6, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
K3VO:

I agree totally with you and Lew. However, I respectfully disagree about the G5RV only being a decent antenna on 20 meters. If we are talking about the G5RV as typically constructed these days, it actually works pretty well on not only 20 but also 40, 30 and 17.

But yes, if you have no issues with getting open wire feedline into the shack or can keep short whatever coax run you require to do so, then a dipole cut to be at least long enough to be a half-wavelength on the lowest-frequency band you operate would be the better choice...in my opinion.

73,

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com



 
RE: N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by K6CRC on December 6, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Great article.... for those with big trees on their lots, or a tower to lean against.
For the rest of us, we slog along with a vertical plus autotuner at the base. I managed to make it an Inverted L, but others are so fortunate.
In any case, I like reading antenna articles and learned some things. Thanks Don!
 
N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by KI4VEO on December 8, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I am surprised you didn't mention the loop antenna. I have a 570 foot, horizontal loop, suspended up around 50 feet (more or less). Home made open wire feedline, and use a Heathkit SA-2060A for an impedancing matching unit. The Heathik is original, except for the new balun from Balun Designs. With about 600 watts, out of my Heathkit SB-1000, I have worked most of the world. The only state that I haven't worked is Alaska.
 
RE: N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by N4KD on December 8, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Brings back memories of Dr Cebik, W4RNL and his endless series of antenna articles. There are a number of sites that host his article about his favorite backyard antennas. Coincidentally, he also likes the broadside doublet, which is number 2 on Don's hit parade. I'd list several of the sites that host the Cebik article, but I think his work is copyrighted and my better judgement tells me not to do so.

It's worth doing the search, however. The Cebik article is as interesting as this one, plus it has pictures.

Don, thanks for another good article.

vy 73,
Dave N4KD
 
RE: N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by K8AI on December 8, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
There's another potential "con" to #2... The radiation pattern will have some to many nulls and peaks on bands above the lowest one that it's cut for. Of course, some may not consider this a con.

Concerning traps, you can construct traps using lumped caps with higher Q's instead of the more popular "coax trap" thereby reducing losses to minimum if not negligible levels.
 
N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by E73M on December 14, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
EFHW single wire antenna beats down the most of these options. Simple stealth and efficient.
8 bands with 130ft or 4 bands with 66ft long.
Shamelessly I will pitch this site for more info
http://www.MyAntennas.com

Danny E73M
 
N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by N4NSS on December 18, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
#6 is the W5GI antenna which I use while camping.
http://www.kf4l.org/construction/W5GI_mysteryantenna.pdf
 
N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by AD4IE on December 18, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
First off I should mention that I live in the city where there is a lot of electrical noise from local businesses and such. I started with an 80 meter fed with ladder line but had the usual problem with 40 meters, so I added 40 meter elements making it into a fan dipole. Worked great. When I finally got enough money for a tower and tri-bander I decided to change the feed line of the fan dipole to coax. I found the antenna to be a lot quieter. Nothing scientific about this, for all I know maybe the source of the noise ended at the same time. Just my observation.
 
N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by KK3OQ on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Sure wish I knew how to fit a decent 40 meter ant into my attic, which is about 40' wide due to the slope of the hip roof. 20 meters is fine, but miss my 40 meter ant.
 
N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by N6CIC on January 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Actually my favorite antennas have always been center fed horizontal dipoles cut for the band of choice. However trying to use one antenna for multiple bands, my favorite has been a version of no.4-an off-center fed dipole. I use a current balun at the 2/3 feedpoint. Using this configuration, I was getting Rf into the shack and so I inserted an Rf choke just before my tuner and cured that. I could have mounted the choke at the bottom of the vertical run of coax and I might have had better radiation from the antenna. In the future, I may try that.

This is a good article--building and testing antennas is one of the best parts of ham radio!
 
N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by KD9ERA on January 6, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Nice Article,
I for one am trying to use the Carolina Windom, Although "I" think that its rating could be higher on the list, the data presented in terms of Pros and Cons are accurate from my point of view as well.
Before installing this antenna, I did perform a reasonable amount of research, and this is where I fell.
Great data, Thanks for your work on this..
BJS
 
N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by AE9C on January 7, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I use a 20 meter resonant dipole for 14/21 and 28 Mhz,harmonic resonance.**Simple **
 
RE: N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by N4KC on January 8, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
AE9C:

Thank you for the comments. However, I'm still trying to figure how you make a dipole that is resonant on 14 mhz also be resonant on 21 mhz. Halfwave dipoles are resonant on each odd harmonic frequency, which means it should work fine on 28 mhz but will not be resonant on 15 meters.

73,

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com



 
N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by AE9C on January 8, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Your "top 5 antennas" Not mine, All i use is home brew wire antennas,i have worked stations all this world a 20 meter dipole, yep a dipole,,OH, 2 answer your question a tuner.(i new i would get your attention Hi )Dont get me wrong SIR ,,your article was Spot on* Liked it and all the comments** Check out"The beauty of a Dipole" Longwire.com , Anyway 73"to all**
 
N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by AE9C on January 8, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Your "top 5 antennas" Not mine, All i use is home brew wire antennas,i have worked stations all this world a 20 meter dipole, yep a dipole,,OH, 2 answer your question a tuner.(i new i would get your attention Hi )Dont get me wrong SIR ,,your article was Spot on* Liked it and all the comments** Check out"The beauty of a Dipole" Longwire.com , Anyway 73"to all**
 
RE: N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by N4KC on January 8, 2017 Mail this to a friend!

Well, four of my five suggestions are almost always constructed as wire antennas. And my fifth, the vertical, can be. I use a wire dipole, cut for 75 meters, and feed it with ladder line. It works just fine as a multi-band antenna...on all bands where I have tried it when using a matching device ("tuner"). My hex beam...a wire antenna, by the way...works considerably better on 20 through 6 though.

But my dipole is NOT resonant on most of those bands. Nor does it need to be. A non-resonant antenna fed with open wire feedline will work just fine using a matching device where needed to match the transmitter to the load.

73,

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com



 
N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by K9FE on January 9, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Been through the gamut of antennas, but recently in the last 20 years I have gone back to a vertical. I run a Hustler 5btv. I have DXCC, WAS on 2 bands in 3 modes using it, ALL LOTW. I have about 600watts, but rarely use it. For the price and performance you can't beat them. Being a 1/4 wave it does require a good ground plane/radials. I have maybe 400 feet of copper in the ground and play mostly Digital in the past few years. My vertical is 4 inches off the ground, 9 inches of black soil on top of tan clay. It mounts to a 1 1/2" iron pipe 6 feet in the ground and is guyed at the 20m trap. The limitation of 4 bands, and the fifth being narrow is not the end of the world. I tuned the 80m to 3600khz, so digital and the bottom of phone works fine. The actual footprint is very small and my radials are buried 1 inch down. The best part is I never need to wonder if my beam is pointed the right way!
 
N4KC’s Top Five Multiband Antennas  
by KB3MTV on January 13, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I recently put up a offset center fed dipole. It is similar to a windom but it is fed with 50 ohm coax and uses a 4:1 balun. It is cut for 80 meters and is resonate on the bottom of 80, almost all of 40, all of 20, all of 17, all of 12, and 10 meters from at least 28 to 29 (haven't tested any higher than that) and its not too bad on the low end of 6 meters as well.


So far I'm quite happy with it. Best wire I have ever strung up. Best part is not needing a tuner. Would certainly recommend to anyone.
 
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