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Author Topic: HF Antenna Help Needed: Hy-Gain 18ft vertical vs. 63ft wire antenna  (Read 1956 times)
KF6KTM
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« on: September 12, 2017, 03:51:19 PM »

I'm getting back into the hobby after almost 20 years, and racking my brain trying re-learn so much. 

If I can use a lifeline, it would be much appreciated  Smiley

This is an entry-level HF setup.  I'm buying a Yaesu FT-450D, and now trying to decide on an antenna.  I'm not in the best area, with almost 360-degrees of hills (for what it's worth).  I was originally set on a wire antenna, mainly due to simplicity and overall performance.  However, it dawned on me to consider a vertical. 

The two antennas that are within my budget are a 63ft wire antenna that will go from my chimney (about 35 feet high) to a fence at ground level.... or a Hy-Gain AV-14 (18ft) that will also mount on my chimney. 

I'm looking to mainly work 40m and 20m.

I'd appreciate any thoughts and feedback!   Thanks


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KH6AQ
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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2017, 04:31:04 PM »

If the wire antenna is a trap dipole it will give the 14AVQ a run for its money. I've run simulations of my 6BTV vs an inverted-vee at 35' and there's not a huge difference. DX Engineering stocks several suitable wire antennas (such as 40/20 meter trap dipoles), end fed wires, the 14AVQ and the 4BTV.

What is the wire antenna you have in mind? I'll run a simulation of it sloping as you describe vs the 14AVQ.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2017, 04:33:48 PM by KH6AQ » Logged
KF6KTM
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2017, 04:38:23 PM »

If the wire antenna is a trap dipole it will give the 14AVQ a run for its money. I've run simulations of my 6BTV vs an inverted-vee at 35' and there's not a huge difference. DX Engineering stocks several suitable wire antennas (such as 40/20 meter trap dipoles), end fed wires, the 14AVQ and the 4BTV.

What is the wire antenna you have in mind? I'll run a simulation of it sloping as you describe vs the 14AVQ.


Thanks!  The wire antenna I am considering is the MyAntennas.com EFHW-4010.

Much appreciated,
Andrew
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W5DXP
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2017, 04:56:41 PM »

Why not build a ZS6BKW? Works very well on 40m and 20m.
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KH6AQ
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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2017, 05:02:43 PM »

There are several ways we can compare the two antennas but let's start with an azimuth pattern at a take-off-angle of 20 degrees. The 14AVQ is modeled as a 1/4 wave vertical with two 1/4 wavelength radials sloping downward at 45 degrees. The EFHW-4010 is modeled as a 63' wire sloping from 35' to 6' above ground. It's fed in the center and the "real" antenna will have a similar current distribution. The ground is "average."

On 40 meters the vertical shows an omni-directional radiation pattern while the wire shows a cardioid pattern. The vertical gain is 2 to 12 dB over the wire.

On 20 meters the vertical shows an omni-directional radiation pattern while the wire shows a squished cardioid with maximum gain broadside. Broadside the wire is up to 3 dB better and off the ends the vertical is 4 to 20 dB better.

If I was better at posting images I'd show you the radiation patterns and we could run them for a couple more take-off-angles.

While I prefer the vertical radiation pattern it would be much more difficult to install. You have to install four radial wires total for the two bands and then put the antenna up and down several times to tune it. The wire might install and be fine without any tuning and that sounds like a nicer way to get back into amateur radio.
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KF6KTM
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2017, 05:07:13 PM »

There are several ways we can compare the two antennas but let's start with an azimuth pattern at a take-off-angle of 20 degrees. The 14AVQ is modeled as a 1/4 wave vertical with two 1/4 wavelength radials sloping downward at 45 degrees. The EFHW-4010 is modeled as a 63' wire sloping from 35' to 6' above ground. It's fed in the center and the "real" antenna will have a similar current distribution. The ground is "average."

On 40 meters the vertical shows an omni-directional radiation pattern while the wire shows a cardioid pattern. The vertical gain is 2 to 12 dB over the wire.

On 20 meters the vertical shows an omni-directional radiation pattern while the wire shows a squished cardioid with maximum gain broadside. Broadside the wire is up to 3 dB better and off the ends the vertical is 4 to 20 dB better.

If I was better at posting images I'd show you the radiation patterns and we could run them for a couple more take-off-angles.

While I prefer the vertical radiation pattern it would be much more difficult to install. You have to install four radial wires total for the two bands and then put the antenna up and down several times to tune it. The wire might install and be fine without any tuning and that sounds like a nicer way to get back into amateur radio.

Interesting simulations, good idea to run.  Appreciate it.  The install...especially with the radials... sounds a little more than what I want to get involved with at this stage.  If I get hooked and want to improve the antenna situation, I'll definitely invest the time (and money) to do a more proper setup... perhaps a yagi at that point.

Thanks!!
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W1VT
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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2017, 05:46:29 PM »

Verticals  tend to be better for low angle radiation needed to work DX stations.  While low dipoles are better for shorter distances.  If your hills are really bad they may block all your low angle paths, so you may be better off with a dipole.  

I'd avoid using chimney to support an antenna, because they aren't designed to handle loads like that. A repair bill could be pretty expensive.
https://www.google.com/search?q=brick+chimney+supporting+loads&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

Zack W1VT
« Last Edit: September 12, 2017, 05:53:32 PM by W1VT » Logged
K6BRN
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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2017, 12:35:24 AM »

Jeff:

The EFHW-4010 (which I have) works much better than my (now scrapped) Hustler 6BTV (with radials) and Comet CHA-250H verticals - but (usually) not as well as my Mosley TA-33 element Yagi.

I recommend the EFHW-4010, or if you have more space, its bigger brother, the EFHW-8010, which adds 80M and the WARC bands.  Either antenna can be bent into a variety of shapes to fit in confined spaces.  They are easy to carry, easy to put up, inexpensive, nearly invisible and perform decently.

Also recommend that you get an RF common-mode choke to go with it, like the Myantennas CMC-330-1K.  Very handy for keeping noise down and RF out of the shack.

Brian - K6BRN
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KD8IIC
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« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2017, 12:16:30 PM »

 Go with the wire, best bet, easy and is right length to use with a tuner for 10-80m.
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KF6KTM
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« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2017, 03:14:32 PM »

Wire it is.  Thanks everyone!
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KD8IIC
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« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2017, 09:40:22 PM »

   Brian has it covered and the choke is a must have. Nice that there is pre-made long wires for us busy folks.
Let us know how you make out with it and hopefully the band condx will improve soon.
VY 72 / 73  lane
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