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Author Topic: Hustler 6btv radials  (Read 984 times)
NK5G
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Posts: 102




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« on: June 26, 2008, 12:53:05 PM »

Hey all,

I am planning to erect my Hustler 6btv using my radial plate at a new house. The ideal location for the antenna is in the back of the yard where I can lower the antenna behind a wood fence for stealth purposes. The only issue is that I will not be able to lay radials in a 360 degree pattern, just 180 degrees. I figure that with the radial plate I can lay 31 radials at 16 feet in a half circle configuration.

So, here are my questions:

1) Will 31 radials at 16 feet in a half circle work for operation on 10 thru 80 meters? (Do you recommend different number and/or lengths of radials for this configuration?)

2) Would you expect any performance or pattern issues using only 180 degrees of radials?

Any feedback is appreciated.
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W5GA
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Posts: 430




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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2008, 01:20:17 PM »

Don't expect much on 80 with radials that short.

I run a 4-BTV with about 40 radials in a bowtie configuration.  I haven't seen that it makes a lot of difference.
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HAMMERTIME
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Posts: 176




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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2008, 05:33:38 PM »

Don't expect much out of the 75/80 meter band regardless of how many radials you have or their particular configuration! Lay as many radials as possible in whatever configuration you can and enjoy. The BTV series is a pretty good antenna for the cost, IF you utilize a radial system.
 I have seen several people say they can see no difference with or without radials but I promise you, if you have 40 decent radials laid out and can connect and disconnect them quickly while working the same station, you will see an appreciable difference!
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KA1MDA
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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2008, 08:13:06 PM »

"Don't expect much out of the 75/80 meter band"

I have a ground mounted 6BTV with 28 burried random length radials between 28 and 75 feet long. I worked Wales on 75 phone with 100W a month or so ago. I also hear UK and Ireland often on 75 meters. Hope I am not asking too much of the antenna...

73, de Tom, KA1MDA
www.ka1mda.org
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K2MK
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Posts: 391




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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2008, 01:54:02 AM »

"Will 31 radials at 16 feet in a half circle work for operation on 10 thru 80 meters?"

Sounds like you are planning on buying a 500 foot spool of wire. You'll will get a noticeable improvement on all bands if you can double the amount of wire in the ground. But the improvement will be greater if you can lay 31 radials at 32 feet rather than 62 radials at 16 feet. Even if they are not in a straight line. And they don't have to be the same length. They don't have to be any particular length. The ends can be bent to fit your yard. Do the best that you can with the space you have available.

If you only have 180 degrees to work with, go for it. You might lose a little signal in some directions but you will never notice it.
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NS5M
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Posts: 196




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« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2008, 11:08:54 AM »

To echo earlier comments: use as many radials as you can, and make them as long as you can, either buried or "stapled" to the surface. If you can get 30 (or more) radials at 30 feet each, I think that'd be much better than 30 at 16 feet each. The lengths do not need to be either tuned or uniform - if 180 degrees is what's available, use it as best you can.

My 6BTV is ground mounted over 40 radials in a circular pattern, from 8 feet to 42 feet long, and I've been quite pleased with it's success. The area of the shortest radials is in a corner, and they extend roughly from ESE to SSW. There does not seem to be an appreciable directional difference.

Bandwidth on 80m is quite narrow, but still workable with minimum fuss. For reasons I don't understand, I've even had limited success on 12m with this antenna in this configuration, although losing a fair amount of power (30-40%)to a poor match - I attribute that to the excellent ops on the other end.

As is always the case, do the best you can with the resources available and enjoy yourself.

73,
Jim N5VT
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NK5G
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Posts: 102




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« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2008, 12:33:23 PM »

TU for the feedback. Looks like 30+ radials at 30 feet should be the ticket. I also consulted DX Engineering and Newtronics and they said abou the same thing.

...now to keep my four year old out of the radials until they sink into the dirt...yikes.

See you on HF
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HAMMERTIME
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Posts: 176




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« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2008, 02:43:43 PM »

RE: Hustler 6btv radials  Reply  
by KA1MDA on June 26, 2008  Mail this to a friend!  
"Don't expect much out of the 75/80 meter band"

I have a ground mounted 6BTV with 28 burried random length radials between 28 and 75 feet long. I worked Wales on 75 phone with 100W a month or so ago. I also hear UK and Ireland often on 75 meters. Hope I am not asking too much of the antenna...

73, de Tom, KA1MDA
www.ka1mda.org  

 This means absolutely nothing! When you compare this antenna to a PROPERLY strung dipole or bazooka for 75/80 meters, only then will you realize what we are talking about!
 I or no one else said you could not work anything on 75/80 meters with the Hustler antenna. I once crammed a coat hanger in a SO239 and heard all kinds of crap.Need I say more?
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W8JI
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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2008, 04:07:24 AM »

My Hustler 6BTV on 80 meters is mostly about one and rarely two S units down from my dipole at 150 feet anywhere out beyond a few hundered miles.

The real problem is it won't handle much more than 500-1000 watts on 80 when you have a good ground system, and the bandwidth is very narrow.

As a matter of fact measured FS on a test range against a 1/4 wave vertical antenna reference:
HF6V  -6dB
6BTV -7dB
Gap Titan -20dB

I wouldn't say that's like a coat hanger.

Now a GAP, that is getting close to a coat hanger. But not the 6BTV. It is really not that bad when you consider the height.

73 Tom
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KA1MDA
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« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2008, 10:07:51 AM »

"PROPERLY strung dipole or bazooka for 75/80 meters"

That's the problem... How many people actually manage to get their 75/80 meter dipoles strung 1/2 (or more)wavelength above the ground to get the free-space radiation pattern? Not many. My point is the 6BTV's lower radiation angle on 75/80 (compared to a dipole mounted at 20-35 feet) probably compensates for its decreased efficiency on that band.

73, de Tom, KA1MDA
www.ka1mda.org
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K3GM
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Posts: 1777




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« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2008, 10:47:33 PM »

When you have a situation like yours, a ground mounted vertical with fewer radials, poor to average soil, the radials behave like they're resonant.  So it's good to use radials that are ELECTRICALLY (not physically) 1/4 wavelength long.  As you increase the number of radials, this resonance phenomenon disappears, and the radials form a disk under the antenna.  Now, for the good part.  A radial wire above high above earth ground has a velocity factor of around 95%-98%.  But, as you bring that wire closer and closer to ground, the Vp drops rapidly.  When it's in contact with soil, the Vp might be down around 50%-60%.  So that means that you can use physically shorter radials and they'll "look" like they're electrically 1/4 wavelength long. How short? Start with radials that are ...perhaps .14 to .15 wavelengths long.  As you can quickly figure, a 20 meter radial wire for 80 meters is reduced to 10-12 meters or so.  Suddenly, what looked impossible now seems do-able.

Before I get jumped on.  I stress that the above applies to situations where there's a low number of radials, where there's "leakage" of return currents to earth ground .  As the quantity of radials goes up, and the space between the radial tips tightens up, the resonance effect disappears, and you develop a disk under the antenna to collect the return currents.
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KC6SLA
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Posts: 35




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« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2008, 09:38:33 AM »

So how many radials, minimum, does someone need to put down on a ground mounted BTV-4 before they will notice a real difference in the performance? I currently have around 6 or 8 random length radials which I know is not enough.
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K2MK
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Posts: 391




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« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2008, 02:50:51 PM »

I would suggest using at least 500 feet of wire for your radials. You could make them 1/4 wavelength long for 40 meters (calculator at http://home.comcast.net/~olneytj/wavecalc.htm) or make them as long as the antenna is tall (22 feet). Some articles say you only need to equal the antenna height. Other articles propose going the full 1/4 wavelength (35 feet). You could go with an assortment between 22 and 35 feet long.

Pick up a 500 spool of 14 gauge, stranded, insulated wire at Home Depot or Lowes. It's cheap.

Performance should be good on the bands the antenna covers. Once you start having some fun you might feel like adding another 500 feet. Or you might change to a different vertical that covers the WARC bands and also 80 meters. The radials will still be good.
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KC6SLA
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« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2008, 07:01:20 PM »

So it sounds like 20 to 25 radials and I should notice a real difference. I found 2 broken radials so right now I have 6 working radials and the bands are real quiet. Adding 15 to 20 more radials and the bands should get a bit busier I hope. I just need to get a metal detector now to figure out exactly where the radials I have are located.
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K2MK
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Posts: 391




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« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2008, 06:03:05 AM »

I just noticed that you were not the original poster of the thread. So some of the info I am assuming may not be correct. For example, you have a BTV-4 not a BTV-6.

There are some basic questions that went un-asked. Like, is your antenna tuned properly. You should certainly be hearing signals with 6 radials. Adding more won't necessarily make the bands come alive. It will just make your antenna more efficient which means you'll have a better chance of contacting stations that you hear. Right now 10 and 15 are very quiet. You should hear signals on 20 during the day and early evening and 40 should be very active in the evening.

I suggest you post a new thread, describe your entire setup, and ask for advice. This thread is too old to get much response.

Now to answer your question, yes 20-25 radials will be a huge improvement over your current 6 radials. But if your antenna is not adjusted properly you'll still be no better off then you are now.
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