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Author Topic: HF Antenna  (Read 4288 times)
KC0LTV
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Posts: 26




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« on: September 20, 2010, 08:46:29 AM »

Hello,

I have been the owner of a Kenwood TS-2000 for over six years, but have used the radio very little due to antenna installation troubles (I'm a complete newbie when it comes to antennas) as well as college, etc.  I actually had an Alpha Delta sloper, but didn't get it up due to to the fact that though we have a lot of trees and not many are ideal for climbing.  Now I'm applying for grad school (and planning on upgrading to General...I was in 2004, too), living with my parents on a wonderful 5+ acre plot of land for the year, and would like an HF wire antenna that meets my requirements, which are as follows:

1. Not very hard / complicated to install
2. Tunable using my TS-2000's ATU (in other words, no external ATU required)
3. Handles 100w or greater
4. At least somewhat resonant on MOST HF bands (at least 80/40/20/10m)
5. Under $200

What antenna (ideally commercial) would you recommend?
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2010, 10:14:32 AM »

If you leave off number 5, there are dozens. Keep it on, and you're relegated to making a fan dipole or similar wire antenna.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2010, 10:53:27 AM »

I might mention that to use trees as wire antenna supports, there is absolutely no need to climb them.

I've used trees as tall as 120' over the years for wire antenna supports and never climbed any of them (nor did anyone else).
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AA4PB
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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2010, 11:11:53 AM »

Seems like a dummy load would meet all of your stated requirements  Grin  Maybe you need to add a requirement - needs to radiate most of the RF applied to it (i.e. be reasonably efficient). Just trying to point out that there are commercial antennas around that have a reasonable SWR across the spectrum but accomplish it by turning most of your transmitter's power into heat instead of radiating it as signal.

I'd recommend a wire antenna that you build yourself. You could put up a fan dipole or you could use separate wire dipoles. You could start out with one band and add more later on and you'll learn more about antennas in the process. You can also use trapped antennas for multiple bands. The main disadvantage of traps is that they narrow the bandwidth of the antenna.


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N7DM
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« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2010, 11:28:08 AM »

Papa Bravo.... shame on you...but , HI HI HI HI HI

By the way, ever run into the 'radiating' dummy load?  Turns out that a balanced load [fed with coax] will have current on the shield and you can QSO a fair amount with that....'Done it. {hooked on twinlead and couldn't work across the road}
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KC0LTV
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« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2010, 03:27:08 PM »

Seems like a dummy load would meet all of your stated requirements  Grin  Maybe you need to add a requirement - needs to radiate most of the RF applied to it (i.e. be reasonably efficient). Just trying to point out that there are commercial antennas around that have a reasonable SWR across the spectrum but accomplish it by turning most of your transmitter's power into heat instead of radiating it as signal.

I'd recommend a wire antenna that you build yourself. You could put up a fan dipole or you could use separate wire dipoles. You could start out with one band and add more later on and you'll learn more about antennas in the process. You can also use trapped antennas for multiple bands. The main disadvantage of traps is that they narrow the bandwidth of the antenna.

Hmmm...maybe I will go with a PAR single-band 20m or 40m for my first HF antenna, and then add on bands.  Do those antennas perform decently as SWL antennas?  I like to tune across the utility and tropical bands too. 

Building my own antenna is of course an option, but I don't know how to solder nor half of what I should about "baluns", "ununs", "radials", and the like. 
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KC0LTV
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« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2010, 03:29:01 PM »

I might mention that to use trees as wire antenna supports, there is absolutely no need to climb them.

I've used trees as tall as 120' over the years for wire antenna supports and never climbed any of them (nor did anyone else).

Did you use a slingshot?  I actually got one specially designed for wire antenna supports (I can't remember the name, but it was catchy) one Christmas, but had no idea how to use it and couldn't figure it out. 
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2010, 03:41:51 PM »

I might mention that to use trees as wire antenna supports, there is absolutely no need to climb them.

I've used trees as tall as 120' over the years for wire antenna supports and never climbed any of them (nor did anyone else).

Did you use a slingshot?  I actually got one specially designed for wire antenna supports (I can't remember the name, but it was catchy) one Christmas, but had no idea how to use it and couldn't figure it out. 

The E-Z Hang works well; it's a slingshot attached to a handle with a fishing reel on it:

https://ezhang.com/

A 6 year-old can figure one out.  There's nothing to it.  I don't know what you had, though.

For shorter trees, up to 50-60 feet or so tall, I just usually throw a ball over the tree.  The ball has a monofilament line attached to it (usually because I put a hole through the ball and tie the line to the ball that way).   The ball's heavy enough to eventually fall to the ground on the other side of the tree and pull the line up.  Use that lightweight line to pull up a heavier rope, and then you have a heavier rope going over the tree.  Use that for the end of the antenna.

It's certainly not rocket science.

For taller trees up to and beyond 100 feet, I use the E-Z Hang, or a "spud gun," or a few times even a bow and arrow with a lightweight nylon fishing line tied to the end of the arrow.  All sorts of stuff works.  But I certainly haven't climbed trees to do any of this.
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K0BG
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« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2010, 06:19:45 PM »

Perhaps you should invest is a book before you start to erect your antenna. The ARRL has this book http://www.arrl.org/shop/Basic-Antennas/ which gives you a lot of choices. For just $30, it is well worth the price of admission.
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W7ETA
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« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2010, 09:28:12 PM »

Get thee at least one soldering iron, 45 watts, some solder, and Helping-hands, a heavy base with articulating arms with alligator clips on the end.  You'll need a wire stripper for 20-14 or 12 gauge.

What nice about soldering antenna wires is that it doesn't matter if you melt any insulation.  Just hold the soldering iron tip on the wire, apply a little solder in the crevice between the tip an the wire to help heat xfer, and then apply the solder to the top of the wire until it melts.

The helping hands will hold the wire in place. leaving one hand for the soldering iron and solder in your other hand.

Quite a few on line links on how to solder.

My first antenna was a "store-bought" 40 meter trap so that I could make a trap dipole for 40 and 75 that also loaded on 15.  I wasn't allowed on 20 meters and I had a CB ground plane antenna for 10 meters.

Thanks to the internet, you can get plans for hanging a  20 meter under a 40 meter one.

73
Bob
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K2MK
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Posts: 394




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« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2010, 05:08:25 AM »

A full size G5RV should meet your requirements. There are so many manufacturers of them that the prices are quite reasonable. Read the reviews on eHam. There will be posts that say they don't work but they do work well enough to permit you to make lots of contacts with 100 watts. Some may be kits that require some soldering.

Most of the antenna books are available on eBay or used book websites. You don't need a 2010 edition to learn about wire antennas.

To put something in a tree it is always a good idea after you throw the line over a branch to pull up a pulley and tie it off. Pre-string the pulley with a loop of line long enough to reach the ground. Now you can easily raise and lower your antenna anytime you want. Pulleys, 3/16" nylon or dacron line, coax, lightening suppressors and an assortment of other necessities are available from The Wireman, Radio Works, and many other on-line ham suppliers. Careful shopping should keep you under $200.

73,
Mike K2MK
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K0BG
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« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2010, 06:21:15 AM »

Mike, the only problem with a G5RV, it doesn't meet #2, or #4 on his list. I will agree that some internal auto-couplers will match one on some bands, most won't even do all of 80 or 40. What's more, it is not an all HF band antenna, unless you want to turn most of the power into heating up an external tuner.
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K5LXP
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« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2010, 06:23:16 AM »

> What antenna (ideally commercial) would you recommend?

A multiband vertical like a hustler 5BTV would meet all of your criteria and you wouldn't even need to use a tuner.  No "complicated" slingshots or hazard to the trees.    Plant a mounting pipe, string out some radials and you're on the air with a decent level of efficiency on most HF bands.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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VA7CPC
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« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2010, 09:07:57 PM »

Try the Alpha Delta DX-CC fan dipole, if you don't want to build something.

 http://www.alphadeltacom.com/

About $160.

It will give you 80-40-20-15-10 without a tuner.  For the WARC bands, the lowest-cost manufactured "all-band" solution is that antenna with a simple tuner, something like an MFJ-901B manual tuner.

An all-band alternative -- but a bad one! -- is the B&W loaded folded dipole: -- BWD-65

      http://www.bwantennas.com/ama/fdipole.ama.htm

It's $325, though, and instantly changes your 100-watt transceiver into a 50-watt transceiver.

              Charles 
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KK7KZ
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Posts: 464




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« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2010, 07:51:12 AM »

Try a W3DZZ trap dipole antenna, will cover 80-40-20-15-10, commercially manufactured by Unadilla for less than $200, resonant on 40/80 and will work on the upper bands with the use of your internal tuner. (Google W3DZZ for homebrew instructions.)

You can homebrew one for much less than that with a pair of Reyco/Unadilla 40m traps and a bit of wire, around $60 plus or minus. As easy to install as a traditional dipole.

R.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2010, 07:56:46 AM by Ron Ries » Logged
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