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Author Topic: HF vertical mounting  (Read 3481 times)

Posts: 266

« on: November 01, 2011, 03:48:58 PM »

I've got an interesting thought that I've never seen discussed in mounting a HF vertical antennas - that is to mount to a chain-link fence.  Huh

Last year I installed a 5' chain-link fence around the back of the house/garage to keep our two Jack Russel Terrorists in check. but I had the chain-link buried 1' for a anti-dig-under (it works), at the gates I planted cinder blocks.  Grin

The chain-link is broken up in sections due to multiple gates installed on all three sides. The longest continuous span is ~75'. The section I'd like to use is ~15' with three fence poles driven into the ground about 3'.

I'd like to attach my 18AVT to one of these poles but place it at the 4' mark (but that is 24" higher than the recommended max ground mount position).  My thought is with all this chain-link and fence posts affective would raise the ground to near the fence top for counterpoising? Or would it be better to do this on the 75' fence span?  Shocked

Is using the chain-link fence in this manner even doable?   Huh



Posts: 21764

« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2011, 06:04:01 PM »

Everything works to some extent.  Why not try it and let us know how it worked?

Posts: 1169

« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2011, 02:15:02 PM »

Try it out is the best advice, however you are not actually doing a counterpoise/ raised radial, as it sounds like everything is at ground potential with the buried fence and posts, it will work somewhat and I would be be curious what kind of swr you get, keep us posted.

Posts: 17479

« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2011, 05:00:50 PM »

One of the problems is that all the parts of the fence might not be well bonded together.

Posts: 1

« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2011, 07:41:59 PM »

I mounted a mobile 75 mtr Hamstick to our chain link fence and it works very well. I can work what I hear.

Posts: 534

« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2011, 10:10:23 PM »

I am experimenting with elevated mounting of a monoband 80m vertical right now... I've been doing a lot of research and learning. Let me just share some of the findings I've made.

Mounted on the ground... more is better, concentrate on more close in rather than a few long radials.

BUT, elevated mounting... 1. Insulate the feedpoint from ground  2. put a good RF choke on the feedline, else the antenna system will see the coax shield as another 'radial'  3. the radials and/or counterpoise must be TUNED... But that is ELEVATED radials/counterpoise remember... you fence is not elevated, only the mount.

And your fence is not likely to be tuned, nor can you tune it, since it is in contact with the ground. Even if you did put up the proper wavelength of fence, the ground would couple to it and detune it anyway... The purpose of the ground or counterpoise is to shield the vertical from ground losses (get between the vertical and the earth ground and keep the ground from sucking up the radiated energy) and provide an efficient path for return currents (allow the 'other half' of the radio wave current to make it's way back to the feedline).

With all that said... experimentation can't hurt. If you plan on working 40 or 80m, I would definitely go with the 75' piece of fence... the 15' piece is likely too short and before it is suggested, adding radials to the fence is not going to work.. not if the vertical is 4 feet off the ground. Try mounting it temporarily and see if it tunes well... THEN see if it plays well on the air. Just because it tunes, does not mean it is efficient! A dummy load tunes well...  Wink Also, it's not going to be omnidirectional... just like when you mount a whip on a car, the metal mass of the car affects directionality. You'll likely have signals favoring the directions that the fence extends away from the antenna.

Basically if you are looking to ragchew with friends in another state, you might get lucky with something that works. If you are looking to work a lot of DX, I'd forget the fence. Either ground mount it with 20 or so radials on the ground or mount it as high as possible and use 4-8 tuned radials at the lowest frequency you want to operate sloping down at a 45-50 degree angle. (The slope brings the feedpoint impedance up to 50 ohms. A dipole is 72 ohms, an inverted vee is close to 50 ohms, a vertical over poor to average ground is 40-60 ohms, a vertical over perfect ground is about 36 ohms, but an elevated vertical with radials running straight out horizontal is only 26 ohms!)

I am betting that like me, through trial and error, you will come to the conclusion that anything MAY work, but only certain specific methods will work WELL.

Caveat Emptor.  Grin

Kevin, N4UFO

Posts: 26

« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2011, 11:39:23 PM »

One of the problems is that all the parts of the fence might not be well bonded together.

You can bond them with strap, wire, clamps, etc.

73 Doug

Posts: 266

« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2011, 04:49:13 AM »

FYI, I will be using a Big Ugly Balun (21'x6") with this trial and error vertical experiment. I ground mounted (12") this same antenna 20' from my home in CA and it worked very well. I did discover that the 3,800 VSWR notch is so tight (20KHz) that an antenna tuner is required to slide the notch up/down the phone band.

I'll be mounting to the 15' section but will strap the 75' section to it using a ground strap cable at a gate.  This would put 8' to one side and ~85' to the other.....

This is what HAMdom is all about, doing technical experiments, just insure you document each step so proper conclusions can be made/understood/seen. I'm now refurb'ing this 18AVT that appears to be no longer supported by Hygain-MFJ, so I'm having to fabricate parts.

Kuby, N6JSX/8, MS-EET   

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