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Author Topic: 10 meter vert. vs horizontal  (Read 7125 times)

Posts: 35

« on: December 01, 2011, 08:38:20 AM »

License test (Tech/Gen) in two weeks... waiting is worse than Christmas as a kid.  I can taste it already.

Hoping to have some fun with 10m initially.  The 'antenna size-range-power requirements' when conditions are right is amazing and quite intriguing. Do you all have a "feeling" for the percentage of 10m QSOs (beyond local) that are vertical vs. horizontal polarization?  The low angle of a vert should have to bounce less to cover the same distance, right?  Better or not for out of area work?

Specific application question...
I live on the California Delta so many of my summer afternoons are spent on the water tootling around on a 26' pontoon boat.  I can already see a 10m rig going on the boat, so what's the best setup for a "marine" application?

I could stretch a 1/2 wave dipole about 10' overhead, but would imagine the proximity to both the aluminum boat and water would not be very conducive to a good signal.  For a vertical, if the ground plane was bonded to the aluminum pontoons, would this help or hurt gain?  Any experience with marine applications?  Suggestions?

Tnx and 73.


Posts: 7718

« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2011, 09:14:44 AM »

Either antenna will work well and you will make worldwide contacts. You might try one then the other.

A Hamstick is the easy way to get on 10 meters with a vertical.

Posts: 17416

« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2011, 11:31:52 AM »

Just about any CB whip can be tuned for 10m, even if it means shortening the top a bit.
That's often the easiest way, especially for a mobile application where you can get the
mount, etc. at a flea market or garage sale.

The answer to your question depends on WHERE in the delta you are:  if you are close
enough to the bay to get salt water incursion, a vertical might give you better results
over long distances than in fresh water.  I'd probably take that route out of simplicity.
But propagation is fickle, so put up both and switch between them to see which works
best in your particular situation.  Sometimes one, sometimes the other.

Posts: 1279

« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2011, 02:35:41 PM »

If you have an aluminium boat, and it is on salt water. A vertical antenna mounted on the boat is just about an ideal set up. Most marine radios use this system. I would guess 100 miles for local would be normal with this type of set up. DX with good skip would work ideal with this set up, you will have a very low angle of radiation. I had an aluminium boat with a CB radio back in the days when CB was usefull. I could reach 50 to 75 miles with it on a regular bases. I would contact other boats with fishing reports for different locations. I had my boat on the Gulf of Mexico just off the Florida coast. I could talk to Louisiana Golf coast just about anytime. I was using a legal 5 watt CB at the time. I would say you will have a ton of fun with the marine set up you are contemplating.

Welcome to the world of Ham radio, Maybe we will have a QSO sometime in the future.



Posts: 11

« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2011, 10:58:18 AM »

Forget horizontal. A vertical over salt water is as good as you can get..  It will work amazingly well..

Forget the hamsticks.  If you can fit one, get a full size 5/8 wave CB type vertical, it will blow your mind...


Posts: 17416

« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2011, 01:45:45 PM »

See, that is why your location matters.  While a vertical over salt water is an excellent antenna,
over fresh water the situation is very different.  If you are starting at Benica and heading out
under the Carquenez bridge, you should have good results with a simple vertical whip.  But by
Rio Vista, Frank's Tract State Park or South Spud Island, it won't work as well due to the change
in conductivity.  (It may vary with the river flow rates, too.)

A vertical whip may still be more convenient to use mobile than a dipole, however.

A quick model using EZNEC suggests that there is little difference between a vertical dipole and
a horizontal one up 10' over fresh water at DX angles (measured at 5 and 15 degrees.)  The
dipole is much better at higher angles, but those may not give you a lot of propagation on 10m.
If you could get the dipole up higher, it would work better over fresh water.  But over salt water
the vertical has at least a 10dB advantage at 5 degrees elevation.

Posts: 1454

« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2011, 06:38:17 PM »

I agree that the best answer is both! Invest in the 5/8 wave CB vertical and for very little money, also install a horizontal dipole as high as you can. Get an antenna switch that will allow you to receive on both or pick one or the other for transmit and or receive. Dosey antenna switches and their clones will let you to do that. What you miss on one you may pick up on the other. You will also notice better signal to noise ratio on the dipole, so you can use it for receive and transmit on the vertical. Lastly, since you are installing the antennas on a boat and since horizontal dipoles are directional, you can use the boat for a rotator and aim the dipole toward a chosen signal!  Grin

In other words, the more antennas the better! But that does not mean you have to spend a bundle of money.   Wink     
« Last Edit: December 05, 2011, 05:48:45 AM by KI4SDY » Logged

Posts: 35

« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2011, 02:16:09 PM »

Wow... thanks for all the input.

I'm WAY up the Delta... a long ways from salt water (Discovery Bay).  So, for vertical... what would provide better gain, a long whip CB style grounded to the aluminum rail around the boat, or a "hamstick" style dipole oriented in the vertical position?  (Conceivably able to rotate from horizontal to vertical.)  Can you effectively adjust the angle of radiation based on vert./horizon orientation of "stick dipole"?  Is the relationship linear?  Probably need to think about some kind of retractable mast to get it up higher.

12 days and counting... (to test day).

btw, ... WB6BYU - sounds like you know the area, close by?


Posts: 17416

« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2011, 03:55:46 PM »

The problem with the vertical dipole is keeping the feedline out of the pattern - it's almost impossible
unless you can run it horizontally away from the antenna for some distance.

I'd just go with the CB whip mounted to the metal boat - that is probably the simplest approach,
and should work well enough.  If you happen to stop somewhere along the bank for lunch, you
can try tossing a wire antenna up in a tree.  If you had a sail boat with a 35' mast, you could
try hanging an antenna from that.  If you also want to operate the lower bands, a 20' vertical
whip with a tuner at the base should give good results down to 40m or perhaps 80m.  But start
with something simple - you can then try other options temporarily and compare them to the
main antenna.

I grew up in Sack-a-tomatoes and got my first license there - WN6BYU.  Now I live near the
Yamhill River.
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