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Author Topic: Beverage Antenna question  (Read 3337 times)
K9FV
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Posts: 480




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« on: November 08, 2012, 01:01:27 PM »

Hello All, I've been reading the threads here, on Mike's (WB6BYU) website, and Tom's (W8JI) website on the Beverage antenna - it sure sounds interesting.  I would like to try a single wire to start because of the simplicity. I would like to outline my conditions, my proposed installation, and ask a couple of questions please.  I'm in Baldwin Co, Alabama, just across Mobile Bay from Mobile, AL.

1. I have a space to allow installation of a wire 400 to 450 ft long and can mount it 8 ft or so high using existing trees for supports. I'll have to trim a few limbs so the wire doesn't touch, but not many. Maybe 1 support in between a couple of trees.  Problem is the wire will be running 23 degrees magnetic, just not any way I can get it more to 35 degrees.   35º would put me right up over the NE USA and into middle of Europe.  "IF" I were to shorten the wire to 300 to 350 ft, I could get close to 35 degree.

Just how critical is this 440 ft shown on eham thread http://www.eham.net/articles/503?  Is there much difference in 430 vs 440 ft?   Or 420?  Reading the referenced thread, it almost sounds like a 440 ft Beverage isn't worth while on 160, nor even 80 meters - valid comment?  Would I be better to spend my time/effort getting a inverted-L antenna up for 160 meters, understanding about 40 ft is the best I can do for the vertical section?

I plan to put a ground rod at each end - how important are radials for the ground rod at the "other end" (the end pointing to NE direction)?  The receiving end next to shack would be the most important grounding area requiring radials.  How well will steel (or aluminum) electric fence wire for ground radials pressed into the ground work?  I know they're not going to be long lived due to corrosion, and am willing to accept that limitation.

2.  With this wire running only 23 degrees magnetic, how effective will this be toward Europe? Will the pattern wide enough? Would it be better to shorten to 350 to get closer to 35º?

3. Knowing the Beverage is more of a DX antenna, will it be effective on stations only 400 to 500 miles distant on 160?  80 and 40 meters?  Will it work at all for stations only 200 to 300 miles distant?

Thank you all for any guidance and suggestions.

73 de Ken H>
« Last Edit: November 08, 2012, 01:29:50 PM by K9FV » Logged
WB6BYU
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Posts: 13458




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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2012, 02:56:54 PM »

Quote from: K9FV

... on Mike's (WB6BYU) website...



I'd be happy to help if I had such a website...

               - Dale WB6BYU
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W4OP
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Posts: 439


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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2012, 03:14:26 PM »

Hi Ken,
A 450' Beverage will work just fine- even on 160M. That was about the length of mine when I lived in FL. They are now closer to 550'.
Don't confuse the Beverage ground with the ground system a vertical antenna requires. You are looking for a ground that is stable in value not necessarily a low resistance that a vertical requires for efficiency.  An 8' ground rod available at the big box stores should be sufficient.

The Beverage achieves its low noise characteristics through directivity. Mine work just great for stations at any distance as long as:
1. They are roughly in line with the Beverages front lobe
2. The main contributors to band noise- eg thunderstorms- are not also in this line.

Beverages model easily in EZNEC- doing this will give you an idea of the beamwidth for a given length and frequency.

I have put up rotatable flags, rotatable loops etc and nothing comes close to the Beverages.

GL,
Dale W4OP
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K9FV
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Posts: 480




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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2012, 04:59:40 PM »

Well, Shucks!  My "huh-ohs" come into play again! Sorry to you Dale, and to Mike (W0BTU) for the error.  I see it's too late to correct the original post, but Mike, W0BTU has a GREAT website on maybe ham radio things, and especially Beverages.

Dale (WB6BYU) you do have much good info that's been posted on the web about different projects you've come up with.  Congrats on your knowledge and experience - it helps all of us.

Dale, (W4OP) you do have a lot of good info on your website, thank you for your contributions on the website, AND on this thread.

A question, just how critical is the length of a Beverage - does 10 or 20 ft short or long make a BIG difference?

Thank you again for the info,

73 de Ken H>
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WB6BYU
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« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2012, 06:12:51 PM »

Didn't mean to be snarky - it was just a bit of a surprise...


A 450' beverage on 80m would be about 2dB down at 30 degrees off boresite,
about -8dB at 45 degrees, and starts dropping quickly beyond that.  So you
should be able to cover 23 degrees magnetic OK and somewhat beyond that,
but not too much.

Shorter wires will have a broader beam.  The front/back ratio varies somewhat
with wire length.  400' gives you a good null of the back and about +/- 37 degrees
of half power beamwidth.  (Compared to -16dB F/B and +/- 35 degrees for the
450' version.)

Basically the length doesn't really seem critical at all - more a matter of what
you can manage.
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K9FV
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Posts: 480




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« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2012, 06:26:22 PM »

Oh, Dale, I didn't think snarky or anything, just a gentle nudge I'd got my names and calls mixed up. You were a LOT more understanding than my wife was when I used the wrong name for her.... and I got her eye color wrong about 3 days after marriage - and I was only 21 at the time so didn't have the excuse of "old age" that I now use.

Thank you for your confirmation of the Beverage info - I'll be trying that over the next few days/week or so. I've got the ferrite cores for the transformer - I ordered BN-73-202 cores from Partsandkits.com and have those. I checked my "on hand" partial roll of electric fence wire was only about 300 ft, so tomorrow it's off to Tractor Supply for a roll of wire and insulators.  That will give me everything on hand - except for the two ground rods I'll pick up at supply house.

Thanks to all for the help,

73 de Ken H>

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K4RVN
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Posts: 785




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« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2012, 09:06:16 PM »

Ken,
I just got my beverage completed this afternoon and tried it tonight . It appears to work best on 75 meters rather than 40 meters that I planned for.  Of course it could have been propagation. My half square for 40 received I 2 VRN at 20/9 and the beverage also was 20/9. tonight. He was using a 4 element mono band for 40 meters up pretty high and running an amp. Mine heads NE and is 355 ft long. It has a 9:1 transformer and a 450 ohm terminating resistor for RG6 coax to the radio. That is if I remember right. I have the transformer end grounded to a chain length fence which is about 100 ft long. The rG6 is 150 ft. I will be installing another ground tomorrow and will run some tests to see if I need to unground the transformer to the fence. I'll follow Mike's suggestion and use a broadcast station near me for a constant source to run the test. I used Tractor supply insulators with the nails in the package
of 25 to attach them. My wire is 17 gage galv. 1/4 mile spool from TS. I do know that this antenna has a good front to back as checking signals on the back side they were way down compared to the half square. Good luck with yours. BTW I also went for the simple single wire but plan to put up another in the future one beaming toward VK land.

Frank
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K9FV
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Posts: 480




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« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2012, 12:59:39 AM »

Hello Frank, Thanks for the update on your Beverage and how well it's working. Do you have any plans for 160?  I've just started reading/learning about Beverage Antennas - how did you determine the 9:1 transformer?  I was thinking RG6 called for a 6.25:1 transformer and 50 ohm coax for the 9:1?  The 6.25:1 transformer has 2 turns on the 75 ohm side and 5 turns on high-Z side.

I2VRN sure seems to have a strong signal! Of course with the 4-square you've got a great antenna from all I've read. I'll be interested to see how the Beverage compares on 40 to the 4-square on RX, S/N ratio and signal strength.

Great fun this radio stuff<Smiley

73 de Ken H>

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K4RVN
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Posts: 785




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« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2012, 07:23:26 AM »

Ken, My other antenna is a half square, not a 4 square. Roberto in Italy gave me 15 over last night as I was running 800 watts with an Al 80A amp. Pretty good for a wire I thought. I bought my beverage kit already made up. If I remember correctly, a
50 ohm coax to the radio requires the 6 to 1 transformers and a 75 ohm requires a 9to 1 range. I used RG6 tv type coax
which was 75 ohms and the mfg of the kit offered RG 6 or pl259 type sets matched to the impedance of the type coax.
Mine came in a waterproof box ready to use ,more costly but saved me time and gasoline running around looking for materials
for the box, etc. Also My antenna is not exactly straight as I offset it somewhat for trees I needed to support it. I am pretty sure that my antenna could be better but will do some experimenting today and check it out. It appears that I may have missed the direction to Europe slightly. I'll get my compass out and check it and even move it if necessary. Mike wrote in a post to me what transformer I needed for 75 ohms and it was very close to the one I bought. The termination resistor I bought in a waterproof box was also close to what he said in his site. Mine is 450 ohms, 6 watt, non inductive. BTW Ken, I will be 80 in March and this is my first Beverage antenna. I do have 6.5 acres here to play on. My next beverage, I will wind my own and buy the resistor
Mike uses. I also may add some radials to see what that does.

Frank
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K3GM
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« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2012, 08:48:29 AM »

This is great information to me as I'm planning to string my first Beverage this weekend now that foliage here has died off and the ticks are gone for the season.  I have about 700' to play with that runs off into my deep woods.  I have a bag of electric fence insulators that I plan to nail from tree to tree, then string with 17AWG hi-tensil aluminum electric fence wire.  It will terminate at the edge of a secluded pond that borders my land. I have some concerns about leaving enough height above ground to allow deer and the occasional hunter to pass under it without being clotheslined.  If I allow 7 or 8 feet above ground, is this still within acceptable height limits with respect to earth?  
« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 09:18:43 AM by K3GM » Logged
K9FV
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Posts: 480




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« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2012, 09:07:19 AM »

It seems that .05WL is considered the max height, so even 10 ft should be ok, and 8 ft is good for 160, 80, & perhaps even 40. I'm planning about 8ft.

Sure seems like there will be a LOTS of us on 160 this winter<Smiley

73 de Ken H>
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W4VR
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« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2012, 09:16:34 AM »

I use a 300-foot two-wire beverage with K1FZ transformers on each end.  The wires run east and west.  When I switch the  west on 160 the signals in NJ drop about 50 dB.  I have the space for a much longer beverage but I thought I would try the 300-footer first, as recommended by FZ, and it works quite well.  I use this beverage up to the 6 meter band.
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