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Author Topic: The Best 6 Meter Antenna for SSB  (Read 21140 times)

Posts: 53

« on: March 07, 2013, 11:56:15 PM »

If you had to have just one antenna for six meter for SSB operation which of the following would be the best choice...and why?

Wire Dipole with just a center insulator and 12 gauge wire
Wire Dipole with 1:1 Balun and 12 gauge wire
Solid Dipole(like the one made by Centerfire Antennas)
Ground Plane (like the one made by Centerfire Antennas)
Comet GP-15

Please make another suggestion if I left off another type of antenna.

I'm asking my question in this section because I figured all of you would have tried every type of antenna for this particular band.

Thanks for all your help.
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Posts: 1757

« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2013, 03:47:01 AM »

The best isn't mentioned in your list. A beam on a rotator up high enough to work well.

If I were limiting myself to not having a beam, I would use a horizontal folded loop like this one:

73 de N4CR, Phil

Never believe an atom. They make up everything.

Posts: 1531


« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2013, 03:47:57 AM »

You didn't say whether or not you would be able to rotate a dipole.  If you can rotate it, it should give you a bit more gain.  If you will not be able to rotate a dipole, and your list is all of your options, I would go with one of the ground planes.  6M openings can happen in almost any direction, and a fixed dipole may put nulls on a potential contact.


Don, K2DC


Posts: 1373

« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2013, 05:17:50 AM »

The first three on the list will operate identically.  They will need to be
rotated as a Dipole on 6m more than 16ft off the ground exhibits textbook

Nothing vertical, you take a high cross polarization hit (12-20db) and
while during Es season people claim they work its marginal compared
to even a 3 element beam.  You want horizontal for SSB/CW on 6.

However I consider a dipole a minimal antenna and there are plenty of
antennas that will serve better.

 Any kind of horizontal loop as its omidirectional.
 Two of them stacked is a fair antenna.

These must be turned:

* A moxon, compact and more gain than dipole. 
* 3 element beam or 2 element quad
* larger yagi 4-6 elements.

The difference between the dipole or omni loop is noticeable.
the directional antennas all give some gain and some rejection
of signals not wanted (like noise from behind you).  On 6 Gain is
everything and second to height.


Posts: 615

« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2013, 05:18:59 AM »

I use and like my loop - I use a KU4AB loop mounted off the side of my tower to monitor and work most of what I hear. I also have a 5 Element Beam.  If I only had one it would be the loop.

Clint - W5CPT -

Posts: 180

« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2013, 05:46:07 AM »

If you want to work mobile, a halo is good.

Find an old handbook for instructions to build one.

Posts: 13971

« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2013, 08:05:26 AM »

I started out many years ago on 6M AM with a Halo because it was inexpensive, omni-directional, and horizontally polarized. I replaced it after a couple of years with a 5 element Yagi and TV rotor mounted in the same location. Major improvement!!

Posts: 53

« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2013, 09:30:17 AM »

Thanks to all of you for the other antenna types mentioned so far.  I was aware of them but didn't think about listing them.  I'm getting back into Ham Radio after a long absence.  I never really got a grip on all the science and technical stuff before I ended up sticking all my equipment away and moving.

I've read reviews from people who say they've made worldwide contacts with the Comet GP-15 and another vertical called the Dominator.  I'm able to put up a dipole, yagi, or beam and rotate it so that's not a problem.

While I have your attention I'd like to ask another question about receiving signals...Right now I can't talk on HF other than 10 meter but I do a lot of listening.  I have a Yaesu Ft-840 and to it I have connected a MFJ-16010 random wire tuner.  I took about 38 feet of 10 gauge stranded copper wire that I had lying around and ran it outside running up the fascia board through eye hooks and just tied it off at the other end through a last eye hook.  So there's about 23 ft. outside and 15 ft. inside the house running straight to the tuner.  The other end is just connected to a banana plug that's stuck into the SO-239 hole of the tuner.(If that's the way you do it?)

The room is on the south end of the house and the roof line with the wire is also facing south.  I'm about 90 miles north of Bakersfield, Ca.

Here's my question;  I get people booming in on 20 meter from WA, OR, ID, MT, and BC and they sound like they're next door to me, but they will be talking to someone in northern CA and I can't hear them.  Even if the CA operators have a beam pointing north should I at least hear something?  Also, how is a short piece of wire facing "south" able to pick up signals so well coming from the north?

Posts: 510

« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2013, 10:19:40 AM »

Here's my question;  I get people booming in on 20 meter from WA, OR, ID, MT, and BC and they sound like they're next door to me, but they will be talking to someone in northern CA and I can't hear them.  Even if the CA operators have a beam pointing north should I at least hear something? 

Nothing unusual here. The California operators you can't hear are likely in your skip zone.

Posts: 21644

« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2013, 01:43:02 PM »

If you're 90 miles north of Bakersfield and are looking for advice about 6m antennas, drive up to Mike K6MYC's place and see what he has.  I'm sure he'd be glad to spend some time discussing 6m antennas with you, it's almost his favorite subject.

(BTW Mike has a 6m antenna system that you can see from a couple of miles away.) Wink

As for the 20m propagation, yes, it is very normal for you to "NOT" hear anyone closer than 500-600 or even 800 miles, yet hear stations farther away just fine.  20m does have "short skip" every now and then, sometimes in mid to late afternoons, when you'll hear closer stations; but that can be short-lived.  It almost never happens early in the morning or very late in the afternoon, or in the evening.

If you want to hear or work "closer" stations, 40 meters is a much better choice.

Posts: 4061

« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2013, 03:05:48 PM »

No one has mentioned using stacked 8 element beams at 130 feet feed with 1-78 hardline.

This is one of those questions no one can answere with out knowing expations and budget.

Posts: 24

« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2013, 07:44:10 PM »

After being off the air for several years due to strict HOA covenants, I got back on six meters four years ago in stealth mode (hiding from the antenna police) using a KU4AB Squalo and Yaesu FT450.  The Squalo antenna was sitting atop an 18' painter's pole in a Radio Shack tripod just off my patio. In 2 years I worked 38 states and 6 or 7 foreign countries on six. I then upgraded to the three element yagi made by M2, but still up only 18' on the painter's pole.  I was able to add about nine additional states and eight more countries. This does not take up a lot of space and is not very visible outside my property. Good luck as six meter is a lot of fun, even after 55 year as a radio ham.

Posts: 1003

« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2013, 09:05:02 PM »

I had a 3 el beam on 6m, with a cheap TV rotator. rotators didn't last long, and I didn't want to put a proper ($400) one up there in the wind. took down the beam, put up an OmniAngle OA-50. It has some gain over a dipole, and is never pointed in the wrong direction. First VHF contest I used it, I worked grid squares up in Washington state that I'd never heard before. If you have a good enough situation, you could put two OA-50's on a pole and phase them.
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