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Author Topic: How many of us are not using beams?  (Read 10534 times)

Posts: 346

« on: March 28, 2013, 11:37:06 AM »

I am intersted in how many regulars on this list are not using beams or quads, but instead are using dipoles, verticals, random wires-basically no or very little gain antennas.  If you are, what do you have up, and what is your reason for not having a gain antenna up?  Do you have plans to get one up in the near future?

73 John AF5CC

Posts: 4424

« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2013, 11:59:40 AM »

One lonely 31' S-9 Vertical with aprox 35 radials.  (It works quite well.......)

Just about the best thing I could get approved by the HOA type system here in this 55+ community.
(when I moved back to Florida, I checked 10 or 12 communities. Only this one and one other would allow an antenna.)

I may build a 12M delta loop which would be easily up/down for some of the upcoming expeditions. (Had a 17m delta loop in SC, and was VERY pleased/impressed with its performance. Cheesy

73, Gene AF3Y

Posts: 771

« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2013, 12:16:51 PM »

Gave up a Traffie 5-Band hexbeam for a 29' Zero Five 6-80m vertical with 32 radials when I moved to a HOA.  Have it on a tilt mount so the HOA nazis can't find it when they make their rounds.

73 and Aloha,
de Delwyn, KH6DC

Posts: 456

« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2013, 12:20:12 PM »

I operate barefoot and have only used wire antennas. I want to keep it that way too for as long as possible. I'm up to 220 worked in around 2 total years of serious DX chasing (was QRT at various stages). For one year of that time all of my antennas were dipoles in the attic of my last QTH. I like to build my own wire antennas for learning's sake as well as the satisfaction of using something I built myself to sneak in around the big guns and snag a new one. I'm not against towers or beams I just don't want to spend the money on something like that right now.

Right now I'm using loops, a half-square and a dipole. The loops are vertical deltas. I like loops because I live on a small lot with trees and they are easy to put up. A loop probably won't make you heard anymore than a high, clear dipole will, but they are fine listening antennas and are easy to use on harmonic bands.

I also have a 12 meter Moxon that I do not have up right now because one of the insulators broke during a storm. I haven't bothered to put it back up since I'm moving soon.

I'm planning on toying with Lazy Hs and other wire arrays/curtains at the new QTH because in the past couple of years I've missed two activations that I really needed, VP8O and ZS8. I just didn't have enough gain to work those guys. Obviously ZS8 is coming back on the air again soon so I want to be ready for it (not to mention VK0/H.) Who knows when VP8O will be back on the air? Making sure I get VK0/H will probably finally convince me to get a small 500w amplifier.


ex W4HFK

Posts: 2071

« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2013, 12:45:32 PM »

I got my DXCC using a mobile station.

Posts: 81

« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2013, 12:47:03 PM »

102-foot long G5RV (flat top) up at 60 feet.  No amp.  I wanted to take advantage of all the tall trees here.  Planning to put up a fan dipole for comparison.  I used to have a tower at my previous QTH but why not use these 100-foot babies mother nature gave me?  

Posts: 2005


« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2013, 01:06:05 PM »

I have been using a Cushcraft R7 vertical for over 20 years. Since it only does 10-40, I have had some sort of wire up for the low bands over the years. My current low band antenna is a folded terminated dipole. With this setup, I have somehow managed to get DXCC and WAS.

Do I have plans to put up a directional rotatable antenna? Probably not until I retire which thanks to the economy, is now further away than I had originally planned!

Why don't I have one? Amateur radio is just a hobby for me (no matter what the EmComm people tell you!) and is just one of the many recreational pastimes and charitable causes that lay claim to our income. If I had an extra couple of thousand of dollars not spoken for, I would personally feel much better using it to help someone in need before enriching my hobby. We also spend thousands of dollars a year rescuing dogs from shelters and contributing to other animal-related causes.

Don't get me wrong, I do spend money on amateur radio. I bought a brand new IC-7410 last September and I just bought a new Heil microphone and replaced over 350' of coax with brand new runs of RG213U.


Posts: 5228

« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2013, 01:20:04 PM »

130 foot doublet up 80 feet for 80 through 10.

I tie the feed line together at bottom and feed against ground for 160.

At 8BDXCC and now working on 160 for 9BXCC.

Only steerable antenna is my K9AY receive loop. Seems a bit more practical than a 160M beam.

I will also add that I have #3 NA in CQ WPX, #10 NA in ARRL DX etc. contests past few years too. The high wire works great for DX. Sucks for domestic contests on 10M and 15M: I can work the west coast over and over again but I really need to do more than CA, WA, OR :-).
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 02:08:01 PM by N3QE » Logged

Posts: 1966


« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2013, 01:32:03 PM »

I am intersted in how many regulars on this list are not using beams or quads, but instead are using dipoles, verticals, random wires-basically no or very little gain antennas.  If you are, what do you have up, and what is your reason for not having a gain antenna up?  Do you have plans to get one up in the near future?

I don't use a beam or quad...  I have used a Bobtail Curtain array on 40, but it came down many years ago...  For the past 20 years the station ( has been using a Gap Challenger, (, vertical dipole.  Got DXCC, (189 countries), on it, WAS (digital and mixed),  on it, and in general I have been very happy with it...  I have also been active on 40 Meters for most of my ham career, so a three element vertical has been out of the question for that frequency.  I will be putting up some directional wire antennas for 40 using the tower...  That is the prime motivator for the tower. 

Overall I never really needed a beam.  I had one at one point 20 years ago, loved it, but due to a home construction project it had to come down...  Never got around to putting it up again.  I will be putting up a beam and tower in a few months, as I miss it and am retired now, so my ham activity has increased quit a bit.  I also want a support structure for some wire antennas, the beam is just gravy...
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 01:35:02 PM by NK7Z » Logged

For reviews and setups see:

« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2013, 01:49:52 PM »

I earned 8BDXCC and the 1000 level Challenge in 3 years using nothing but wire antennas or aluminum verticals and 200 watts or less:

Ladder line fed doublets
Short hatted vertical dipoles
Bruce Arrays
Half squares
K1WA Arrays
Quarter wave verticals
Two 40M phased verticals with Christman broadside / end fire array
20M half square with 4 quarter wl verts

I made it to just under 300 that way - but then really had to get into 2 element beams - MA5B and Moxon's, then C3SS, then SteppIR 2 element, then I started designing my own 2, 3 and 4 element yagi's and stacks.

Recently I have been designing combination Moxon - Yagi's - all aluminum.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 02:06:04 PM by KY6R » Logged

Posts: 351

« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2013, 02:43:15 PM »

I have a fan dipole for 160/80/40 that works ok.

Posts: 702

« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2013, 04:44:44 PM »

A magical  Wink 43' Zero-Five vertical with about 30 radials. It works fine. I guess the reason I bought it was because I was just starting out and wanted an all purpose antenna of sorts. 

I've been playing with a 10 meter Moxon jammed in a heavy outdoor umbrella stand the last couple of months. The difference between the two on 10 is crazy. (The 43' vert is a crappy high band antenna.) I am putting up a tower and a beam this year come hell or high wind.


Posts: 2995

« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2013, 04:50:48 PM »

No beams or towers or rotors here.  The closest thing I've ever had that perhaps had a little gain over a dipole was a homemade W8JK fixed beam for 20 meters, constructed of TV twin lead and a couple of 8 ft. 1x2"s that I used in the early 1960's at my parents home.  Since then, I've used verticals and vertical dipole antennas. 

Chuck  NI0C

Posts: 2104

« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2013, 04:52:13 PM »

I am intersted in how many regulars on this list are not using beams or quads, but instead are using dipoles, verticals, random wires-basically no or very little gain antennas.  If you are, what do you have up, and what is your reason for not having a gain antenna up?  Do you have plans to get one up in the near future?
73 John AF5CC

Multi-band inverted vee up 40ft in a tree here.  No gain antenna (or linear) mainly due to financial considerations.  Also though, it is a thrill to work DX when you have a modest station.  If my station were really good it might be less fun (fish-in-a-barrel syndrome).  (but, no i would NOT turn down a free contest station,  Grin )

Since 2010 when I started chasing DX, I have 219 countries with 185 LoTW confirmed.  I have over a 100 on 10, 15, 20, and 40 too and 70+ on 12, 17, and 30m.  My goal is to get an 80 and 160m antenna up to chase DX there as well.


Posts: 346

« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2013, 07:57:53 PM »

It is great to read about what other people are using and having success with.  That is why I started this tread.  I am currently using a homebrew antenna similar to a G5RV-105 feet or so of copper wire, radio shack twin lead (300 ohm) about 25 feet or so, then a 4:1 voltage balun (need to change that), then RG-11 75ohm coax to the shack.

I had a Mini Products HQ-1 mini quad up from 2002-2008, then it fell apart in a storm.  I have been meaning to get another directional antenna up, but finances have been pretty tight the past few years.  Not only for getting an antenna, but also a rotor that can handle an HF beam.  I did get a MA5B that is sitting in the shed, which I may or may not put up.

As others have said, it is kind of cool to break a pileup with a wire antenna that you built yourself and a $250 rig.  In the past 2 years I have worked 223 countries with this setup.  It can be frustrating also, though.

John AF5CC
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