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Author Topic: New and confused about antennas  (Read 4598 times)
KD4LLA
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Posts: 454




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« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2013, 08:33:10 PM »

Any antenna is better than NO antenna.  That being said, I put up a G5RV twelve years ago and never looked back.  Sure there are better antennas, but I wanted something that works right now.  I bought a vertical from another ham op and just never got the time to put it up yet...

Mike
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VA3GUY
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Posts: 175




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« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2013, 07:21:57 AM »

For what it's worth.

I had a similar problem and had to mount my Butternut vertical right against my back fence but was able to make a 180 degree layout of radials in a north/south pattern.  I only laid down 13, with the shortest being around 1' and the longest was approx 25' and they went in whatever direction I could go.  I was surprised because, generally, if I could hear a station, I could work them.  So I really didn't have too much concern about the pattern the radials generated or quantity.  You do what you can with what you've got!

- Guy
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AC2EU
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« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2013, 07:33:22 AM »

Any antenna is better than NO antenna.  That being said, I put up a G5RV twelve years ago and never looked back.  Sure there are better antennas, but I wanted something that works right now.  I bought a vertical from another ham op and just never got the time to put it up yet...

Mike

...but the 150 watt bulb is more compact!  Grin
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K8AXW
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Posts: 3722




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« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2013, 09:20:35 AM »

Quote
Heck - if I'm considering a 10 foot pole with a 150 watt bulb on it, you know I'll consider a dipole!

I was under the impression that you didn't have either the room or the supports for a dipole but had room for a vertical.....

With that in mind I suggested an Inverted Vee....which takes up considerably less real estate than a dipole.  All that is required is a 30ft pole to mount the Vee apex on.

Perhaps you can't do this but I just threw it out there for you to consider.
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N6AJR
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« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2013, 12:52:52 PM »

look up home brew antennas on the net.  as a new tech, you will only have 10 m available for  ssb on hf, and several other bands on cw. so you need a  decent 10 meter antenna. you can make a 10 m dipole ( or inverted v, just drop the ends) with a coax going up the  pole and 2 wires , about 8 feet 4 inches on each side, with on hooked to center conductor and one hooked to shield..  Or get a cheap CB vert and use it ( or shorten it just an couple of inches) or get a hustler 4btv and add radials when you can
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K2GWK
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« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2013, 12:59:48 PM »

In a week, I take my Tech exam and foresee no problems passing since I've been studying for several weeks.  I already have a radio, a Kenwood TS-940-S, but I'm having serious issues choosing an antenna.  At the present, I don't have funds for a tower, rotor and beam antenna, so I'm looking at multi-band (80m-10m) vertical antennas.  All that see advertised benefit greatly from radials, and for me, that's a problem.  My man cave is located next to my garage at the side of my lot.  There is no room to run radials underground, and overhead is out of the question too.  I did see in one review that someone used their chain link fence for a radial.  Is this a viable solution?  I have chain link around 3/4 of my property, which is a lot measuring 147' by 100'.  This would make life a lot simpler if it works well.

Any response is appreciated and antenna recommendations are welcome too!  Grin




BTW Moderators: I was even confused where to post this - in antennas, seeking help from Elmers, or the newbie section, so if it needs to be moved, please do so!

I would think that the chain link fence would work well as your radials. That is, if the chain link portion is not covered with vinyl.
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K5LXP
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« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2013, 08:41:34 AM »

I would think that the chain link fence would work well as your radials.

They're not as good as you think.  Every contact point where the wires zig zag and touch each other is a potential resistor or a diode.  The supporting pipe rails are probably pretty well bonded but in terms of the overall field of a vertical, a fence amounts to one or two radials.  Not terribly efficient overall.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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K5UNX
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« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2013, 08:57:42 AM »

I am building one of these for a first antenna and to use later as a portable antenna after I hang up something more permanent.  It only has one "radial" but it is held above ground.

https://sites.google.com/site/w3ffhomepage/new-homebrew-buddstick-plans

wayne
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N3DT
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Posts: 514




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« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2013, 09:06:18 PM »

You can do something much simpler.  No chokes, no ground planes, no ground losses or ground wires.  Look up C-Pole antenna or go here and figure out what is the biggest one you can put up. http://www.svrc.org/wp/?page_id=452
I use an 80M one for 160-10M (granted the top is about 60' up), but it doesn't cover everything, I have a 60M one that covers the rest, it's only about 20' high. A 40M one will only need to be 30' high and may work on 80M depending on your tuner.  My 80M one will tune with my TS-2000 (and the tuner) from 160 through 10 missing a few bands and the 60M one gets the rest.

All it costs is some wire and a ferrite choke that's listed in the link, get a couple. I can work into Europe all the time on 40M with my 80M one, they seem to work even better on the harmonic band.  I don't even need a tuner on 80 and 40, plus with the 60M one it works great on 30M.

All you need is a support for the top, and making the current choke and the antenna, you will need to cut it a bit to make it work right on the freq you want, so make it a bit long.  I put the choke in an outside electrical box from HD for a few bucks.

It's actually a Off Center fed Windom fed vertically.  I love it, and if you paint the PVC spreaders flat black, you can hardly see it.

I'm not kidding, it works great, pm me if you want to talk about it.

Dave
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WI8P
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Posts: 259




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« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2013, 05:23:38 AM »

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions.  Right now, I'm leaning towards a dipole.  I believe I can go up the 30' without a problem, it's where I tie off the ends.  Being hemmed in on two sides with power lines and only one usable tree will force me to be creative. 

BTW: passed the test - 100% right!  Now to start studying for the General!  Grin
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AC2EU
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« Reply #25 on: April 21, 2013, 07:44:37 AM »

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions.  Right now, I'm leaning towards a dipole.  I believe I can go up the 30' without a problem, it's where I tie off the ends.  Being hemmed in on two sides with power lines and only one usable tree will force me to be creative. 

BTW: passed the test - 100% right!  Now to start studying for the General!  Grin

Excellent choice!
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AC5UP
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« Reply #26 on: April 21, 2013, 08:00:15 AM »

Congrats on passing the tech test with maximum room to spare, give yourself a week or two for a mental reset then start studying the general while your cerebral sponge is still damp.

Some folks see their first ticket as a destination when it's really a starting point......... Play it right and you'll learn something new every few days for a long time to come.    Cheesy
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N4CR
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Posts: 1662




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« Reply #27 on: April 22, 2013, 02:19:34 PM »

I would take with a grain of salt, the advertising copy on those above mentioned verticals.  An antenna needs something to work against.

These antennas do have a counterpoise built in. It is a self contained antenna that works as advertised. It has a low angle of radiation like any vertical. It requires no additional counterpoise or ground plane. Suggested mounting height is 10' minimum. Mine is at 12' on a tripod and I have it guyed with nylon paracord.

I had a 5BTV in the middle of 800' of fence where I bonded the entire length of the top stretcher pole and my R-8 ran circles around it. I took it down and sold it.

Quote
Hygain says no ground system or radials needed, but then you see it has seven 2M radials that they call a counterpoise instead -- these are fairly short though and would be most effective for the higher frequencies.

Obviously, you have never used one of these antennas.

It's not a beam, but it's an excellent self contained vertical and requires no tuner on any band it's designed for: 6, 10, 12, 15, 17, 20, 30 and 40.

Coming up on 3 years into the use of my R-8 (and I work full time+) I have 192 countries worked with 148 confirmed. It's the only antenna I have used for DX during that time. It's definitely not a dummy load.

A good friend of mine has the AV-640 and has found it to be every bit the antenna the R-8 is. I helped him assemble and erect it and they obviously copied the R-8 design. It's not quite as rugged and it costs less.
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73 de N4CR, Phil

We are Coulomb of Borg. Resistance is futile. Voltage, on the other hand, has potential.
KX8N
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Posts: 543




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« Reply #28 on: April 22, 2013, 03:23:05 PM »

I used to use an Outbacker Perth Plus vertical mounted on the tripod they sell. The tripod sits on the ground and is coupled to it. The antenna is good from 80M up through at least 2 meters, maybe even 440 (I don't remember). You do have to go out and move the jumper wire to switch between bands, but I found that just slightly inconvenient - definitely worth it if that's your best option. Some people like them, some don't, but personally I had really good luck with it. I worked most of Europe, Alaska, Hawaii, Japan, and many states with it from Ohio just running 100W. I paid probably around $300 for all of it, but I didn't have anywhere to hang wires or put anything "proper" up. Just food for thought.

Dave
KX8N
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WI8P
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Posts: 259




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« Reply #29 on: April 28, 2013, 09:25:14 AM »

As a moderator on a large forum, I hate when someone makes a post, get lots of feedback/suggestions and never returns to let folks know how things turned out, so here's an up date:

Yesterday was sunny and warm in here in Michigan, something of a rarity for us so far this year, so I installed my brand new DX-CC 80-10 meter dipole antenna.  I can't put the center as high as recommended (35 feet), because the pipe I used as a mast just isn't strong enough.  The center section is about 20 feet with the ends about 10 feet of the ground.  So in that regard, I've started my "I need a tower" savings fund, which btw, is accepting contributions!  Of course, by the time that fund reaches it's goal, I will most likely want to move on to some kind of beam antenna, but at least for now, thanks to you folks, I'm able to hear and transmit.   

Thanks to all who contributed their advice and helped out this newbie!   Grin
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