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eHam Forums => Antennas and Towers and more => Topic started by: W4HIJ on February 09, 2013, 07:41:55 PM



Title: 368 ft. of #14 copper house wire + 100 ft. of window line + 1.5 acres of land=??
Post by: W4HIJ on February 09, 2013, 07:41:55 PM
I wrote a post somewhat like this about a year ago and got many suggestions of a "loop". Folks said it would be easy to put up but  I'm not so sure about that. Seems complicated to me. As it get's warmer, I'm going to want to do some playing around on my lot so I'd like to get some firm plans in mind. I do have power lines running down my driveway that I need to avoid but other than that I have pretty much free reign over the land. My current antennas are a Cushcraft MA-5B mini beam  for 20-10 meters and an S9-V in an elevated ground plane configuration for 40 meters and nothing on 80 or 160. So what would you do?
73,
Michael, W4HIJ


Title: RE: 368 ft. of #14 copper house wire + 100 ft. of window line + 1.5 acres of land=??
Post by: WB6BYU on February 09, 2013, 10:27:51 PM
What do you have for available supports?

What bands are you most interested in?

Are you more interested in DX or local contacts?

What directions are of most interest, if any?


If you are most interested in working a single direction then we can
invent a beam - you have enough wire for a 5-element delta loop
on 20m, or a 10m rhombic 3 wavelengths on a leg.  But on 160m
you don't have enough wire to get any sort of directive pattern or
to get any sort of gain.

As to whether a loop is complicated, that depends on what things you
are good at and which things are new to you.  Once you have the
supports ready you put a pulley at the top of each, run a rope through
the pulley and tie it to the wire, then raise all corners up.  Sometimes
you have to use long ropes and/or raise one corner at a time to work
it around obstacles.  But I've put up enough of them that I have the
right type of electric fence insulator and baling twine, and it goes up
pretty quickly.

Putting up a dipole is easier because you just pull on the two ends,
but you are still using ropes over pulleys tied to the wires.

By contrast a Sterba Curtain requires a lot more measuring and
bending of wires and tying them in place to maintain its shape, but
it only requires two support points.
 


Title: RE: 368 ft. of #14 copper house wire + 100 ft. of window line + 1.5 acres of land=??
Post by: W4HIJ on February 09, 2013, 10:47:20 PM
What do you have for available supports?

What bands are you most interested in?

Are you more interested in DX or local contacts?

What directions are of most interest, if any?


If you are most interested in working a single direction then we can
invent a beam - you have enough wire for a 5-element delta loop
on 20m, or a 10m rhombic 3 wavelengths on a leg.  But on 160m
you don't have enough wire to get any sort of directive pattern or
to get any sort of gain.

As to whether a loop is complicated, that depends on what things you
are good at and which things are new to you.  Once you have the
supports ready you put a pulley at the top of each, run a rope through
the pulley and tie it to the wire, then raise all corners up.  Sometimes
you have to use long ropes and/or raise one corner at a time to work
it around obstacles.  But I've put up enough of them that I have the
right type of electric fence insulator and baling twine, and it goes up
pretty quickly.

Putting up a dipole is easier because you just pull on the two ends,
but you are still using ropes over pulleys tied to the wires.

By contrast a Sterba Curtain requires a lot more measuring and
bending of wires and tying them in place to maintain its shape, but
it only requires two support points.
 
Well, I've pretty much got 40 and up covered. I can't see anything I put up doing much better job than what I have in the Mini beam and the S-9 vertical in GP configuration. Still it's nice to have more than one antenna choice per band. I have trees available for support but it's going to be a tough go to get anything up very high or "high enough" when it comes to 80 or 160. Not really interested in "local" contacts on 80 because most of the phone guys aren't going to bother with you if you don't have an amp and a big signal. I would rather have another antenna to chase DX with using digital and CW modes. As an aside, I've always been intrigued by inverted L's but I don't believe I've ever seen anyone feed those with anything but coax.  I probably will eventually put up a beverage too for RX on 80 and 160 but that's an entirely different discussion.
Michael, W4HIJ


Title: RE: 368 ft. of #14 copper house wire + 100 ft. of window line + 1.5 acres of land=??
Post by: KC4MOP on February 10, 2013, 04:01:05 AM
Hello
If you want to keep it simple and still be an effective antenna; then build a full length dipole for 160M. You did not mention of any supports. Tower, etc.
I have a long narrow 1.3 acre lot. 65 foot utility pole 100 feet from the house, and I lucked out with a 50 foot pine tree on the edge of a neighbor's lot. He gave me permission to attach one end to his tree. It's fed by OWL, about 250 feet and a Dentron 3KA tuner is very happy to tune it anywhere on 160M - 20M. I'm not interested in the higher HF, as I have other antennas for 20M-6M.
A 65 foot high dipole is still a slight cloud warmer for 160M. A Dipole ( or any other wire antenna) needs to be 1/2 wave length high to be directional. So, even on 80M the 65 foot high dipole is not directional. But more effective than something 30 feet off the ground.
You sound like me when describing the loop antenna........I would not want to try to go through all of that. I'm a very casual operator and not interested in any mythical advantages of certain types of antennas. Very happy with my dipole at 65 feet and a dam good tuner in the shack. Open Ladder Line all the way from antenna to laundry room.......coax (50 feet) to the radio room

EDIT NOTE:::IF you are a DXer than a 65 foot steel tower with a gamma match (this month QST) or a HB vertical would be the better choice. (the 43 foot "miracle antennas"  are just that...AVOID) An inverted "L" is another great DX/local antenna. These flavors require radial wires laid on the ground (30-50 radials...as long as you can run them) More work than a dipole but worth it for the low angle radiation needed for DX.
I have a nice 37 foot mast for 40M and 15M. I ran a separate wire that is held away from the mast by PVC pipe and a series coil at the feed point and I have a 5/8 wave antenna for 17M. Worked a lot of countries on that system.

Fred


Title: RE: 368 ft. of #14 copper house wire + 100 ft. of window line + 1.5 acres of land=??
Post by: WB6BYU on February 10, 2013, 09:29:43 AM
For DX you will likely have better results with vertical polarization at low heights (say,
below 40' or so.)  If you can get up to 70' then a horizontal may be better, depending
on your coil conditions.

If you have a favorite direction for DX then a vertical rectangular loop may be a good
choice:  I modeled a loop with the top wire at 40' and the bottom wire at 8', and 110'
long.  Fed in the middle of one vertical leg gives a bidirectional signal and a good
match to 50 ohms at 3.66 MHz.  You can feed it with open wire line if you prefer.
(The loop is bidirectional but with a fairly broad beamwidth, so you can choose a
direction that gives your desirable targets off both sides.  It's only 8dB down off the
ends, so there really aren't any deep nulls in the pattern.)  That assumes, of course,
that you have trees in the right directions.

Otherwise an inverted L (basically just a 1/4 or 3/8 wave wire fed at ground level
that goes up to the top of a support then horizontally as needed to use up the
rest of the wire) is pretty effective.  You can build one for 80m and one for 160m
on a common feedpoint.  It does require a good ground radial system. 

If you want to use open wire line, I'd suggest putting a 4 : 1 balun at the antenna
feedpoint (the unbalanced side) and connecting the ladder line to the balanced side
for transmission back to the shack.

There are other variations on verticals as well that you could try.  But overall,
if your objective is DX, then a vertically polarized antenna is likely to be a good
choice, especially for heights less than 40'.


Title: RE: 368 ft. of #14 copper house wire + 100 ft. of window line + 1.5 acres of land=??
Post by: W1VT on February 10, 2013, 11:10:21 AM
I've been having lots of fun with an 80M top loaded vertical I put up at the beginning of the year.  Took me two days in the snow.  Top is at 42.5 ft, as high as I could manage, dropping a lead weight over a tree branch with a telescoping fiberglass mast Duck taped to a painter's pole.  

The top loaded vertical is normally more work than an inverted L, but last year's winter storm took out 1/3 of a big maple tree in the center of the yard and made it just as practical as the inverted-L.  It works better for DX. I'm running five elevated radials, 8ft of the ground.  They are around 0.2 wavelengths, so they fit conveniently in my back yard.  ;)

So for I've worked 4Z1, ZB2, PY2, VK4, MI6, ZS1. and UN1, just to name a few that I've already confirmed electronically or via paper--am actually getting close to DXCC counting 50 or so countries I've worked in the couple of decades I've been a ham before putting it--some even worked QRP  ;D

Zack W1VT


Title: RE: 368 ft. of #14 copper house wire + 100 ft. of window line + 1.5 acres of land=??
Post by: W4HIJ on February 10, 2013, 11:14:31 AM
I can certainly understand the advantage of vertical over horizontal on the low bands when you take into account how high  a low band antenna has to be to approach a half wave length above ground. It just seems ashamed to waste all this real estate. The only supports I have besides trees are a couple of Rohn 30 ft. push up mast. One holds the mini beam and one the vertical. They are not very far apart.
Michael, W4HIJ


Title: RE: 368 ft. of #14 copper house wire + 100 ft. of window line + 1.5 acres of land=??
Post by: W1VT on February 10, 2013, 11:32:39 AM
That real estate can  be used to string up Beverage receive antennas.  I have a half wave terminated Beverage on the fence line--the only place where I can run one on 1/3 acre.

Zack W1VT


Title: RE: 368 ft. of #14 copper house wire + 100 ft. of window line + 1.5 acres of land=??
Post by: WB6BYU on February 10, 2013, 12:26:53 PM
And you can put up a phased array of vertical elements if you want, so you
can switch the phasing to rotate the pattern.  Look up "four-square array".


Title: RE: 368 ft. of #14 copper house wire + 100 ft. of window line + 1.5 acres of land=??
Post by: KC4MOP on February 11, 2013, 03:22:17 AM
And you can put up a phased array of vertical elements if you want, so you
can switch the phasing to rotate the pattern.  Look up "four-square array".

The 4-square would be a nice array of antennas. 80M might be the lowest freq he can use. The spacing between antennas starts getting outrageous for 160M.
Google does it again
Here is a nice link to what a 4-square for 80M requires.

http://www.arizonaoutlaws.net/downloadable/80Meter4SquareApril2010.pdf

Mike we may have drifted a little on your topic. I was assuming you are focusing on DX possibilities for 160 and 80 Meters.

Fred


Title: RE: 368 ft. of #14 copper house wire + 100 ft. of window line + 1.5 acres of land=??
Post by: KC4MOP on February 11, 2013, 08:20:32 AM
I can certainly understand the advantage of vertical over horizontal on the low bands when you take into account how high  a low band antenna has to be to approach a half wave length above ground. It just seems ashamed to waste all this real estate. The only supports I have besides trees are a couple of Rohn 30 ft. push up mast. One holds the mini beam and one the vertical. They are not very far apart.
Michael, W4HIJ
Hi Michael
Your post read like there aren't many choices for supports, unless the trees are over 50 feet. The push-up masts aren't going to help much in your DX with the lower bands.
This part of my reply gets some people queezy but you are going to have to spend some money on a support or an actual vertical antenna that you design for the lower bands. Something more than 30 feet and more than the 43 foot verticals offered. 80M is probably the minimum that would work "ok" with a 43 footer for DX. 160M is a waste of time. The 43 foot miracle antenna is a perfect 5/8 wave for 20M with the very low angle radiation. (10 degrees??)
To make both bands happy for some local work with a focus on DX, is an inverted "L". About 60 feet vertical and the rest of the 120 feet of wire out horizontal, to the next tree, as high as you can get it. The usual radial thing. A remote or manual tuner at the base of the antenna for the two bands 80 and 160 and you have arrived.
Fred


Title: RE: 368 ft. of #14 copper house wire + 100 ft. of window line + 1.5 acres of land=??
Post by: N6AJR on February 11, 2013, 08:37:16 AM
fan dipole.


Title: RE: 368 ft. of #14 copper house wire + 100 ft. of window line + 1.5 acres of land=??
Post by: N3QVB on February 11, 2013, 09:25:09 AM
Yes, a fan dipole!  I have a lot of land with lots of tall trees.  I too considered a loop but a fan dipole was my choice.  Does what I want (DX) with not nearly the work involved with a large loop.  It's not up yet -- waiting for warmer wx.  I currently have a 102-ft. G5RV at 60 feet.  Works great but I wanted to upgrade -- I want to max out my wire options given all the trees I have, before considering a tower/beam.


Title: RE: 368 ft. of #14 copper house wire + 100 ft. of window line + 1.5 acres of land=??
Post by: N3QE on February 11, 2013, 09:47:16 AM
To cover all bands I suggest: "The 130 foot doublet". Try to put up at least 50 feet, although higher is obviously better. Mine is up 80 feet up. Stretching between treetops is great. Feed with ladder line and a tuner (preferably a link coupled balanced tuner but there are other choices too.) You can make the top longer of course if you have the wire.

On 160M, tie the ladder line together at bottom and feed against ground as a "Marconi T". This can also be effective for 80M DX too.

As to how well the above works... I have the above setup, and have top ten LP scores in many big DX contests in the past year, 8BDXCC, and have also grown increasingly active on 160M (hoping to get 160M DXCC soon.)

You might also want to build some wire directional arrays for the high bands if you like building wire antennas. NO3M has only wire antennas and is an incredibly effective station. (He's also an amazing op that doesn't hurt!) I think he has several Lazy-H's for the high bands and wire delta beams.


Title: RE: 368 ft. of #14 copper house wire + 100 ft. of window line + 1.5 acres of land=??
Post by: W4HIJ on February 11, 2013, 03:22:47 PM
The 30 ft. mast I have are occupied with antennas.  I need to devise a better way to get pulleys/ropes up into trees.  I use to use the slingshot method but I think there has to be better ways. Never was very easy with a slingshot.
Michael, W4HIJ


Title: RE: 368 ft. of #14 copper house wire + 100 ft. of window line + 1.5 acres of land=??
Post by: WB6BYU on February 11, 2013, 05:20:24 PM
You need enough weight on the end to get the rope back down.  About 6 - 8 oz works
well for me.  I swing the weight underhand and fling it upwards - gets me to 50+ feet
without too much trouble.

I've had better luck with a bow and arrow, especially when the arrow is weighted by
taping nails to the head, or better yet, stucking the point in a 30 calibre shell casing
filed with sand or lead.

I've heard good reports about the sling shots designed for launching tennis balls
for dogs to chase, but haven't tried one.

For serious antenna work, a compressed air "spud gun" is probably the best bet.


Title: RE: 368 ft. of #14 copper house wire + 100 ft. of window line + 1.5 acres of land=??
Post by: N3QE on February 12, 2013, 06:05:25 AM
The 30 ft. mast I have are occupied with antennas.  I need to devise a better way to get pulleys/ropes up into trees.  I use to use the slingshot method but I think there has to be better ways. Never was very easy with a slingshot.

I too was lacking in skill/strength with the slingshot.

http://www.antennalaunchers.com/ shows something very similar to what I use. (I built mine myself, some construction details are different, but end result looks very similar to their CSV19).

What is more practical than putting a line over some given branch in the middle of the tree, is to just put the line over the top of the tree.

Tim.


Title: RE: 368 ft. of #14 copper house wire + 100 ft. of window line + 1.5 acres of land=??
Post by: KB8VIV on February 12, 2013, 06:45:42 AM
I'm particularly fond of my loop.  Mine is cut for 80 meters, and it's only up about 25 ft, but I have no problems working plenty of dx with 100 watts.  Worked this guy this past Saturday, on 17 meters.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v207/Desmoface/Radio/RA7TQSL_zps16c3d868.jpg

I'm no engineer, and I am certainly not as experienced as others here, but it was not hard to put up, and it's stayed up for many, many years and it easilly works all bands between 10-80 with the rigs tuner (except 15).  It's not as good as a vertical on 10-20, but it's perfectly usable.  Just something to consider, if you have the mounting points. 73's and good luck with whatever you do.

kb8viv


Title: RE: 368 ft. of #14 copper house wire + 100 ft. of window line + 1.5 acres of land=??
Post by: W1VT on February 12, 2013, 08:53:04 AM
I taped a 30 ft telescoping mast to a painters pole to drop a lead weight over precisely the branch I want.  Works great when you are surrounded by homes in suburbia--don't have to worry about where an errant projectile will end up.

Zack Lau W1VT


Title: RE: 368 ft. of #14 copper house wire + 100 ft. of window line + 1.5 acres of land=??
Post by: KC4MOP on February 12, 2013, 09:00:51 AM
I have had tremendous success with the EZ Hang sling shot. I have shot over 60 foot pine trees easily.
The fishing line weight and then an extra step with the fluorescent colored light-weight string then another step to attach the actual Dacron rope for the antenna wire.
How tall are your trees, Michael?
50-60 feet is a starting point, for an "L". Others here would have suggestions for a vertical designed for DX on 160 and 80 meters. Many use the shortened vertical approach with success.
Fred


Title: RE: 368 ft. of #14 copper house wire + 100 ft. of window line + 1.5 acres of land=??
Post by: KC4MOP on February 12, 2013, 01:51:46 PM
 
You can buy mast material from DX Engineering and design your own 160-80 meter Vert, and run as many as you can ground radials, and a simple band switching tuner at the base of the antenna, and you're good to go for DX.
I think a lot of responders forgot that you are looking more toward 160 and 80 and a dipole isn't going to give DX unless it is a half wave length high from the ground. I do not know why this keeps getting skipped over in this thread for a horizontal wire antenna (dipole) A Vertical would be your best bet or inverted "L".
Take Care
Fred


Title: RE: 368 ft. of #14 copper house wire + 100 ft. of window line + 1.5 acres of land=??
Post by: W5LZ on February 18, 2013, 02:42:02 PM
It's all a matter of what room you have available, what kind of supports, and how much trouble you want to go to.  I have had very nice luck with an 80 meter full wave loop fed with ladder line and a tuner.  It didn't 'like' 15 meters for some reason, but I didn't use 15 meters anyway.  It can be 'made' to work on almost any band with a little effort (@#$ thing even worked on 2 meters).  If I'm very lucky, some part of that loop is over 20 feet off the ground but certainly not all of it.  Best thing since sliced bread?  Nope, but it did most everything I asked of it.  Loops have their own 'qwerks' and are not as 'easy' to use as a typical dipole.  Same for that ladder line.  But, in my particular situation it all did pretty good.
 - Paul

(You ain't lived till you've had half the wrenches from the tool box hanging from trees where they got hung up trying to throw that @#$ line over a tree!  Oh well.  Stops people from borrowing them anyway.)


Title: RE: 368 ft. of #14 copper house wire + 100 ft. of window line + 1.5 acres of land=??
Post by: KB8VIV on February 19, 2013, 06:51:06 AM
Interesting, mine also doesn't like 15, I'm feeding mine with plain ole coax.

Steve

I have had very nice luck with an 80 meter full wave loop fed with ladder line and a tuner.  It didn't 'like' 15 meters for some reason, but I didn't use 15 meters anyway.  - Paul


Title: RE: 368 ft. of #14 copper house wire + 100 ft. of window line + 1.5 acres of land=??
Post by: W4HIJ on May 02, 2013, 05:01:18 PM
Update....I've done absolutely nothing so far! Now that it's getting warmer though, I'm starting to get the fever. I was out in the yard today looking at the trees. I have trees and branches where I could lay out a pretty good sized horizontal loop if I can figure out getting lines over the branches with one of the already mentioned suggestions. I'm not sure about putting up a vertically polarized loop. Have to look into that some more. One question about loops, vertical or horizontal.  Do they need to be a wavelength long at the lowest frequency or can they be some odd length? For instance, if I use all 368 ft. of wire, that's over a wavelength on 80 but short of one on 160.  I know the ramifications of short antennas but what about one that is overly long like for instance the 368 ft. on 80 meters?
73,
Michael, W4HIJ


Title: RE: 368 ft. of #14 copper house wire + 100 ft. of window line + 1.5 acres of land=??
Post by: AH6RR on May 02, 2013, 05:42:24 PM
Update....I've done absolutely nothing so far! Now that it's getting warmer though, I'm starting to get the fever. I was out in the yard today looking at the trees. I have trees and branches where I could lay out a pretty good sized horizontal loop if I can figure out getting lines over the branches with one of the already mentioned suggestions. I'm not sure about putting up a vertically polarized loop. Have to look into that some more. One question about loops, vertical or horizontal.  Do they need to be a wavelength long at the lowest frequency or can they be some odd length? For instance, if I use all 368 ft. of wire, that's over a wavelength on 80 but short of one on 160.  I know the ramifications of short antennas but what about one that is overly long like for instance the 368 ft. on 80 meters?
73,
Michael, W4HIJ

Michael,

I am in the middle of building a Half Square for 80, 40 and 30 meters for my small lot I have 2 40ft trees 150 feet apart with a a north/south direction of radiation. Please read this on the Half Suqare http://rudys.typepad.com/ant/files/antenna_halfsquare_array.pdf
Mine is going up in a couple of months because I am putting the 30M up this weekend to test out first then the 40M one until fall then the 80M one will go up. A freind and me were talking about low band antennas for dx'ing and since dipole are NVIS at low hights I talked him into a Half Square he put up his 40M on Monday and he is hearing and working stations he can not hear or just in the noise on his rotatable dipole at 60ft and they are S7 to S9 on the Half Square at 50ft.
I modeled the 80M HS on 4NEC2 and the swr was 1:40:1 on the design frequency and doing a Sweep of 1MHZ to 20Mhz there are good dips for the 160M and 60M band that a tuner should handle fine. You have enough wire for the 80M Half Square. All you need is 2 trees 140 to 150 apart in the direction you need for the antenna pattern to be broadside to and 40 to 60 feet high.

Roland AH6RR


Title: RE: 368 ft. of #14 copper house wire + 100 ft. of window line + 1.5 acres of land=??
Post by: W5WSS on May 03, 2013, 05:49:03 AM
I have built most of the suggested antennas mentioned here and really preffer ed three because I like Dx.

The Inverted L
 can be sloped some a 10 degree angle is as if straight up as far as modeling indications  The vertical part can be made to be longer than the horizontal part some and traps can be installed for multi band purposes.

The elongated loop rectangle fed midway on a vertical side.
The horizontal wires serve as transmission lines and only a small remnant of horizontal radiation is produced, The vertical sections radiate the majority of power that manifests at low angle trajectory towards the horizon. The antenna is capable of very quiet reception relatively speaking as compared to other antennas and can be low like just above and out of reach because the antenna is behaving as a phased verticals the horizontal to vertical length ratio is better when made at a ratio of 3:1 horizontal dimension 3 to vertical dimension 1.

This antenna is self contained does not need a radial system even though it is a vertically radiating system.

73
 




Title: RE: 368 ft. of #14 copper house wire + 100 ft. of window line + 1.5 acres of land=??
Post by: W5WSS on May 03, 2013, 05:51:01 AM
Should read preferred 2


Title: RE: 368 ft. of #14 copper house wire + 100 ft. of window line + 1.5 acres of land=??
Post by: W4HIJ on May 03, 2013, 06:25:43 PM
 After looking over the lot again, I'm now toying with the idea of a vertical loop either in a somewhat square configuration or a triangular one.  I like the idea of triangular because then I only have to worry about getting the one attachment point of the apex to considerable height. A square involves getting two pulleys up high. Of course neither will be perfect anyway, there will be variation in the shape. I just need to do some research on various  feedpoints and the advantages/disadvantages of using them.
73,
Michael, W4HIJ