OK, I am ready to take the plunge and after 36 years as a ham get my first amplifier and I would appreciate some input from all the learned brethren that lurk here ‘bouts!
My station consists of an Icom IC-746 (not Pro) transceiver. My antennas are a horizontal loop at 35 feet that is larger than 40 meters but a little smaller than 80 meters. I also have a Cushcraft MA-5B mini-beam at 35 feet. Changing antennas is not an option at this time.
For an Amplifier I am considering an Ameritron AL-80B and the Ameritron AL-572 but leaning more toward the AL-80B.
For a tuner I am considering the MFJ-998 auto tuner and the Ameritron ATR-30. I have the 300 watt MFJ-993B auto tuner and it has worked flawlessly for two years and I really love the convenience but I am concerned about the technology at the 1 KW+ level.
So, I would really appreciate your input on these selections or any other equipment in the same price/performance class. I wish to buy new as I haven’t had good luck buying used over the internet. I am 60 years old and expect to use whatever I buy until I’m an SK.
So what say Ye!! Thanks in advanced for your time and input.
Thanks for the quick replies. I don't mind experimenting Tom but moving and setting up that pole in the center of the yard would be a great deal of work so I hoping to get an idea if it would be worth it. If I understand correctly you are saying I could do worse than what I have at the moment.
Tony you are no doubt that i don't have much if any directionality with what I have and certainly probably won't gain much if anything with the crossed 40m dipole configuration at the proposed height. I'll look in to the inverted L but it would have to have the vertical end at the north end of my lot and the horizontal portion pointing southwest.
I don't suppose putting the 80 meter dipole in the center of the yard and putting it north east to south west and bending one end to the east and the other to the west would make any real difference either?
I suppose I could leave the dipole as it is and put a multi-band vertical in the center of the yard. I could put out radials from about 15 to 50 feet long depending on the direction. How would that play versus or in addition to the dipole and or mini-beam.
I'm trying to hear better in the general direction of Europe and Australia. I have trouble hearing stations but more often those I hear can't hear me. An amp may help some in that respect.
I would appreciate some opinions from the resident antenna gurus. Here is my current situation:
My house runs due north and south with the back yard on the west side of the house. I presently have an 80 meter dipole in the following configuration:
The center is at 35 feet on a Radio Shack pushup pole attached to the center of the back of the house. One leg of the dipole runs north for 30 feet and makes a 90 degree turn to the west. The other leg runs about 35 feet south and makes a 90 degree turn to the west. The 90 degree turns are supported by 25 feet of Radio Shack steel antenna mast. The ends are supported at 20 feet by the same type masts. There is a 2 foot drop in elevation from the house to the ends of the dipole. The antenna is feed with 300 feet of 300 ohm window line to a DX Engineering 1:1 current BalUn. The BalUn has 6 feet of RG58 coax to the MFJ-993B Auto Tuner to my Icom IC-746.
The antenna functions but could always be improved. At this time putting in a tower or raising the height of the dipole is not an option. So my question is this. Leave this setup alone close the dipole to form a horizontal loop which would be shorter than required for 80 meters but somewhat longer than need for 40 meters or put up the following configuration:
Since I haven’t really ever done anything but listen on 80 meters I thought about moving the pushup pole to the center of my back yard and putting a dual 40 meter dipole up fed from the same feed line with the ends running north west to south east and south west to north east. The ends would be at the 20 and 25 foot heights with the center at 35 feet.
I currently use the antenna as a multiband unit and I have made contacts from 80 to 6 meters with it but as I said I would sacrifice 80 usage for improvement on the other bands.
I would appreciate any suggestion and comments for those more experienced and learned than myself to improve my situation. I run barefoot at the moment but hope to have a 600 watt or better class amp by winter.
If I go with the 40 meter scenario I can put up a Cushcraft MA5B mini-beam on a 30 foot pole where the 80 meter center mast is now. Otherwise the beam will have to go on either end of the house putting it within 15 feet of my neighbor’s houses.
If anyone would/could model these options would also be greatly appreciated. Sorry for the length of this post but I wanted to provide as much as possible.
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