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Author Topic: Vertical or short wire antenna for small city lot?  (Read 1912 times)

Posts: 4

« on: September 18, 2001, 04:58:27 AM »

I have the unfortunate luck of having my home on a small city lot with no more than about 65' of space available to string up an antenna.

I'm looking for opinions on whether my best HF performance (80-20 meters mainly) would come from:

1) a relatively short folded dipole (like the B&W AC5-30 or Alpha Delta DX-EE),
2) a random longwire with wide-range tuner (like the Icom AH-4), or
3) a vertical that doesn't require long buried radials (like the Cushcraft R8 or Hustler 6BTV).

I will be using an Icom 756Pro and have a Solarcon A99 that works great on 10-17 meters. At a previous location I had the B&W 1.8-30 folded dipole and it was fabulous. I would love to have similar performance now, but I don't have the 90' space it needs. Any comments or suggestions would be highly appreciated.


Posts: 16

« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2001, 08:54:13 AM »

I'd go for the wire antenna.  I personally use an Alpha Delta DX-EE no more than 20 feet off the ground and have had excellent results.  It costs a lot less than these new-fangled vertical antennas too.  I have tried both verticals and dipoles, and find the dipole to be a much better antenna, even if you can't get it up in the air very high.  Unless you've got an excellent ground system, I think you'll find many verticals to be air cooled dummy loads. I've never used any of these new, no-radial, verticals.  But from what I understand, if there is no radial system, it has to be nothing more than a vertical dipole.  So why not use the real thing?


Posts: 1435

« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2001, 01:26:07 PM »

Can you install your folded dipole ontop of your house as an inverted Vee?

Posts: 10

« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2001, 02:04:51 PM »

Unless you are totally against having to manually tune an antenna, a tuned feeder fed doublet will provide reasonable performance if it is at least 60' long. If you have the means to run it high enough, run it horizontal. If not, consider running it half vertical and half horizontal. A feeder length of approximately 46' and a doublet length of 60' should allow you to operate 80 through 10 including the WARC bands. Mine has performed well since 1983.

Posts: 18

« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2001, 02:55:20 PM »

I have had great success with a 66' center-fed inverted vee fed with twinlead or ladderline through a tuner.  It will load well on 40-10m.  Place two or three 40-60' radials at the base, tie the conductors of the twinlead together, and, voila, you have a top loaded vertical for 80M and 160M.  If you can get the apex 30-35 feet up, you will have a very effective antenna, even on 80M and 160M.  My other recommendation would be an inverted L, with a tuner and radials at the base.  Good luck!

Posts: 24

« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2001, 04:28:17 PM »

I'd recommend a half size g5rv mounted in an inverted v manner. Mine is on top of a 15 story building, with a pvc center support up 17 feet, and both ends of "dipole" coming down to about 5 feet off the rooftop. The ladder line going up to the "v" is 17 feet long, and at the bottom is attached to a coaxial balun. Works very well 40-10. Each side of the half size g5rv is 26 feet long. Works 20/10 meters without tuner...with tuner it's flat on all bands, but a tad high on 15 meters. Good luck, John

Posts: 63


« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2001, 08:49:58 PM »

65 ft. huh? I've heard that a ladderline fed 66ft. dipolewould tne 10m-80m. I know that an 88ft. version will do it. It would be worth a try.
73 and good luck de Matt, kf4zgz

Posts: 159


« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2001, 12:17:22 PM »

The other part of the equation is what is the highest available support to use and what overall area do you have.  My previous QTH backyard was about 60 by 40 feet.  In it i stuck inverted vees for 80 and 40m up in the trees.  The 80m version required an odd shape, but keep in the mind the middle half of the antenna does most of the radiating.  I also installed an R5 (current similar antenna is the R6000) that is used.  A vertical like this needs to be installed so it "sees" the sky in as many directions as possible at a 15 degree angle from its base.  

The main principle for wire antenna is its overall length should be at least a half wave at the lowest operating frequency.  Its configuation can be tailored to fit the yard.  

At my new QTH - huge yard but few antenna supports - i still use my R5 plus an off-center fed dipole that spans the entire yard - and a homemade quad for 10m on a mast.

Suggest you concentrate on getting up a useful antenna - either wire or vertical and grow form there.  Draw up what space you have to work with and work with other hams to come up with something effective.

Posts: 2080

« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2001, 01:51:29 PM »

I have used the Alpha Delta DX-EE in my attic for years with great success.  My FT-1000MP's internal tuner tunes it flat on 40-10M.  If I could put a wire up outside, this would be my antenna.  73,  Terry, WØFM

Posts: 14

« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2001, 02:19:22 PM »

Well from the replies I am going to be in the minority here, but... I am going to say that I have had very good luck with my Cushcraft R4 which I have had since 1989.  I have a very small 50' x 120' suburban lot and every tree and structure is either in the wrong place or in the way of stringing up a horizontal antenna. I have my R4 on two five foot section Radio Shack steel TV masts mounted in a corner of my deck behind the house neatly tied with some rope to the deck railing.  Works a-ok.  I am getting 5x7 reports on 20 in Europe and decently similar reports in the U.S.  I run a TS-430 barefoot into a MN2000 matching net work and it is all fed with RG-8X mini. This summer I decided to clean up all the mechanical inter-connections, and get the cob webs out of the matching network and it works as good as new.

I have also used the Butternut HF-2V on 40 & 80 with about 30 random length radials (made from copper wire I stripped out of old house hold romex cable) buried in the grass.  This thing worked gang busters, and I was often getting better signal reports than my buddies with low hanging wire antennas

Don't rule out the vertical as a viable option.  Given the chance verticals can be formidable antennas.

Posts: 3

« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2001, 02:27:38 AM »

 I have had great performance with the Cushcraft R-8 vertical.  The antenna is mounted high and seems to work very well, in fact I get many comments from others that I work like "I can't believe your using a vertical -- great signal" As you know the R-8 covers 40 through 6 and I have not yet needed a tuner to operate anywhere I wanted to go and haneles the legal limit.  The R-8 beats my full size 20 meter dipole on both rx and tx.  The only down side I see is there is a (small) increase in noise on the vertical vs. the dipole.  Good luck!  Joe  
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