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Author Topic: Which HF Vertical?  (Read 1282 times)
KA5REJ
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Posts: 10




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« on: April 15, 2004, 09:29:44 PM »

I need help deciding which vertical to buy.  I usually work about 90% plus CW with an Icon 730. My location dictated a low profile antenna. I have looked at the Cushcraft and GAP verticals, as well as a few others, but I need and Elmer or two to set me in the right direction as to which vertical antenna will be the best regardless of manufacturer.
KA5REJ Michael
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WIRELESS
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« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2004, 10:51:11 PM »

This isn't the kind of answer you expected, but if I were to put up a vertical, it would be a pipe at least 1/8 wave long at the lowest freqency, with a few radials driven by an remote auto tuner like an AH-4 or one of those generic ones.  It would work all bands, it would be as strong as you want it (since you are picking the pipe) and would probably work better than any loaded commercial vertical.
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AD7DB
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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2004, 11:10:48 PM »

But what bands are you going to use? This kind of dictates how low profile you're going to be with  tradeoffs being the performance and cost.
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N0VZ
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Posts: 26




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« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2004, 12:33:19 AM »

I have a Butternut HF-9V that has been working very well.  You will need to have the room for a reasonable number of radials for best performance.  I currently have 25 radials and plan to add at least 10 more.
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N6AJR
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« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2004, 01:15:20 AM »

I would reccommend the hustler 5 band vert  (5btv) at $159 from HRO. cheep  easy to assemble, and can be ground mounted with or with out radials, or pipe or roof mounted with 4 radials as guys.. check them out..
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K0ZN
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Posts: 1553




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« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2004, 02:56:19 AM »

Hi, Michael

Check out the comments on the Product Review section here on eHam. There are a lot of reviews you can read.
There seems to be some differences in mechanical quality in the various antennas.

Just keep this in mind: if you go with a vertical that requires a ground system (i.e. Radials) More is better.
You NEVER get something for nothing in physics (antennas in this case). The radial system is LITERALLY the other half of your antenna system, and cutting corners in the radial system is just exactly like putting resistors in one half of a dipole antenna!
Ground mounted verticals with a lot (60 or more) radials are an excellent antenna. Verticals with a few radials or just a ground rod are poor antennas. The alternative is a ground plane system, or one of the commercial antennas which have their own countepoise system. Unfortunately, a properly installed radial system is fair amount of work...and based on my personal experience with a 1/4 wave 40 meter vertical with a 100 radial ground system, it was WELL worth the hard work; the antenna is very effective and efficient.
I would do it again. Lastly, don't use small diameter coax to feed your antenna. Use "full sized" stuff... it has lower losses, especially on the higher bands.
Good luck with your installation.

73,   K0ZN
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W4TYU
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Posts: 518




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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2004, 07:51:11 AM »

There is really no best.  Most persons have only used one vertical and have had "good" results with that one.
It will depend on your type of operation, available space and energy to install.

I have a Cushcraft R7000 that gives me very good results in my type of operation.  The low takeoff angle has produced lots of good DX for my CW operation.
No radials were required.

What it would do in your operation could be different.

Ole man JEAN
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AC5E
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Posts: 3585




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« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2004, 08:42:54 AM »

Well, if you can put down the radials and want 75 the Hustler and Butternut seem to work best based on FS measuremets. The Cushcraft works very well without radials but needs a bit of height for best results.

The GAP runs behind the first three, but not by a lot and you can ground mount it with only a few radials.

All of these take some careful assembly and MAY take a bit of adjustment in place to work well on the parts of the bands you want to work. So don't expect to open the box, throw it together, stick it up, and expect perfection.

73  Pete Allen  AC5E
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KA5N
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« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2004, 09:55:30 AM »

Note again WIRELESS's reply.  A 1/4 wavelength 20 meter vertical about 10-15 above ground with 4 to 8 1/4 wavelength radials will perform very well from 30 meters to 10 meters (and will work so so on 40).  The trick is to use a tuner (such as WIRELESS suggested) or an in-shack tuner and balanced line (450 ohm or 600 ohm open wire or even twin-ax).  The tuner must have a balanced output.  This is about the cheapest vertical possible.  I have used such an antenna since the 1980's working about 200 countries (I am not an avid DX'er) and plenty of stateside QSO's.  I have thought many times about replacing it but have never found anything better that did not involve a couple thousand dollars expense. This is also a stealthy installation without even trying.  One thing you will see with regard to verticals is the importance of radials.  With this antenna radials do not have to be different lengths for different bands as is the case for trapped verticals.  Radials should be approximately the same length as the vertical portion.
I use a TenTec 229 tuner (same as 238).
Gud luck
Allen KA5N
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KA2UUP
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Posts: 388




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« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2004, 09:58:20 AM »

I use a MFJ-1798 multiband vertical, 2-80 meters.  I do not use it for 2 meters so I cannot report on that. Only concern is the narrow 2:1 SWR bandwidth in the lower (80 meter) band(50-100 kHz).  The 6 meter radiator is also used for 17 meters, so you will have to compromise based on what type of operating you do.  17, 20 and 30 meters are the best with low, flat SWR accross the whole band.  Because of the top loading and inverted counterpoise you do not need radials.

I have had mine for 4 years now just 5-6 feet off the ground and still works great.  Just be sure you take the time to assemble and tune the antenna.  Assembling will taje you a minimum of 6 hours.  It is worth the effort, though.

Good luck DE Bert @ KA2UUP
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W2NSF
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Posts: 122




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« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2004, 10:16:39 AM »

Read all the reviews of the verticals and then buy a Hustler.  Best performance for the money.  Well designed.  Strong materials.  Great customer service.  I can vouch for both the 4BTV, and the 5BTV, which I eventually converted it to by installing the 80m resonator.  Don't be afraid of radials - they are your best friend.   Mine's mounted at ground-level and I have "lots" of radials.  If I can hear 'em I can work 'em and I can bust most pileups with only 100 watts.  Happy vertical'ing!
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KJ7XJ
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Posts: 34




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« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2004, 01:29:34 PM »

Im on my second Cushcraft R7. I bought one new in 1992, had it on a Rohn 25' and it worked all over the world from Tucson,AZ. I sold it when I moved in 1996. I bought another used one off Ebay a couple years ago. Its about 30' off the ground. I've confirmed many countries and states from my current qth. I also have a g5rv and the only drawback of the vertical is it hears more noise. Im in a big city so there is lots of noise. Being that i have owned two, I am biased.  Ive tested these antennas with very good results from the dry desert and the rainy northwest...Good Luck! - Eric
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W5WJP
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Posts: 157




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« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2004, 01:32:43 PM »

My vote is for the Hustler 6BTV. As for radials, I don't use them. No to say that I don't have some metal under the antenna, I do. A 12 ft by 12 ft
(a 50 ft roll of 3 ft wide, cut into four pieces) section of chicken wire held down flat with quite a few landscaping clips (available from Lowe's). This works better than any number of radials you might want to put down, and the grass will grow through it and you can mow right over it (XYL friendly). Commerical braodcast stations use a similar radial arangement except that they use a large copper mesh under their anatennas.
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K5DVW
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Posts: 2193




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« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2004, 03:13:20 PM »

I have a Hustler 5BTV and it works well. No 17m coverage and it's somewhat narrow on 80m, but no complaints about it. I also have a 20' tall vert that I built out of 1" copper water pipe with an auto tuner at the base. Both work similarly.

The key, no matter what vertical you buy or purchase, is to put as many radials as possible if you're ground mounting it.
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N6AJR
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Posts: 9912




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« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2004, 05:56:30 PM »

hustler 5bvt
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