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Author Topic: Multi-Band HF Vertical Tips? All Welcomed!  (Read 1833 times)
KS4WJ
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Posts: 21




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« on: September 10, 2004, 10:31:27 PM »

I currently own a Hustler 5-BTV Multi-band TRAP Vertical; antenna is ground mounted.  While I'm most painfully aware that "as-many-as-possible" ground radials are preferred for such antennas (I have roughly 35 currently), my interest has been piqued as to whether anyone has other Tips or novel Ideas that many of us "Vertically Challenged HF Antenna" Hams might benefit from being privy.  Common sense replies are welcomed.  Perhaps some or many readers might strongly suggest that common sense ought to dictate a far superior antenna be in order.  Please reply with reasonable and amiable answers as I suspect there are many guys & gals who (for a multiplicity of reasonable reasons) have limited choices as regards picking other antennas and/or arrays.  Thanks for your shared knowledge and insight in advance! -KS4WJ/WestCars VE & your typical rube from Kentucky! ;0)
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KZ1X
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Posts: 3228




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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2004, 10:37:52 PM »

Well,

1) an antenna that works on one band is usually better, all things being equal, than one that is set up to work on multiple bands.

2) an antenna that favors the bands you are most likely to be using will give you better service than one that does not

3) an antenna that is polarized the same way as the stations with whom you are communicating, all other things being equal, is usually better than one that isn't

How's that for a start?
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K0ZN
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Posts: 1553




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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2004, 11:22:07 PM »


Hi.

Sorry... the FACT is, with a ground mounted vertical there is NO escaping the fact (due to the fact the U.S. Congress has not yet rescinded Ohm's Law !!) that the radiation efficiency of a ground mounted vertical is pretty much proportional to the quality of the ground radial system. Period.

There are a few other ways you can make a low loss ground system other than linear radial wires, such as ground screens, or an elevated counterpoise system, but the bottomline is still the same. You need to reduce the R losses in the ground system for maximum efficiency. The ground system is LITERALLY the other half of the antenna.

Believe me, a vertical with a GOOD ground system is a good antenna system, especially if you have some type of limitations on your antenna farm.

A minor, and likely obvious hint: Use the best, low loss coax you can. The smaller coax is bad news interms of losses.

A possible antenna that may both fit your QTH and be pretty efficient, even if somewhat low would be a Loop antenna, fed on the side to obtain vertical polarization.

Last thought: I would MUCH rather have a good vertical system than a low horizontal system, especially at this point in the sunspot cycle because high angle radiation is getting less effective/useable on more of the bands as we approach the sunspot minimum.

73,  K0ZN
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KS4WJ
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Posts: 21




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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2004, 12:04:41 AM »

Thanks KZ1X!

Well, it was a start and did afford me with great food for thought regarding a One Band Antenna clearly being better.  Moreover, I do have a bit more room out back for experimenting with such.  Succinct and sound advice and much appreciated!

Brian/KS4WJ
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W8JI
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Posts: 9296


WWW

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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2004, 12:32:12 AM »

When we are communicating on skywave, there is no reason at all to have the same polarization as the guy on the other end. The reason is the ionosphere tilts and slowly rotates the polarization. It's only on direct wave without reflections that polarization has to be the same at both ends.

Traps are not that bad. They largely have been made out to be bad by manufacturers trying to sell snake oil to people. If you look at actual measurements, the real trap verticals out-do the fancy "no trap" designs as a general rule....and often by a large margin!

You probably are better off with the antenna you have than almost any other vertical you can buy.

73 Tom


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KS4WJ
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Posts: 21




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« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2004, 12:40:56 AM »

Thanks for your much appreciated advise as well, K0ZN!

Like the first gentleman, you made great points -  one of which I have not yet heeded.  I truly don't know what I was thinking (at that time, seemingly not much), but I did purchase chump-change coax for this antenna.  After reading your coax comment, I plan on paying the price for low loss coax soon as my hind-sight evidences how I de-valued the importance of getting the most out of what little RF I have going to the antenna.   - 9913?  Anything better?  Another question I suppose.

Similarly, there is a reason for redundancy and many more ground radials will be put in place when I get another week's vacation as I have just enjoyed.  I appreciate your taking the time to respond.  Common sense is, indeed, sometimes not overly common and the proof is in the paltry price I paid for the coax.  

Thanks again K0ZN,
73s - Brian / KS4WJ
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KS4WJ
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Posts: 21




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« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2004, 01:10:26 AM »

Thank you W8JI!

I'm sure that others that might read your meaningful and easily understood remarks will gain the insight I did.  As importantly, I kind of 'suspect' they will discern that while you are confident, you are equally as humble which is an appealing commodity and character trait - and sadly, one that is rarely revealed nowadays.

Thanks for taking the time to explain what is often missed during multiple-choice testing sessions.  As an aside, your website is full of varied and interesting information.  Great work!

73s and I hope you remain blessed in all that you do,
- Brian / KS4WJ -
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W8JJI
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Posts: 291




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« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2004, 07:10:30 PM »

Try a 31 - 32 ft vertical assembly of aluminum tubing, no traps or coils.( could be possibly as short as 25 ft).

At the base of it, use one of the readily available automatic antenna couplers to tune it to any HF band.

If you mount it on the ground, you should use lots of radials , the longer the better ( at least 30 ft each).

If you mount it on your roof or above ground at least 10 to 15 ft or so, you will only need 3 quarter wave radials per band.

With this set up you should never have to worry about an swr curve  or a touchy factory vertical again.

Just don't excede the RF power handling capacity of the antenna coupler.
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G4AVN
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2013, 06:16:44 AM »

Good people, may I thank you for your information. I am constrained by disability and space and was trawling the net for info on ground mounted verticals. The information in these posts has helped me a great deal. May I thank you very much.
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NK7Z
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Posts: 822


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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2013, 07:11:47 AM »

I currently own a Hustler 5-BTV Multi-band TRAP Vertical; antenna is ground mounted.  While I'm most painfully aware that "as-many-as-possible" ground radials are preferred for such antennas (I have roughly 35 currently), my interest has been piqued as to whether anyone has other Tips or novel Ideas that many of us "Vertically Challenged HF Antenna" Hams might benefit from being privy.  Common sense replies are welcomed.  Perhaps some or many readers might strongly suggest that common sense ought to dictate a far superior antenna be in order.  Please reply with reasonable and amiable answers as I suspect there are many guys & gals who (for a multiplicity of reasonable reasons) have limited choices as regards picking other antennas and/or arrays.  Thanks for your shared knowledge and insight in advance! -KS4WJ/WestCars VE & your typical rube from Kentucky! ;0)
Hi,

You may want to consider a vertical dipole...  It needs no radials, and works very well, at ground level...  An antenna like the Gap Challenger is a good example, however, if you have a tower, or tall tree, build a dipole, and hang it vertically.  I have a review of the Challenger at:
http://nk7z.net/review-of-the-challenger-dx-antenna-by-gap-antenna/
I have had very good luck with this antenna...  It does need three radial like wires on the ground, of 25 feet each, they are insulated from ground and they are a capacity hat to aid in tuning on 40.  See the review for more details on the antenna...
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Thanks,
Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
N4KZ
Member

Posts: 599




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« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2013, 08:22:30 AM »

Lots of ground radials and put the vertical in the clear -- not cozied up to the house, shed or metal fence. Now reality being what it is, many times a ham simply can't accomplish these two ideal situations but if you do, watch out because you will have a top-notch antenna. And you might get decent performance from a vertical where these two ideal situations are rather compromised but you just never know until you get on the air.

I've used several different types and models of verticals over the years. When I was younger, I preferred them roof-mounted -- they were in the clear and needed far fewer radials. But as the years have crept by, climbing the roof seems less and less inviting. There's something wonderful to be said about installing a ham antenna while standing firmly on the ground!

Little story. I bought a Butternut HF6V several years back. I installed it on a Saturday morning and began laying 60-foot long radials but it began to rain. I got 8 radials down before having to give up to seek shelter. I used the vertical for the next week and was disappointed with its performance on transmit. I had an average signal at best. Not good enough.

The next Saturday was sunny and I added more radials. Now I had 35 radials -- each 60 feet long. Now, I got those 5x9-plus reports I coveted.

I ran it that way for a couple years and then we moved to a bigger home with a bigger yard. This time the Butternut went 120 feet behind the house and very much in the clear. And I put down 60  50-foot long radials. This was a really good set-up and I was working DX like crazy on 80 and 40 meter CW. Japan, India, Diego Garcia, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, South Africa, Siberia -- all these and more routinely went into my log. Six hundred watts out with my Heath SB-200 and Kenwood TS-440S.

73 and good luck,
Dave, N4KZ
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K0OD
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Posts: 2558




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« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2013, 09:41:06 AM »

Quote
Little story. I bought a Butternut HF6V several years back. I installed it on a Saturday morning and began laying 60-foot long radials but it began to rain. I got 8 radials down before having to give up to seek shelter. I used the vertical for the next week and was disappointed with its performance on transmit.

Didn't N6LF's extensive testing of verticals find that more radials weren't necessarily better in the case of going up to 8 radials? He suggested that a field of 8 radials was actually worse than say 4. That was one of the odder things his tests discovered about radials.  
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WA3SKN
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Posts: 5494




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« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2013, 03:34:39 PM »

This post was started in 2004. You will still want radials, though.

-Mike.
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