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Author Topic: Best 80-10 Meter vertical. Neighbour friendly  (Read 9382 times)

Posts: 35

« on: September 28, 2007, 08:37:32 AM »

What is the best vertical antenna that covers 80-10 meters and will keep the YL and the neighbours happy.
We're in the process of moving to a new area, and while there are no real restrictions (other than the YL)about beams and towers, my builder has suggested that to keep peace in the area, don't put up the beam and tower.  The house is a two story home, and my YL would like me to place the antenna on the side of the house to keep it out of view as much as possible.
I don't have a problem with getting rid of the tower and beam, but I do want to keep on the HF bands.  I would really appreciate feedback from those of you that have had the same experience.  I know that the vertical will have it's limitations compared to what I use now.
73 and thanks for your input

Posts: 4380

« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2007, 08:45:28 AM »

I have never had neighbors nor an XYL that cared whether or not I was happy.
You are not going to find a vertical that will do the job a tower and beam will do.
I predict that no matter what you do, the neighbors and XYL will not be happy.
So are you a ham or Mr. Milquetoast?


Posts: 2358

« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2007, 08:46:07 AM »

Hello Graham, I would thing the hustler 6BVT would do a rather fine job for what you want to do. It is only about 25 feet tall (7.7 meters). it covers 80,40,30,20,15,10 right from the box. and there has been folks that have added 12 and 17 meters to it but making some modfications that are found quite easy on the web.

It also is not a reall eye sore and does not take up much room. So that be my seggustion. Jeff

Posts: 21764

« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2007, 09:03:31 AM »

Unless the house is made of plastic, I wouldn't put it on the side of the house -- although "on the side" and 50-100 feet away would be fine.  "On the side" and also next to the house isn't very good.

A very unobtrusive vertical for 80-10 is the Fluid Motion BigIR vertical.  It requires radials, but if you're ground mounting it, the radials can all be buried an inch beneath the soil and nobody will see them or touch them.

The reason this is a good choice is it's "green" fibreglas in color and blends into backgrounds (especially trees) very well -- no shiny aluminum.  It also covers 40-6m stock, and adds 80m with an optional accessory that just bolts on.  It uses no traps, stubs or other components that could fail and will automatically preset itself ("tune" itself) when connected to your modern HF transceiver -- once programmed, it's totally "hands off."  It's also a full-sized 1/4WL radiator for every band, so there's not even a 1 dB compromise in performance.

For a "ground mounted, near the house" installation this is the one I'd pick.  I've installed a couple, they go up quickly.


Posts: 5688

« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2007, 09:05:06 AM »

Wifey knows that the silvertree is a part of life with hubby here.  

Sometimes a roof mounted tripod with the yagi on it can be less obtrusive...


Posts: 5482


« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2007, 09:21:59 AM »

I like WB2WIK's response to this best.  "This isn't a practice life".  It's not like you're starting a pig farm or wrecking yard.  Put up what you want.  As far as verticals, the Steppir or perhaps a Hy-Gain Hy-Tower.  You're going to want a tower and beams eventually, so maybe plant the vertical first and use that while you lay out the plans for a nice self supporting crank-up.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM

Posts: 6642

« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2007, 09:49:39 AM »

How much room do you have for radials?
Thats the first question when working with verticals.
Next is the question of supports for "hidden dipoles".


Posts: 165

« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2007, 10:00:15 AM »

Graham i'd say all verticles are ugly to heck with trying to find one that looks ok. All of them will stick out like a sore thumb and the wife will say "what's that thing"?? "lol"...a small roof tripod with a butternut will really do the trick for you though.

I just took down my butternut to clean and do a restore on it and now it's back in it's place in the upper's just waiting on this next solar cycle to get going. We can't never sell a verticle short either. I have a nice quad at 65 feet on a crankup tower and nice wire antennas with homemade feeders...but this old butternut has took me places and never ceased to amaze me with the contacts i've made with it.

I've added everything they have except the 160 add on to mine through the years and just love the old antenna. It's about to enter its "third" solar cycle now, yeah i believe too it's gonna out live me. "hi hi".

Best wishes Graham.

John WR8D

Posts: 196

« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2007, 10:56:56 AM »

I use a Hustler 6BTV, ground-mounted over 40 random-length buried radials. It's about 25' from the corner of the house, and 8' or 9' from the corner of a wooden fence, and guyed on 2 levels.
It is nothing like a directional antenna way up high, but I'm quite pleased with performance, and have worked some pretty decent DX on it. I operate strictly CW with 100W, so can't vouch for any other mode or power level.

I think it's well worth the money - but in full disclosure, my wife doesn't find it particularly pretty.

Best of luck whichever you choose,

Posts: 82

« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2007, 12:35:24 PM »

I've had a ground mounted Hustler 5BTV for about 15 years now.  It is in the center of the back yard with about 20 buried radials. Works just fine.  Getting ready to add the 30M trap to it.  A now deceased ham friend of mine used to have a Hygain 14 AVQ ground mounted vertical in the center of his back yard with a flower garden surrounding the antenna.

Good luck and 73,
John, K5ENA

Posts: 176

« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2007, 03:14:47 PM »

For a first vertical I would go for the Hustler 6BTV.  Buy it from DX Engineering (no, I'm not in the least way affiliated.) They have all the extra stuff (chokes, radial plates, acid free silicone, etc.) that you will  need to make it sing.  Plus, they are very helpful over the phone and I have never been treated rudely.  Once your vertical is tuned, you can go down to Lowes or Home Depot and  buy some exterior spray enamel paint and camo it into your foliage.  Don't paint it before final tuning though!!!!   Also, be aware that the more radials you install the more efficient your vertical will be.

Most vertical manufacturers will supply a tuning length chart or specify default assembly lengths.  These lengths assume that the customer has a very poor or no radial system.  Over such a bad radial system, these lengths will give a low SWR (your rig will be happy), but very poor efficiency (i.e. maybe even as low as 20% or less!!!) and no one will hear you.  

The only proper way to tune a vertical is to put a good radial system under it first, then get an MFJ antenna analyzer and tune it based on what the analyzer  is telling you.  You should tune for minimum reactance (0 is ideal but impossible) and around 25-40 ohms resistance.  The lengths that you'll finally have will be unique to your installation, but you'll also have efficiencies maybe in the 70% range if you do a good job.

As for the SteppIR.  It's a great idea, but they are expensive and their production capacity is so low they can't produce enough to fill orders they have now.  By the time you receive one, that technology will be another 6 months older, and you'll have done nothing but sit in your shack talking only to the YL - not what you want.  You will find that the cost and effort for a vertical is not the vertical itself (except for the BigIR), but in a good radial system, coax chokes, grounds, low-loss coax, analyzers, etc.

Posts: 9930

« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2007, 10:31:37 PM »

any antenna is better than no antenna, and you are talking the hustler 4btv/5btv/6btv.

the Gap series are a lot better, but the best vertilce is the steppir. and it is resonant for all freqs from on end to the other.  

also look at a roof tower, I have one (guyed) with the 3 ele steppir, on my roof.

Posts: 3592

« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2007, 02:24:17 AM »

    Don't let the XYL or the neighbors push you around.  Remember, this is YOUR happiness and hobby we're talking about!  If you really want to go overboard to please the chop breakers, you can get an artificial tree and plant it in the yard with your antenna hidden inside.  Not inexpensive, but it may help you save on asprin and attorney fees.

Posts: 5639

« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2007, 06:09:47 AM »


<< Graham i'd say all verticles are ugly critters >>

I agree. Verticles are pretty ugly.

VERTICALS, on the other hand ... Smiley


Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut

A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.

Posts: 245

« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2007, 08:30:23 AM »

I've had my 'GAP Eagle DX' mounted on the side of my house (back corner) since 1997 (on a 10 foot mast sunk into the ground and mounted against the roof eaves so most of the antenna clears the house and aluminum siding), and have had great results on 10 thru 40, including WARC.  Even now at sunspot minimum, I work a fair amount of DX on 40 through 17 with 100w.  Just a few years ago, at or near the last cycle peak, this thing worked amazingly well.  Great signal reports all over the world.  JA's, ZL's, and VK's galore!  My neighbor recently asked me what kind of antenna it was, and I answered him "I use it to receive HDTV, especially the football games".  Turns out he's a big Browns fan, so immediately he 'understood'!
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