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Author Topic: G5RV dipole versus Hustler 4BTV vertical  (Read 6382 times)

Posts: 46

« on: April 05, 2008, 08:49:20 PM »

Before I fork out the cash for a Hustler 4BTV vertical I want to ask if people think it will be worth it in terms of performance.  My current dipole is about 20' up in the air mounted on the side of the house in an inverted V.  The vertical will be placed in the backyard, ground mounted, with 20 to 40 radials (or more).  Assuming a good install on the vertical and properly tuned, should I expect better performance with the vertical over the dipole?  With the current dipole I've had contact with 23 states and 17 countries in the last 30 days, however most have been simple contest exchanges and many have had a hard time hearing me.  I'm hoping the vertical will give better performance.

Posts: 123

« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2008, 09:06:30 PM »

They are both excellent antennas.

Since I have nothing on my property to install a dipole to I went with the Hustler (4BTV) vertical with the DX Engineering 17 meter add on kit and 80 meter standard resonator.

Mine is ground mounted with only four 40 meter radials. I use the LDG AT100 Pro Auto Tuner for 75 meters which allows me to work the entire phone band for general class (3800 - 4000).

Five years in operation and very satisfied with my arrangement. My station is the Yaesu 857D.


Posts: 0

« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2008, 09:10:45 PM »

Its been my experiance that the 5BTV is a good antenna for DX.  

Your trying to compair apples and oranges when your saying a dipole vs a vertical.

If you have a good radial ground plane you will be suprised at the signals from the DX.

I have my rig set up so I can go from the 5BTV to the Dipole and switching back and forth I found that the vertical was better for anything above 40 meters DX.  You just couldn't hear stations on the dipole and they were about 20 db louder on the vertical.  Below 20 meters the dipole seems to be better for pulling in the local signals up to about 500 miles.

If I were to only have one antenna it would be the 5BTV.  When I go on field day it and the long wire up in a tree are just about equal in signal strengths from stations inbound.

While their are better antennas, for the money, I think you won't be at a loss with the 4BTV.   I have seen some good used ones from people who don't understand how to make them work for less than 75 dollars.  You might try the classified if you dare take the risk the other guy is telling you the truth.  

New we found texas towers had the best prices on the 5BTV.  The only thing the 6BTV has is one more band.  Several articles show how to get the rest by simple non distructive modifications.

Best to remember that the vertical is really no more than half a trapped dipole set upright.  The ground radials are the other half of the antenna and so are real important (most that dump the vertical don't understand that.  Shhhhh we don't want to tell 'em either so we can get a good cheap antenna.

Be sure to use the coax balun (wrap turns) and a good quality coax (213 or better)  

Bottom line, good DX antenna that will stand up to the weather and storms.

Posts: 0

« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2008, 09:18:51 PM »

Don't use a matching device (tuner)  they have loss in them.  The vertical has adjustment so you can work most of the band without one.  Only 80 and a little of 40 meters are narrow.   If you use the 80 meter resonator use the 80S and then you can trim the rod to fit the band you want.  Check the instructions for band width for 75 meters, its pretty narrow.

Another really cool thing about them is---

If you take 2 of them you can phase them and get a stronger signal out.  3 of them and you can switch around to squirt your signal in the direction you want.   Ground plane wires can over cross also then.

Low loss on the coax and lack of tuner insertion loss helps get the weak ones.   Otherwise your only matching the coax to the radio with a tuner if your off resonance with the trap.

Have fun

Posts: 46

« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2008, 09:40:36 PM »

Regarding the coax balun (wrap turns) I saw that in the installation instructions.  Hustler recommends 10 turns around a 6" diameter PVC pipe in order to decouple RF current on the outside of the shield.  They recommend this within 8' of the antenna and then again within 8' of the rig.  I also see that DX Engineering recommends the use of their feedline choke for $95.  I'm assuming that the two coax baluns would serve the same purpose as the DX Engineering feedline choke.  Can I save $95 and not buy the feedline choke?

Posts: 1

« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2008, 03:09:52 AM »

Hello Mike

all antennas are a compromise
any antenna is better than no antenna

do you have any of the old antenna handbooks
the old 40s 50s 60s ARRL antenna handbook is great
less math more how to
same for the info found in any of the Bill Orr antenna books
look for old copys of the ARRL Amateur Radio Handbook
from  the 50s and 60s
same for 30s 40s 50s 60s Radio Handbook

i have owned and used 4BTV's and G5RV's

few points
the G5RV was designed to be a good 20 meter antenna
hooked to a old style pi network tube transmitter
that sorta works with a tuner on other bands
put up as a flat top     ( not inverted vee )
get it up high enought,    it works great on 20

sorta kinda works on some other bands
put it up high enought
its not bad
not great, but not bad

but at 20 ft its going to be a dog

please try to get it higher than 20 ft
your antenna is in a hole in the ground

35 ft is better, 40 ft is good, 60 ft is wonderfull

the Newtronics 4BTV is a dog
anybody that thinks its a good antenna
realy realy has never used a good antenna

note to new ops remember trap verticals like the 4BTV
that except for the lowest band its designed for
you are not using all the antenna

example on ten meters using a 4BTV
you are only using the bottom of the antenna
up to the first trap

so on ten meters your antenna is only
about 8 ft high
with the service drop, power lines, houses  ect
all around it
all higher than that 8 ft

also with a trap 1/4 wave vert like a 4BTV
the antenna you buy is less than 1/2 the antenna system

it does not sit up and start to play
till you put in a good ground / plane / radials
underneath it

a well placed good vertical antenna system
can be a great dx antenna

but on some bands like 160, 80, 40,
they are dogs for rag chew work
pick up manmade noise like crazy

so if you want to rag chew with
some good old boys on 75 meters
a vertical antenna is not for you

if you want to work dx on 20 yes a vertical will work for you

the last few 40/10 meter vertical antennas ive
played with i roof mounted them
and yes in deed they worked great 800 or more miles away

general bs rule of thumb for antennas
get it up high as you can get it
make it as big as you can

get a big old soldering gun
some wire and start playing

oh if you have any trees
your in luck

what happend to my 4BTV i gave it away
i replaced it with a hb vertical
using pvc pipe and number 14 house wire

yours truly

Posts: 1

« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2008, 03:17:52 AM »

re feed line balun

it's bs a big pile of bs
save your money

if you do put up a 4BTV just wrap about
8 or ten turns of the coax around
a hunk of 6 or 8 inch pvc pipe

i just use the pvc pipe as a coil form

up till 20 years ago nobody bothered with
so called baluns on antennas that
feed point allready matched the feedline

nobody worried or cared about rf on the feed line

if you wand to decouple rf from the feed line
just go with a home made coax choke

they work as good or better than any 90 some buck
store bought balum

yours truly

Posts: 74

« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2008, 05:48:04 AM »

I have both a G5RV and a ground mounted 4BTV with the DX engineering 30 meter trap. I use it exclusively on 40, 30, 20, and 15 meters because it out preforms the G5RV. On 80, 17, and 12 meters I use the G5RV. On 10 meters, it depends on conditions.

I have worked over 250 countries with the 4BTV. If you chase DX, go for the vertical - especially if you add on 30 and 17 meters.

73, Bob K2QPN

Posts: 31

« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2008, 08:06:53 AM »

You asked which one is better.  Like a consultant, I'd answer, "It depends"!  For DX, the vertical often is the better antenna under most conditions.  However, I've kept a G5RV and a vertical (R7000) available because conditions do change.  The ionosphere is not a uniform layer, think of it as a set of moving clouds which your signal strikes and bounces off.  Sometimes the dipole is best, and sometimes the vertical will be best, so having both gives you the most advantage.  

Yes, height is best for dipoles, but don't be discouraged if you can only get the dipole up 20 to 30 feet.  I use a "fan dipole" at the beach, bent into a 90 degree angle at 25 feet height with one leg in a vee form and the other bent around the deck of the house.  If you saw this, you would say maybe I'd work the neighborhood, but never DX.  Last night I worked a ZL with it on 20m phone.

Good luck and good DX.

Bill, W4WNT

Posts: 1006

« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2008, 10:24:16 AM »

 The Hustler verticals are good antennas, but there are alternatives.

 One on particular is the Hy-Gain AV-18HT-Jr. Although it's a little more than 2x the price of the 5BTV (3x more than the 4BTV), it should be worth it as the antenna is a full sized radiator on 40-10 and uses cage loading on 80 instead of a trap which should lower losses considerably. Although the 4BTV is easier to install, the added convenience will likely be traded with performance compared to the larger somewhat more involved installation required for the 18HT-Jr, but that's expected - like comparing the difference between installing a 5BTV and a full sized 40 or 80 meter vertical.

 Like many purchases, I look at antennas as an investment. Over time, say 5 years, this one will cost you $40 more per year to own versus the 5BTV, $46 more/yr compared to the 4BTV.


Posts: 0

« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2008, 03:49:25 PM »

KD7QLU on April 5, 2008       
Regarding the coax balun (wrap turns) I saw that in the installation instructions. Hustler recommends 10 turns around a 6" diameter PVC pipe in order to decouple RF current on the outside of the shield. They recommend this within 8' of the antenna and then again within 8' of the rig. I also see that DX Engineering recommends the use of their feedline choke for $95. I'm assuming that the two coax baluns would serve the same purpose as the DX Engineering feedline choke. Can I save $95 and not buy the feedline choke?

> Yes.

If you want to stay away from the spending part you can wind your own choke and put it in your own box.  

Some say its cheaper to buy the thing from DX.  Is true if you have to mail order or go run around town looking for parts.

DX also sells the base radial plate for the hustler and others.  Here again you can make one using anything but steel.  Their's is Stainless.  And while it will eventually rust its a good deal along with the nuts and bolts package.  Its the shipping that kills you.  If you buy the antenna from them then also the base plate.

As for the tilt over gismo - don't need it.  The antenna can be lifted off easily and put back if one uses a piece of electrical tape at the bottom set point.  Once you tune the antenna I doubt if you will be back out in a month to see it.  Once set its set and no further maintenance is needed.

You don't even need to go buy the PVC to wind the 10 turns on.  Loop them up and wire tie them is good enough.

Have fun.  

Posts: 492

« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2008, 05:47:25 PM »

The 4BTV/5BTV/6BTV series of verticals can hardly be called "dogs" if you're wanting to communicate within a few hundred miles and ignore the fact that an attribute of a vertical is that its low angles of radiation favor the area outside of that range. On 40/30-10 meters they are actually quite efficient. Even with an excellent radial system under them, the efficiency on 75/80 meters isn't likely to be above 25-30% because of the loss resistance associated with the 75/80 meter resonator. Still, this is perfectly acceptable in a vertical that stands about 25 ft. tall. These verticals are, practically speaking, as good a deal as you'll ever get in a multiband antenna. Champion Radio sells a book that details a test of 8 popular commercial verticals and the performance of the 4/5/6BTV series was excellent in head to head comparisons. I personally use a 5BTV on Field Day with a solar powered 5 watt qrp entry (typically 200-300 qso's) and work the entire continental US + Hawaii from right here on the east coast. That it not the mark of an inefficient antenna.

 If you're either running the coax along or under ground, skip the balun if your feedline is 50 ft. or longer. The ground will do a pretty good job of stripping the RF off the outside of the coax to inconsequential levels anyway. Use a balun only if you find the need for one. I haven't personally observed a need for one in the past few decades.

Posts: 1214


« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2008, 01:34:34 PM »

If I were you I would have both antennas...the vertical for DX and G5RV for local contacts within 1000 miles.

Posts: 46

« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2008, 05:46:03 PM »

I was planning on keeping the G5 up if for nothing else than to make comparisons.
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