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Author Topic: Ground mounted verticals suck?  (Read 1666 times)
KC8HQX
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Posts: 177




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« on: June 30, 2008, 07:40:49 PM »

I just completed my first DX QSO, which was to Croatia! My setup is my first and only (recently completed) HF antenna, a home built 43 foot, tree suspended junk wire vertical fed 100 watts peak SSB on 20m from my first rig, a Kenwood TS-180S. I assume it was the gray line working for me.

Sorry if this is a pointless, derailing post, but I'm so stoked I can't contain it.

73,

Doug
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K0CBA
Member

Posts: 302




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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2008, 07:49:59 PM »

Like so many things in life, the first will always stick with you.

Everything after one is just a number but still a giggle.  Hang in there.

BTW;  One big "atta boy" for the 73 instead of 73s.
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N3OX
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Posts: 8847


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« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2008, 08:14:18 PM »

Congratulations!

Regarding your choice of subject line, when you put a beam up and compare, you'll understand ;-)  Every antenna radiates something, some radiate a lot more than others!  How you feeding that wire, by the way?  

If you don't have any sort of tuner or matching networks at the base, you might check out:

http://n3ox.net/projects/lowbandvert/

and/or

http://www.n3ox.net/projects/servo/

73,
Dan





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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
K0OD
Member

Posts: 2558




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« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2008, 08:54:33 PM »

Congrats. I still recall my first DX qso 50 years ago. An OH3 (Finland) answered my CW CQ. Good thing that 12 year olds are pretty immune to heart attacks. I used a dipole at about 20 feet fed with 72 ohm twin lead (NOT advised).

Yeah, I think ground mounted verticals suck on 20 meters. A dipole might get out better and would almost surely hear better broadside. But what you have offers a lot of flexibility for now.  
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KC8HQX
Member

Posts: 177




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« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2008, 08:59:03 PM »

"How you feeding that wire, by the way? "

100 feet of buried Cablewave FLC 12-50J (LDF4-50 clone) running to the base of the antenna. I'm still waiting for my SGC-239 to arrive, so in the mean time, I have an Elecraft 4:1 Balun in place. I believe the remote autotuner will increase my efficiency. If I hadn't recently received word the autotuner has finally shipped, I'd be working on a home-brew match right now.


Doug
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KZ1X
Member

Posts: 3228




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« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2008, 09:24:39 PM »

Did you look at what this wire "looks" like on EZNEC?

Very interesting.  Add a gamma feed and you'd have a great 50 ohm match ... and not awful ground loss either.
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AE5I
Member

Posts: 124




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« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2008, 09:31:04 PM »

Congratulations!!!

You'll never forget that one...  And what a fun memory to have!  :-)  I remember my very first DX QSO from 15 years ago and it was quite a thrill for me.

Now, just wait till you bust a big pileup and work some far away DXpedition and you'll have another thrill and another great memory!  :-)

I'll never forget the first night we got a dear friend of mine's first HF station on the air for the first time (last year)....  After working his first contact, he looked back at me with the biggest grin on his face I've ever seen!  It's a really cool memory for me and I wasn't even the one on the air...  :-)

The world of ham radio is enormous....  You'll keep finding things like this to enjoy and will have more and more "firsts" to remember.

Ain't it great?  :-)

GL DX and 73

Tom AE5I
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PD2R
Member

Posts: 131




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« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2008, 12:08:30 AM »

Congreatulations!

I hope you had a nice QSO with a understanding opp at the other side. My first QSO using my own call was with a Spanish station. I tried to explain that it was my first QSO but he only replied by wishing me 73.

My very first HF DX contact was in at a contest station. I was alowed to use the club call and worked several DX stations. I donĀ“t remember the first QSO but I do remember that I had a hart rate of 160! I only managed to run for 15 min, after those 15 minutes the adrenalin wore of ;-)

I know for a fact that you will get another buzz from this QSO when you receive your first DX QSL card, that is, if the other opp will send you one.

73

Maarten
PD2R

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N5LRZ
Member

Posts: 0




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« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2008, 02:31:27 AM »

If you want to make your vertical more efficient you should increase your ground field by adding MORE ground radials.

Ground mounted verticals work against the ground and or ground field and become more efficient as you increase the number of ground radials.  Run as many ground radials as you can/full quarter wave lengths if possible equally spaced out in a circle.

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WA3SKN
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Posts: 5496




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« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2008, 04:25:27 AM »

Congratulations!
Now keep working them til you decide to change antennas!
73s.

-Mike.
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KB9CRY
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Posts: 4283


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« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2008, 06:14:32 AM »

What's your radial system like?  You need a properly installed one to make the vertical work well.

An amplifier will also help a lot.
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WW5AA
Member

Posts: 2086




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« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2008, 07:57:00 AM »

What sucks is folks that do not know how to set up a vertical or expect a lot when it is set up in the middle of their junk yard without radials. Only fools say that "verticals radiate poorly in all directions".

73 de Lindy
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N5LRZ
Member

Posts: 0




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« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2008, 09:04:17 AM »

RE AA

Tis true what you say.  A ground mounted vertical is a very nice antenna for what it is provided that one has put into place an adequate ground field--64 quarter wave length ground radials or so--to work against.

Unfortunately most people do not put down any ground rdials or just a mere few ground radials.

BUT most importantly, most people look at their ground mounted vertical and make the big mistake of making comparisons to a well constructed and installed tribander tending to discourage them.  Then when their properly functioning ground mounted vertical cannot hear that DX station as well as a tribander at 100 plus feet they get all down on their antenna.

GUYS...its a QUARTER WAVE with almost NO GAIN.  Do not expect any vast miracle when using a ground mounted vertical.  It is a 'Good' antenna, not a great antenna.
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W7ETA
Member

Posts: 2527




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« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2008, 09:09:10 AM »

I still remember my first DX Q, G3AWR.
I was using a 5/8 wave length CB ground plane antenna thru a transmatch on 15 meters.

Fortunately for me, when I got my Novice ticket, we were near a sunspot peak.  So, at times, just about anything worked as an HF antenna on 15.

73
Bob
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NS5M
Member

Posts: 196




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« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2008, 10:19:48 AM »

Note 1 to HQX: Congratulations! Keep on working them and have a ball!

Note 2 to LRZ: For a ground-mounted vertical, radials need not be tuned to a specific length nor even be of uniform length (the ground itself wil detune them). Your suggestion of 64 is certainly reasonable, much over that will probably suffer dimninishing returns (pun intended) per dollar spent/foot of wire/effort to install.

73 to all,
Jim N5VT



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