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Author Topic: Gap Mono band vertical advice  (Read 4245 times)
K2TPZ
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Posts: 45




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« on: January 22, 2012, 08:19:08 AM »

Living in an antenna restricted typical Baltimore Row House I'm looking at the Gap Mono band vertical (they don't require a large radial field; only 3 counterpoises) as an antenna solution. I am currently using a variety of wire antennas stuffed here and there and almost everywhere. I'm doing okay with what I have but I haven't tried a vertical yet.

Anyone have any experience with the Gap mono-bands? I know they are vertical/dipoles and operate somewhat differently than other verticals. But does their performance justify the costs? I'd appreciate any comments from folks using the mono bands from Gap. Thanks in advance and 73, Mike K2TPZ. 
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W8JX
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2012, 09:03:21 AM »

Why not just use a multiband trapped vertical. They do not require a zillion radials like some will claim. Nor do they have to be a resonant length is a ground mount. A single band Gap would be pretty restrictive. I have been using a Hustler 5BTV multiband vertical trap here for many years and it gets out. Sure it could be better but it does okay. Works great on 40.
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AI8P
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2012, 12:02:09 PM »

Why a monoband - I have been using the multi-band Gap Titan DX for several years with excellent results.   It requires ZERO radials, as it is a collection of vertical dipoles.  23 ft high or so but not very big - the 40M loop at the bottom is the biggest part of it, but it can be put up virtually anywhere.

Dennis
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KB4QAA
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2012, 04:03:23 PM »

Frankly, I didn't even know they made monobanders.... Their other products are decent quality and performance.

The monobanders are less obtrusive.

What band do you want?   The 20m is definitely is definitely short at 16ft.  If you want 40m, consider the Titan, and Eagle, since they are actually shorter than the 40m mono.

For personal use I would spend time improving the weather resistance an longevity of the product by replacing crimp connectors, soldering and using heat shrink and using anti-oxidant grease on fitting and connections.

The mono's are probably simple, but sometimes the Gap instruction sheets are a bit cryptic and printed small.  Don't get in a hurry.  lay out all the parts and take your time fitting things together.

The Gap products fill niche for those who don't have room for full size antennas.
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K2TPZ
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2012, 04:25:41 PM »

Thanks for all the input. I'm looking at the 40 -meter mono bander. I spend most of my operating time on 40. I thought the 40 meter mono with its height would be a great performer.  I'm looking for anyone that has used this vertical.
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W8JX
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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2012, 06:18:44 PM »

Thanks for all the input. I'm looking at the 40 -meter mono bander. I spend most of my operating time on 40. I thought the 40 meter mono with its height would be a great performer.  I'm looking for anyone that has used this vertical.

I think you will find the Hustler 4 BTV a better value and likely cheaper too. It is a very sturdy design and it works well on 40. The 4BTV and 5BTV has a capacitive top hat that helps its performance on 40 (and 80 on 5BTV). The monobander is less than full size needed for band and only advantage it has over a multiband one is if you phase a few of them.
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K2TPZ
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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2012, 11:12:14 PM »

Thanks again for the replies. I agree the Hustler is more cost-effective and the Gap Titan would give me more bands to operate. But what I am asking is if anyone has used these mono-gaps and what they thought about them. I've read the reviews but I was looking for a little more input.

The mono-gaps would fit in esthetically better in my yard and not needing but three counterpoises is a real enticement for me. The configuration of the Titan (or the Challenger) wouldn't cut it (not dainty enough for my neighborhood). The 6BTV is just a big pole, which would work. But not having room for even a halfway decent radial field would be too much of a compromise antenna for me.

If anyone has used the mono-gap, please give me your opinion. Thanks in advance.
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W8JX
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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2012, 05:02:26 AM »

The 6BTV is just a big pole, which would work. But not having room for even a halfway decent radial field would be too much of a compromise antenna for me.

Again the need for a massive radial field is over stated and if you feel you need a mile of radial to make a vertical work this is not true. What every you can fit in length and quanity would be just fine. Also I would advise against a 6BTV because they remove the capacitive top hat to add 30m to it and the hat seems to help a lot on 40 and 80.  Some do not believe I do as well as I do with none at all and with just a 7 foot fence pole driven 6 feet into ground. 

Getting back to monobander. I still question the logic of it as a single antenna because it offers no performance advantage over a trapped/multiband vertical and would only cover one band too. Other must share this view given lack of feedback on it.  I can see using more than one of these in a phased array though as a multiband vertical would be a poor choice for a phased array. .
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K1WJ
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« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2012, 07:27:22 AM »

The reviews of the Mono Gaps here on eham seem decent.

That might be your best indicator - it appears that some operators have had some luck running more than 1 band on them, as stated in the reviews. I'm sure if you got one it would work fine for the designed band & maybe more.
Keep in mind with a Hustler 4-Btv - you can ground mount it & put as many radials as you want - if you only want 3 - just put 3.
Also this antenna is easy to mods for 12 & 17m - & both would be a full 1/4wave.
I had a Hustler 4BTV with 32 ground radials modified it for 12 & 17M - so had 10M/12M/15/17/20 &40M - total cost antenna with 12/17 modification & radials = Less than $160.
Keep in mind ground mounted, you can use radials where & lengths that fit your situation.
If you get a Mono Gap for what ever reason - "they look cool" Cool - it will work fine.

73 K1WJ David
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W8JI
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« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2012, 11:17:23 AM »

The reviews of the Mono Gaps here on eham seem decent.

eHam reviews never reflect actual performance. They are like asking a Ford driver how he likes his Ford, or a GM driver how he likes his GM.

If you look at a real review, where the antenna is compared to other antennas, the Gap vertical is OK on some bands and terrible on others.

If you look at QST's review, where they compared a Gap to a multband trap vertical, the multi band trap vertical won.

I had a Gap vertical in the 90's, and a 6BTV was equal on the Gap's best bands and blew the Gap away on some bands. The Gap was 10 dB down from a cheap MFJ 80-40 vertical on 80 meters, and 5 dB down on 40!

You might get a copy of K7LXC and N0AX book about HF Vertical comparisons, and look at performance. For 40-10 meter avarage gain, the only antenna worse than the Gap is the MFJ-1798.

For 80-40 average gain, the Gap is -11.2 dB, or 6 dB worse than a 6BTV.

For 20 on up the Gap isn't so bad, but on lower bands it isn't good. Both QST and the HF Vertical Comparison bear this out.

Be very cautious of any lower band HF vertical that claims no ground is required.

73 Tom
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K2TPZ
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« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2012, 12:16:56 PM »

Great responses. You've all given me a good deal to think about.

At this point I'm going to take a second look at the Hustler verticals on the DXE site. If a fantastic radial field is not essential, cost-wise and useful band wise, this is probably the way to go.

Again, thanks for your input, especially the comparisons which I was not aware.

73,
Mike
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KB4QAA
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« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2012, 04:14:04 PM »

Mike, there is not perfect antenna and no perfect installation.

If a monobander fits your needs that fine.  Note that the Gaps use a single length of coax as the counterpoise.

If a multibander is desired several choices have been suggested.  If you  use one of them and are able to only put out a single wire counterpoise you are no worse off than the Gap monobanders, and better off because of the ability to, however marginally better, tune up on several other bands.

bill
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