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Author Topic: Best Screwdriver Antenna for Ground Mount AZ HOA?  (Read 10543 times)

Posts: 530

« on: February 29, 2012, 07:26:51 AM »

Opinions on best screwdriver antenna for 40 & 80M? - would most likely ground mount in back yard with 16 ground radials +-.

Best value for cost? Manual tune is fine with me. Would also like one with longer whip, at least 8ft.

Thanks for the input......73 David K1WJ

Posts: 221

« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2012, 12:16:27 PM »

Take a look at Scorpion Antennas.  They're made near you by Ron Douglas, NI7J, in Phoenix.  I'm sure Ron will be glad to answer all your questions and even give you a tour of his shop.  They're great antennas!

Check the reviews here on eHam.

73, Alan N5NA

Posts: 7718

« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2012, 12:23:12 PM »

I like my Tarheel 200. I'd also think about the Tarheel 100.

It's ground mounted with 90 radials covering a 25 x 50 feet grass yard. I use whips from 3 to 24 feet to depending on the time of day. At night the 24 footer goes on and it's a real DX antenna on 40 and 80 meters breaking pileups. On 160 meters with 1200 watts it does a good job too.

To match it a DX Engineering matching transformer does the job and is set to the 12.5 or 25 ohm setting for the low bands and straight through on the higher bands. The VSWR is below 1.5:1 on all bands and the ALS-1300 solid state amp is happy.

The Tarheel has a 4" x 4" vinyl fence post over it with a bird house near the top.

Posts: 3746

« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2012, 06:44:31 PM »


I like that stealth idea, I think I will try that.
I have a used Tarheel Jr that I repaired.

73 james

I like my Tarheel 200. I'd also think about the Tarheel 100.

The Tarheel has a 4" x 4" vinyl fence post over it with a bird house near the top.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2012, 07:59:07 PM by KE4DRN » Logged

Posts: 114

« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2012, 10:25:56 PM »

Just worked a Ham in Round rock, Texas using a  Tarheel 200 with a bunch of radials. I was mobile on 20 meters and he had a great signal.
My opinion its not so much the maker of the screwdriver antenna, but how you install it. Remember, the counterpoise is the other half of ones
Antenna. You won’t hear much on one speaker wire will you !

Posts: 0

« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2012, 03:50:04 AM »

I would scrap the screwdriver route and check out flagpole antennas. Mount it where ever you want much higher and at least 10-20 times better preformance those kits work great and come with a remote tuner also.

I don't know of anywhere that they regulate against flying the US flag there would be big trouble if they did.

Posts: 1209


« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2012, 09:06:40 AM »

Do you have a tree available to suspend a thin wire from. If so, use any screwdriver antenna you want or even homebrew the adjusting coil portion and attach as long of a thin wire as you can to a tree limb. Use the screwdriver base as a remote tuner. Better yet just get a remote tuner and do the same thing. A bit pricey at almost $500 but still affordable is the SGC-230 auto tuner which, for 80-10M, will match as short as a 8 foot wire according to their website. MFJ makes the MFJ-927 autotuner but I think it spec's at needing a much longer wire. You will need to have radials for whatever configuration you choose to do. In a HOA environment, running decent radials may be the bigger issue since they will need to be at least 20' or more longer to be effective.

Another idea is if you don't have a tree, build yourself a metal tubing flagpole (16-20' tall - I think most HOZ will allow that), insulate the base from ground and feed it at the base using a similar setup of the autotuner. Depending on your soil type (AZ if like my ground in SoCAL Mojave Desert area is arid and not the best soil for verticals so I needed LOTS of radials to be effective - last count was 50 @ 40' avg length), you might get by as few as 8 radials but performance will be the test to see if more are needed.

Good Luck in the screwdriver arena. Lots of choices nowadays and some are quite pricey so that's why I throw in the autotuner idea. Might as well have a good antenna than just a make shift mobile as a fixed setup if possible. Whatever you do, go with the longest radiating element you can get by with. A ground mounted 'shorty' screwdriver might make contacts but won't be very effective at all as it is a serious compromise antenna to begin with. I went from a ATAS-100 to a full size screwdriver on my mobile and the difference was like between a dummy load and a yagi at 60'. I wouldn't waste my money or my time on a short (less than 4' screwdriver).

Gene W5DQ

Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp

Posts: 3591

« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2012, 10:13:30 AM »

I agree that a flagpole or even an artificial tree antenna, would probably give you better results.
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