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Author Topic: Best HF vertical  (Read 4145 times)
KG0DB
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Posts: 52




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« on: March 15, 2012, 08:02:09 PM »

At the risk of starting World War III, which vertical is recommended for a new QTH?  I have about a 250' run from the shack to the antenna.  I have new RG-213, but only 100' of it.  I'm thinking of ordering 250' of Bury Flex with the 259's already installed.  I mounted the 2" post in concrete today.  I'm going to order the DX radial plate in the morning.  I'll run 60 ground radials, on top of the ground, through dense under foilage and scrub oak.  I'm thinking that will take me at least two days.  The antenna will be sited on top of a hill with a relatively clear shot of the horizon in all directions.  I would like the option of running an SB-220 for additional power.  My favorite choice is the Zero Five, but I have misgivings about having to have a tuner in the shack.  Other options are the Butternut HF9V, Hustler 6BTV, GAP, DEX's 43 foot vertical also requiring a tuner and the 43' S-9 vertical, requiring a tuner.  I don't own, nor have ever operated an antenna analyzer.  If I can't find one to borrow, that represents an additional expense that I'll probably never use again.     
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N8TI
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Posts: 115




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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2012, 08:43:02 PM »

I bought my antenna analyzer 20 years ago. I use it every time I fool with an antenna. Sometimes that is ten times in a year, sometimes none. They are a good investment.

I think that the various multiband antennas that work without the need for a tuner are the way to go. Throw an amp on those and you will get through the pileups.

 I loved my Cushcraft R-7. The trap verticals do in fact work.

Joe
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K2MK
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Posts: 391




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« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2012, 04:16:07 AM »

I'm very happy with my five year old SteppIR BigIR vertical with the 80 meter coil option. Low SWR on every band from 80 through 6 meters (including 60 meters). Band edge to band edge, no tuner required. It ain't cheap but this is one of those situations in which you get what you pay for.

73,
Mike K2MK
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NA4IT
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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2012, 04:27:19 AM »

43 foot ground mounted vertical (wire or tubing) with radial field and something like the SGC tuner at the base of the antenna.

Never had one, but would love to have one!
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K3GM
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Posts: 1777




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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2012, 04:30:24 AM »

I too have a SteppIR BigIR with the 80m coil, and it works very nicely.  But if you're just starting out, I'd get a Hustler BTV series vertical.  They work well, are easy to put together, and it's easy to use after it's up.  The analyzer is a tool that you will use over and over.  It has many uses besides tuning antennas.  Your radial plan sounds good.
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WX7G
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Posts: 5977




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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2012, 04:38:51 AM »

Let's examine several antennas.

1) The Hygain Hytower is great but is out because the base arrangement does not fit.

2) Any of the 43' verticals will work http://www.eham.net/articles/21272 even with the tuner at the shack. And yes they work on 15 and 10 meters. See figures 12 and 13. So, with a shack mounted tuner it is down 6 dB on 80 meters due to line loss (if the tuner is at the shack) and down 5 dB on 10 meters due to the weak low angle radiation. You will need a 1.5 kW tuner.

3) The 6BTV is a good option. See my article in AntenneX. The short story is that it is 1-2 dB down from a monoband vertical on 40-10 meters and it is down 7 dB on 80 meters.

4) The Butternut is a good antenna.

5) The Stepper is great.

6) I would steer clear of the GAP antennas if I were planning to use an amplifier.


My recommendation the Hustler 6BTV. It is inexpensive ($189 at DX Engineering), works well and requires no tuner. Due to your excellent ground system (radials need be only 25' long) you might have to adjust a trap or two. This is made much easier if you get an MFJ-259 analyzer.






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KG4RUL
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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2012, 05:05:21 AM »

Flagpole antenna extended to 41' with an MFJ remote tuner at the base.
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W8JX
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Posts: 5655




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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2012, 06:26:50 AM »

If you go route of Hustler unless you really need 30m I would get 5BTV as it and 4BTV capacitive hat on it that is active on 40 on 4BTV and on 40 and 80 on 5BTV which helps it s some on those bands, The 6BTV replaces "hat"  with a 30m trap.
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KO7I
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Posts: 106




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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2012, 11:32:14 AM »

Placing the tuner at the feed point is the best option for a non resonant antenna.  You did not state how much power you intend to deliver to the antnna. There are several remote auto tuners on the market. Palstars web site indicates they are looking making an outdoor unit too. MFJ appears to be shipping a 1.5 kW remote tuner now. If you are 200W or less there are multitude of options available.
73 don ko7i
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KH6DC
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Posts: 639




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« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2012, 12:28:29 PM »

1. SteppIR BigIR w/80m coil - just because low swr throughout band.
2. Butternut HF6V - good all around antenna, little bit more efficient than the Hustler 6BTV.  Replaced it with the BigIR but reluctant to sell because I may put it up one day.
3. Hustler series, 5BTV, 6BTV, etc., good starter antenna, low profile with trap coils that do work.
4. Cushcraft R8 (Pre MFJ) - good antenna with elevated radials.  great antenna but needs to be elevated 10 ft.

Numbers 1-3 need a good ground radial system.

73 and GL,

Delwyn KH6DC
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73 and Aloha,
de Delwyn, KH6DC
KH6DC
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Posts: 639




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« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2012, 12:35:00 PM »

P.S.  Make no mistake but an antenna analyzer is a valuable tool you're going to need more than once.  It's indispensible along with your multimeter for determining faults in your antenna and feedline.  I had coax running through an existing 6" diameter abandoned conduit where rats ate part of the coax somewhere in the 15 ft portion of a 40 foot long conduit.  The antenna analyzer found the break exactly at 15 ft (25 from the shack).
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73 and Aloha,
de Delwyn, KH6DC
KG0DB
Member

Posts: 52




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« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2012, 03:08:48 PM »

Thanks for the good information.  I was hoping to run an SB-220 amp behind my FT-1000D.  I realize that a tuner at the base of the antenna is "the way to go", but legal limit tuners for exterior application are rare.  I'm aware the MFJ makes one and the price is reasonable.  Their reputation scares me to death.  I've never owned anything "MFJ".  Am I wrong on that one?  The reason that I didn't include the SteppIR on my original list is that it violates the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) premise.  As one old elmer (silent key) told me, "The more it moves the more it breaks."  Thoughts?HuhHuh
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W0DV
Member

Posts: 200




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« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2012, 05:24:34 PM »

I agree that an antenna analyzer proves to be very useful everytime there is antenna work.
I had an MFJ259b analyzer and it worked very well until I left it outside by accident, and there was a thunderstorm with heavy rain, ruined the analyzer. I plan to replace it.

I have used a ground mounted 6btv in my backyard for nearly 4 years. I have 35 radials buried around it, a tilt-over accessory, and coax adapter from DX engineering. I have been very pleased with this antenna. I have worked all states with 100 watts several times over on 15, 20, and 40 meters and have received scores of QSL cards from DX contacts. If conditions are good, it is a good antenna. However it is not a good 80 meter antenna.

I have a few MFJ items in my shack and have never had problems with them. MFJ sells a lot of equipment so there are bound to be more complaints.
I wouldn't worry about purchasing MFJ equipment.

73,
Dave
W0DV
« Last Edit: March 16, 2012, 05:28:50 PM by W0DV » Logged
ONAIR
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Posts: 1738




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« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2012, 05:55:24 PM »

S9 antennas get my vote!  Amazing performance at a reasonable price.
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