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Author Topic: Only One H.F. Antenna?  (Read 6644 times)
KE0Q
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Posts: 19




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« on: April 25, 2012, 11:30:15 PM »

If you could only have one HF Antenna on a fairly small lot (enough room for a moderate sized radial field), what antenna would you put up?  And why?
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2E0GBQ
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Posts: 5




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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2012, 11:45:18 PM »

id have a cobweb up 5 dipoles in a small area and it does the job,but on the other hand a full size yagi to annoy the neighbour who reported mr for my beam 3 years ago
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ONAIR
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Posts: 1744




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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2012, 12:45:47 AM »

An S9 antenna!  Great bang for the buck.
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KA1MDA
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Posts: 543




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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2012, 02:00:54 AM »

I'd put up a Hustler 6BTV vertical and add the DX Engineering tilt base and 17 Meter add on kit (and possibly the 12 Meter add on as well). The BTV series antennas are some of the lowest priced HF verticals out there, and they perform quite well. You just cant beat the performance/price ratio on these things. I installed one 5 years ago, which I bought second hand for $75, and couldn't be happier.

Tom. KA1MDA
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K2MK
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Posts: 400




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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2012, 04:10:59 AM »

If cost is not an issue then I would recommend the SteppIR BigIR vertical with the optional 80 meter coil. Fairly low visual profile and band edge to band edge operation with low SWR on all ten bands from 80 to 6 meters. Full legal limit rating on all bands. No antenna tuner required. The transceiver tracking option makes operation fully automatic otherwise some minimal button pushing on the SteppIR controller is required.

73,
Mike K2MK
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AC4RD
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Posts: 1235




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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2012, 04:12:07 AM »

A simple wire doublet fed with twinlead. 
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KC7YE
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Posts: 97




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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2012, 07:06:33 AM »

My 5BTV is used for portable ops while snowbirding. Does the job. Didn't have WRAC band rig until this winter, would have bought 6 BTV /w add ons if I did at the time. Never have had problem with park rangers, landlords or XYL.
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N2EY
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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2012, 07:11:09 AM »

It would depend on how big the lot is, the availability of supports, and what band(s) I wanted to work.

If there was enough room, and suitable supports, I'd go with a simple center-fed wire dipole, fed with real open-wire line (not twin-lead, not window-line) and a real balanced LC tuner. Half wave long on the lowest band of interest, center as high as possible.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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W0BTU
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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2012, 08:05:31 AM »

If there was enough room, and suitable supports, I'd go with a simple center-fed wire dipole, fed with real open-wire line (not twin-lead, not window-line) and a real balanced LC tuner. Half wave long on the lowest band of interest, center as high as possible.

Absolutely! That is EXCELLENT advice. That's what I (and countless other hams) have found.

We've done this for years at several places I've lived. Usually, the dipole was an inverted-V. Sometimes high and sometimes only 30' high We've compared it to other antennas, and that is absolutely the best general-purpose all-band HF antenna there is.

Here's some photos of our link-coupled balanced antenna tuner, and a schematic: http://www.w0btu.com/files/antenna/Balanced_antenna_tuner/

I am presently using window line on my dipole. But the 2" spaced homebrew open-wire line I used at a previous QTH didn't flap around in the wind like the window lines does. Whatever you use to feed it, you can tension it with springs or weights if you like.
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AA5TB
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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2012, 08:31:16 AM »

KE0Q,

Everyone will have different opinions and they're all good so I thought I'd just tell you want I've done.  I live in a city with severe HOA antenna restrictions but I negotiated to have the antenna that I have before I bought my house.

My main antenna is an Inverted-L fed with an SGC SG-237 autotuner.  The antenna is a half wave on 40 m.  It is roughly 20 feet vertical and 40 feet horizontal supported by my chimney on one end and tree on the other end. 

I use it on 160 m through 6 m.  It is efficient on 40 m and I have very good success with it on that band. On 80 m it is a full quarter wave and it does well there although it would greatly benefit from a radial field.  The situation is even worse on 160 m with an estimated gain of -12 dBi.  However, I've won several contesting awards on 160 m with it.  The higher I go in frequency the more lobes it has and it is anyone's guess as to where the signal with go.  In most cases a simple dipole will outperform it above 20 m.  If the inverted-L doesn't snag the DX station I've been known to throw a dipole up in a tree real quick for the given band.  I'm using 100 feet of buried RG-213 to feed it but since the coax is always operating in a matched condition the losses are the same as in the spec sheet.

Bottom line is that it works to my satisfaction given the circumstances. I usually operate CW at QRP levels and occassionally at 100 W and I have no problems having ragchews, DXing, or contesting.  I still experiment with lots of other antennas but the inverted-L is my main antenna.

As a bonus my inverted-L is about the only antenna (short of dedicated VLF loops, etc.) I've had that offers good reception at VLF too which is another thing I like to do.
 
Just as a personal observation, over the years I have found that my apparent antenna performance is directly proportional to my CW proficiency. :-)

73,
Steve - AA5TB
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W0BTU
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« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2012, 08:38:27 AM »

If you like 160, the inverted-L is almost always a better choice than any dipole, yes. That's also been my experience. Very few --if any-- of the 160 contesters with the highest scores use dipoles.

The exception might be if the dipole were 300' high. :-)
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W0BTU
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« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2012, 11:03:05 AM »

Another antenna that will cover some HF bands that you may want to consider is the G5RV or ZS6BKW.

There's lots of info and several good links on http://www.w0btu.com/g5rv_antenna.html. There's also an alternative design there to either antenna that we modeled and successfully tested.

But feeding a dipole with balanced line all the way to a balanced tuner is still my first recommendation for an 80 through 10 meter antenna. G5RV himself recommended that.
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W3TTT
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Posts: 30




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« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2012, 01:16:01 PM »

80 meter vertical with raised radials.  The vertical part is just a wire into the tallest tree.  The radials stand over the ground attached to pvc pipes.  I have two radials.  Think of it as a dipole with one end going up and two other ends over ground.
I use a tuner and can tune up any band nicely.  The low angle of radiation is good for DX
Joe W3TTT
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W0BTU
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« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2012, 01:23:37 PM »

80 meter vertical with raised radials.  ...  The low angle of radiation is good for DX

Not a bad suggestion at all, Joe.  Smiley   I had a 40 meter vertical and a 160 meter inverted-L like that.

It depends on what the OP wants; he didn't say which HF bands he is interested in. You can be loud in the USA, or you can be loud over the big pond. But it's hard to be loud in both places at once with a single antenna.

My ~35' high inverted-V dipole works far better than the vertical in most of the USA and Canada; but the vertical beats the dipole outside North America.

Better to have both, and the ability to instantly switch between them.
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KH6DC
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Posts: 645




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« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2012, 04:26:23 PM »

2nd the motion for a SteppIR BigIR with 80m coil option.  I get flat swr across the band since it tracks the frequency of your rig.  Unfortunately, I may have to sell mine when I move to a HOA community this summer and is trying Tom Shiller's N6BT Bravo 5K remote vertical which has a lower profile.  I may try to disguise the BigIR as a flagpole.
Good luck and 73,

Delwyn KH6DC
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73 and Aloha,
de Delwyn, KH6DC
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