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Author Topic: Monoband Yagi's Rule!  (Read 7851 times)
K0RS
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« Reply #30 on: August 10, 2012, 09:32:54 AM »

Twenty-five years ago (I think it was) the guy at the top of the Honor Roll in most countries worked was a W1 (anyone remember who that was?). Anyway, I was always struck that he only had one antenna, a 20M monobander. His saying was that "all dx comes to 20M".

W1GKK.  He also said "Working DX is just a matter of being there."
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KY6R
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« Reply #31 on: August 10, 2012, 10:42:03 AM »

Twenty-five years ago (I think it was) the guy at the top of the Honor Roll in most countries worked was a W1 (anyone remember who that was?). Anyway, I was always struck that he only had one antenna, a 20M monobander. His saying was that "all dx comes to 20M".

W1GKK.  He also said "Working DX is just a matter of being there."

I've had two serious DX-ing goals - Honor Roll and 9BDXCC. I agree with W1GKK - if what you want is Honor Roll and #1 HR, then a killer 20M mono bander makes total sense. It must be really cool to command one band - hi hi. I've been a little pistol on most bands  . . . . too many compromises in the antenna farm . . . .

I had fun playing with antennas for the 8BDXCC that I have (I did it in 3 years) - and learned a lot, but these days I actually just want to get HR done (I'm 3 away and expect to earn it in 13 years total) and want to get more serious about 160M DXCC (I'm at 30 now - just goofing around). I will attack #1 HR in due time - whenever it happens, but I was in a hurry with HR. Like W1GKK said - it will happen when it happens - and when you are "there". Just when I think I can't work some part of the world - then it happens - and in some cases, once in 10 years. I chased ZS8 for 3 years and E4 for 3 years before working them easily - which was almost eerie. Same thing for Iran - one fine day - it just happened. I used to be frustrated when others near me said they worked them "easily" . . . and I couldn't even hear them. Then when I did work them it was also "easy".

So - for me, one great mono bander on a high band (20M or 17M is fine) - and a decent 160M setup is all I really need. But that's just because of where I am at goal wise - not something I'd suggest for everyone. . . it all depends on your goals. I've compromised with small multi-band antennas for 11 years now - so that's why I am so drawn to a full sized 20 and 17M mono bander on the high bands. Others may not understand this motivation. My small lot means I can't go for that 40' monoband 20M yagi (it would bang into the neighbors trees), so a full sized optimized 3 element 24' boom yagi would be killer. I already have a great 17M monoband yagi - and it was the most fun designing and building of any antenna I have ever owned. Nothing else comes close.

WA2VUY - I'm also a cyclist and DX-er, originally WA2QHN from Newton, NJ. I wasn't into DX-ing back in the 70's, just got into DX-ing in 2001. I know Long Valley well - very nice place.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2012, 11:00:54 AM by KY6R » Logged
W6GX
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« Reply #32 on: August 10, 2012, 12:42:57 PM »

Something you could consider building is a three-band interlaced yagi on a 24' boom.  See the attached link.  Only two elements on 17m but due to the wide spacing of the elements the gain should be even better than your three element monobander on a short boom.  Never underestimate a properly designed two element trapless yagi.  A three element 20m monobander on a 24' boom will delight you if you haven't experienced it.  It's the most fun you could have with your clothes on  Wink  Four elements on 15m is just icing on the cake.

When you have the time you could model a two element wide spaced yagi for 17m and let me know how it compares to your three element on a short boom.

I'm also an avid cyclist.  When I'm not DX'ing you could find me riding my Fuji Altamira, Santana Team Scandium, or Breezer 29' hardtail.

http://www.texasantennas.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=70&Itemid=87

73,
Jonathan W6GX
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KY6R
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« Reply #33 on: August 10, 2012, 01:38:18 PM »

Something you could consider building is a three-band interlaced yagi on a 24' boom.  See the attached link.  Only two elements on 17m but due to the wide spacing of the elements the gain should be even better than your three element monobander on a short boom.  Never underestimate a properly designed two element trapless yagi.  A three element 20m monobander on a 24' boom will delight you if you haven't experienced it.  It's the most fun you could have with your clothes on  Wink  Four elements on 15m is just icing on the cake.

When you have the time you could model a two element wide spaced yagi for 17m and let me know how it compares to your three element on a short boom.

I'm also an avid cyclist.  When I'm not DX'ing you could find me riding my Fuji Altamira, Santana Team Scandium, or Breezer 29' hardtail.

http://www.texasantennas.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=70&Itemid=87

73,
Jonathan W6GX

I live about 3 hours away from N6BT and where Force-12 used to be. I tried to meet with Tom - but he never answered any of my emails. His designs are killer, and I wish they were still in Paso Robles.

Very cool ideas - I have designed a 3 element 24' boom 20M monobander - but am also toying with a really weird idea - a nested 30/17M Moxon with a 20M 2 or 3 element yagi interlaced on a 24' or so boom. Monobanders are much easier to design and feed - hi hi. Its a load of fun. Optibeam has done some very cool Moxon / Yagi combo's - and Tom has figured out the feed system - that's the ultimate trick - and where I am at a loss.

I ride a Cannondale R5000 on the road, CX-9 Cyclocross and Scalpel in the hills. I ride the legendary Mt. Tam in Marin, and Wilder and Nicene Marks in Santa Cruz - occasionally. I mostly am trying to sprint 20 miles a day - 5 times a week to build endurance and loose the weight I put on sitting in front of the dang radio. I used to ride centuries and commute 160 miles a week up and over Tilden from Lafayette to Berkeley.

But then I got old(er). And slower.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2012, 02:06:30 PM by KY6R » Logged
W6GX
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« Reply #34 on: August 11, 2012, 12:22:11 PM »

Do you have Tom's book?  It's a nice read.  I have a F12 D-240 but I really haven't used it too much to say how it performs.  I could only say it doesn't interact with my tribander which is the main reason why I acquired it.

73,
Jonathan W6GX
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #35 on: August 11, 2012, 01:42:44 PM »

The "just focus on 20m" strategy is fine if you're certain you'll be satisfied by working them all on one band.

When you get above 270 counters towards whatever DXCC award(s) you're chasing, however, the new ones become fewer and far between. What's a DXer to do? Start on a new award! Ops pursuing mixed Honor Roll begin chasing 5-band DXCC, and then multi-band Honor Roll, and ultimately the DXCC Challenge. So while that 20m monobander will get you going, you'll soon wish you had multiple-band beams and low-band verticals in the air when 7O6T, HK0NA, 9M0L, etc. were available on the bands you're now chasing.

The sooner you recognize that one band likely won't satisfy you, the less forehead-thumping you'll be doing down the road.

     73,

          Dave, AA6YQ

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AF3Y
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« Reply #36 on: August 11, 2012, 02:22:23 PM »

The "just focus on 20m" strategy is fine if you're certain you'll be satisfied by working them all on one band.

When you get above 270 counters towards whatever DXCC award(s) you're chasing, however, the new ones become fewer and far between. What's a DXer to do? Start on a new award! Ops pursuing mixed Honor Roll begin chasing 5-band DXCC, and then multi-band Honor Roll, and ultimately the DXCC Challenge. So while that 20m monobander will get you going, you'll soon wish you had multiple-band beams and low-band verticals in the air when 7O6T, HK0NA, 9M0L, etc. were available on the bands you're now chasing.

The sooner you recognize that one band likely won't satisfy you, the less forehead-thumping you'll be doing down the road.

     73,

          Dave, AA6YQ



You have hit the nail on the head, Dave. You Gotta be able to work the other bands when the only band you can work, antenna wise, is in the crapper Roll Eyes. 73, Gene AF3Y
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KY6R
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« Reply #37 on: August 11, 2012, 03:04:41 PM »

With a great 160 - 30m lowband antenna, killer monobanders on 20 and 17 I'll have everything I need.

I already have 8BDXCC and am 3 away from Honor Roll.

After 160M DXCC I don't want to chase awards anymore.

To each own. My award will be swapping antennas in and out that I design myself and pushing the performance limits.

rich
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W2IRT
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« Reply #38 on: August 11, 2012, 03:19:12 PM »

Do you have Tom's book?  It's a nice read.  I have a F12 D-240 but I really haven't used it too much to say how it performs.  I could only say it doesn't interact with my tribander which is the main reason why I acquired it.

I have a Delta 240 up at 75' and it obliterates the competition who aren't using a yagi or quad. I've run in CQWW and ARRL-DX on 40 with that puppy and 1500W. Not as good as a full-size or 85%-sized 3-element yagi but it does the job beautifully for what it is. It's sitting 3' above my C31XR and 5 or 6' below my 2/2/1 WARC antenna.
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Night gathers and now my watch begins. It shall not end until I reach Top of the Honor Roll.
WS3N
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« Reply #39 on: August 11, 2012, 03:44:25 PM »

When you get above 270 counters towards whatever DXCC award(s) you're chasing, however, the new ones become fewer and far between. What's a DXer to do?

I'd say the lower bands, especially 160, offer something interesting - a qualitatively different challenge. On the other hand, working the same entities on the other higher bands is just more of the same.

I'm curious, does anyone who frequents this board spend time doing anything other than HF DXing? I know a few design and build antennas. What about building hardware or writing software, say for something like SDR or phasing multiple receivers? Or microwaves? Or EME?
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KY6R
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« Reply #40 on: August 11, 2012, 04:41:49 PM »

When you get above 270 counters towards whatever DXCC award(s) you're chasing, however, the new ones become fewer and far between. What's a DXer to do?

I'd say the lower bands, especially 160, offer something interesting - a qualitatively different challenge. On the other hand, working the same entities on the other higher bands is just more of the same.

I'm curious, does anyone who frequents this board spend time doing anything other than HF DXing? I know a few design and build antennas. What about building hardware or writing software, say for something like SDR or phasing multiple receivers? Or microwaves? Or EME?

I was seriously into QRP at one phase and built the HW-7,8,9, the SST and the Elecraft K1 and KX1. I used to go back packing in the Sierra's every year and brought along a little rig and a key and some wire. Lots of fun.

I also have played around with dual diversity reception - and its a lot of fun.

I wrote a Perl program that grabs data from a few different sources and attempts to see if there is a propagation path open that a DX-pedition might be missing. The biggest problem is getting quality data points - and enough of them to then make any real sense out of the data. I'm about to give up on that effort because I can just use three or four sources visually and get the picture way faster than trying to analyze data. That, and I am not a mathematician - hi hi.

I get up every morning very early and am a low band guy. I listen more than anything else, and find 160M the most intriguing of any band. I feel that DXCC on 160M is easily as impressive as Honor Roll, maybe more. Its not easy, but its highly addictive. On any day - something magical truly can happen and happen in just minutes. The grey line on any low band - with a cup of Java is king for me - the high bands don't offer anything near the excitement for me.

8BDXCC was a really cool award - because it forced me to build a really great antenna on 80M. All of the higher bands were easy - didn't have to think or do much. 80M DXCC was way harder than any of the other bands - but I did snag it in 2 seasons. Now 80M DX-ing is easy for me.

DXCC Challenge is only something I do to fill in the time between ATNO's - hi hi. It does keep me on the air - so its good in that regard, but I agree - filling in slots of entities I've already worked is one step better than watching the grass grow. But to each his or her own - YMMV.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2012, 05:10:03 PM by KY6R » Logged
K0RS
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« Reply #41 on: August 11, 2012, 05:13:52 PM »

A lot has changed since the big gun DXers only had to concentrate on 20m.  The advent of the WARC bands and ARRL's multiband DXCC award got DXers thinking about other bands in a big way.  Used to be 20 was the money band.  That's where the DX and DXpeditions showed up and that was the only place DXers worried about working them.  15m wasn't authorized for CW until 1952 and phone in '53.  Many amateurs were slow to move to 15 just as many were slow to adopt the WARC bands.  10 was something of a novelty, frequently closed and considered by many as a VHF band in the old days.  Sunspot cycle 19, peaking in 1959, got many DXers thinking differently about the higher frequencies as did equipment that worked better and more reliably on those bands.  It's also worth remembering that Yagi antennas weren't in wide spread use until the early 1960's.  Even then they were poorly understood and not often homebrewed.  No computer optimization programs then!

Now it's crazy not to utilize those frequencies as DX signals are often stronger on 17, 15 or even 10m.  Yes, for you guys that haven't had any expience with 10 when solar conditions are good, it does happen.

The lower frequencies were generally considered "local" bands until hams started experimenting with antennas to qualify for 5BDXCC.  Many thought DX was impossible on 80 and 160.  160 also suffered from limitations and restrictions due to LORAN allocations that are absent today.  160m propagation is also much better understood now.  Amazing as it may seem, 160 used to be the band of choice for local low power mobile operation...with all the challenges that implies.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2012, 05:16:25 PM by K0RS » Logged
AA6YQ
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« Reply #42 on: August 11, 2012, 07:45:02 PM »

When you get above 270 counters towards whatever DXCC award(s) you're chasing, however, the new ones become fewer and far between. What's a DXer to do?

I'd say the lower bands, especially 160, offer something interesting - a qualitatively different challenge. On the other hand, working the same entities on the other higher bands is just more of the same.

I'm curious, does anyone who frequents this board spend time doing anything other than HF DXing? I know a few design and build antennas. What about building hardware or writing software, say for something like SDR or phasing multiple receivers? Or microwaves? Or EME?

I am the author of DXLab, an interoperating suite of free applications that provide Better DXing through Software.
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WS3N
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« Reply #43 on: August 11, 2012, 08:23:40 PM »

When you get above 270 counters towards whatever DXCC award(s) you're chasing, however, the new ones become fewer and far between. What's a DXer to do?

I'd say the lower bands, especially 160, offer something interesting - a qualitatively different challenge. On the other hand, working the same entities on the other higher bands is just more of the same.

I'm curious, does anyone who frequents this board spend time doing anything other than HF DXing? I know a few design and build antennas. What about building hardware or writing software, say for something like SDR or phasing multiple receivers? Or microwaves? Or EME?

I am the author of DXLab, an interoperating suite of free applications that provide Better DXing through Software.

Yes, I know. I am one of your happy users and I thank you very much. Most days the only thing I touch on the radio is the on/off switch. Who needs knobs?
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