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Author Topic: HF verticals, recommendations  (Read 5012 times)
W7HBP
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Posts: 164




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« on: September 11, 2012, 02:08:07 PM »

OK, I'm wanting to get my HF base set up. I do plan on a 50 foot tower, yagi etc, but will require permitting etc and it wil take a little more time and I'm ready to TX now. I would want to get a vertical to get going. I have a Icom IC-746. I will use the 2M and the 6M on different antennas, but would like to find an HF vertical antenna that can cover 10-20 (10, 12, 15, 17 and 20) meters, but having 40 and/or 80 meters would be great. 160 meters isnt high priority now. I have no issues with buying an antenna tuner (remote). I do not want to have to lower the antenna and adjust it for different bands. Once up, want all coverage. Anyone have suggestions, give me a brand and model #. I dont want to waste a lot of $$$ on trial and error.

Thanks.
Rick W7HBP
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K5LXP
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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2012, 02:31:16 PM »

Something that meets all your requirements is a Butternut HF-9V.  They've been around about 35 years so are far from trial and error.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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K2OWK
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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2012, 04:47:51 PM »

S9 31 foot from LDG Electronics. cost is $99.00 includes a 4 to 1 UNUN. With a proper tuner and radial system will cover 6 thru 40 meters. Read the Eham reviews on this one.

Hope this helps.

73s

K2OWK
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W7HBP
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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2012, 06:35:03 PM »

Thanks Mark and Barry. Just what I was after. Any other recommendations, be appreciated also.

Rick
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W8JX
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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2012, 06:41:15 PM »

Were it not for wanting 17 and 12 I would suggest a Hustler 5 BTV. I have used one for nearly 20 years and very sturdy antenna that is not fussy to tune/setup either. A 31 foot antenna feed with a unun will have a high radiation angle on 15 and above.
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All posted wireless using Win 8.1 RT, a Android tablet using 4G/LTE/WiFi or Sprint Note 3.
K3GC
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« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2012, 06:47:49 PM »

IMO the Stepper BigIR is the best vertical around.   The element length is adjusted to resonance for each frequency from 80-6m (with the 80m addon).  It is expensive but on t he other hand you will not need a tuner.
Gene KW4GC
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N4CR
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« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2012, 09:14:33 PM »

I like the Cushcraft R-8. The HyGain 640-AV is pretty much a knock of it for less $.
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73 de N4CR, Phil

We are Coulomb of Borg. Resistance is futile. Voltage, on the other hand, has potential.
KC7YE
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Posts: 95




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« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2012, 09:33:32 PM »

IC AH - 4 feeding S-9 type antenna. No brainer , just works

KC7YE
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LX2GT
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« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2012, 11:15:56 PM »

Elevated or ground mounting?

Elevated, I would look at Cushcraft R8, Hy-Gain AV-640, or even the new AV-680.

Ground mounted, Any trap vertical with a nice number of radials in the ground.
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W8JI
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« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2012, 03:19:12 AM »

Rick,

Asking a crowd to pick an antenna for you is not the best way to get the best antenna. What you get is what is popular at this moment of time, not necessarily what works best. The same is true for non-technical reviews, which are really just the same. They are popularity contests of what "feels good", almost always with no comparison to any sort of reference or understanding of how something actually works. "I bolted it together and it had low SWR through a tuner and I could work everything I could hear."

I can lay a wire across my floor, have a low SWR with a tuner, and work everything I can hear, or I can have a 100 foot tower and a huge Yagi and "work everything I can hear". That doesn't tell anyone anything.

The popular trend or fad today is to use a hunk of vertical conductor of some height like 31 or 43 feet, with a magic matching unun, and feed it with a tuner. This is mechanically and electrically very simple. Electrically, it is one of the worse performance compromises. It will "cover" any frequency (because it has an antenna tuner) and it will certainly make contacts, but a good trap vertical like a Hustler BTV type or Butternut will be far better for overall performance.

You really have to decide what you want to do, other than just get on the air and load something up on a lot of bands, to make the best choice for you.

If you gave me several hundred dollars, the last thing I would do is spend money on a vertical hunk of tubing of one length and pretend it was an all band antenna. I'd get a good no-gimmick trap vertical, like a Hygain Hytower, a BTV series, or a Butternut and put it over a reasonable ground system in the clear. The signal from that without a tuner would be stronger than any gimmick antenna around for the same price, although it would take a little more work.

If I wanted something fast and I already had a tuner, and I didn't care all that much about performance, I'd buy one of the 43 foot verticals.

73 Tom
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W5WSS
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« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2012, 03:27:13 AM »

The Hustler 6btv trap vertical is tunable apx,52 ohms per band  and does not require a tuner. the potential field strength is excellent when combined with a radial system.....I use a home made multi band vertical system and really want to emphasise that even though one can get away with omitting a good quality 1:1 current balun, it is wise in including one at the radials to antenna feedpoint junction that which insures proper common mode abatement and that is what helps quiet the reception.
A word about gain. What does it profit if only a small percentage of radiated field strength remains manifest at conducive angles real time? We can only diversify our antenna selection to better suit the variations of skywave....a trap vertical is an excellent addition.
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N8CMQ
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« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2012, 03:36:50 AM »

What Tom said.
Altho, I would have mentioned an extensive ground radial system for the trap vertical.
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K2MK
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Posts: 391




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« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2012, 03:58:28 AM »

Hi Rick,

The SteppIR BigIR is an excellent investment. Light weight, easy to put up and good SWR from band edge to band edge. When you finally get your tower installed the BigIR will still be an excellent performer on 80 through 30 meters. And it will be a backup antenna for 20 through 6 meters. Your tower antennas will probably not require a tuner and the BigIR certainly doesn't require a tuner. Not needing a tuner will make life easier if you later add an amplifier to your station.

73,
Mike K2MK
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W7HBP
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Posts: 164




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« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2012, 07:40:11 AM »

All great info. I have been into radio for years, but just 7 months ago, was just a "tech" vs "amateur extra" now. This is the exact info I am after. All this info would take me a few years to compile by trial and error and lots of $$$. I did buy ther ARRL antenna handbook, but want to hear first hand expereinces and opinions. I wont tackle a tower now, winter is upon us (coming) and would like to get on the air soon. 10, 15 and 20 meters is really my priority (12 and 17 meter is low priority). I will mount it above my roof on a mast.  I do want to use my 2 meter and 6 meter from my Icom 746 at home for local and some 6 meter DX.

I can expand to the 30 40 and 80 meter band with the tower later.

73 and thanks for all the great info. Keep it coming.
Rick W7HBP
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20567




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« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2012, 10:12:52 AM »

"Got any trees?" Wink

A dipole, trap dipole or parallel dipole can often outperform a much more complex vertical, and if you have fairly tall trees to support it, can cost a whole lot less, too.
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