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Author Topic: New Antenna for DX-ing!  (Read 4328 times)
KY6R
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« on: October 23, 2012, 09:41:58 PM »

A year ago I replaced a home brewed 20M Moxon that was only up 30' with an A3S up 46'. 6 ATNO's have been the result - all of them quite rare. The A3S was only meant to tide me over until I could build a couple of killer mono banders - and I have built one and designed the other - and have the aluminum out back - already cut.

Luck struck and I found and bought a Force-12 C3 - which fits on my AB-952 perfectly and where I can get this up 55'. here's the best part - the cost is $150

I've looked at the C3 up 55' vs. the A3S up 45' - and there will be yet another big step up.

The 20M 4 element 24' boom yagi will have to wait until cycle 24 hits the skids in 4 years or more.
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W6GX
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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2012, 12:52:38 AM »

The C3 is 'only' a two-element yagi for the three bands.  BUT it's a trapless design with optimal element spacing for each band.  So the performance should be a step up from the A3S in terms of gain.  I want to know how it performs against the A3S.

The beam should also work on 17m and 12m with reduced performance (and reversed beam pattern).  Since there are no traps you could run high power on the WARC bands provided that you have a decent balun.  I assume you will still have your 17m monobander up so it might be moot to use the C3 on 17m.

$150 is a steal.

GL.

73,
Jonathan W6GX

A year ago I replaced a home brewed 20M Moxon that was only up 30' with an A3S up 46'. 6 ATNO's have been the result - all of them quite rare. The A3S was only meant to tide me over until I could build a couple of killer mono banders - and I have built one and designed the other - and have the aluminum out back - already cut.

Luck struck and I found and bought a Force-12 C3 - which fits on my AB-952 perfectly and where I can get this up 55'. here's the best part - the cost is $150

I've looked at the C3 up 55' vs. the A3S up 45' - and there will be yet another big step up.

The 20M 4 element 24' boom yagi will have to wait until cycle 24 hits the skids in 4 years or more.
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NU1O
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« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2012, 05:34:18 AM »

Good luck with the new antenna, Rich.  I know designing and building antennas is a passion of yours and I'm sure you we will see an improvement in your signal.  When you run enough tests I'd also be interested in what kind of difference you are seeing over the A3S.

I used an A3S for many years and worked many new ones with it. The problem was the flimsy traps could not handle full power from the Alpha 8410.

Jonathan, W6GX, spent a lot of time helping me select a new antenna and rotor and I basically copied his system less the 40 meter beam.  I'm now using a Bencher Skyhawk with an Orion 2800 rotor. There's an improvement over the A3S but tough to quantify w/o being able to do A/B tests. The best part is I can run the limit w/o burning out a trap.

I plan to spend the winter learning how to use EZNEC and seeing if I can create a 17 meter monobander from the A3S.

Good luck and very 73,

Chris/NU1O
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KY6R
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« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2012, 08:40:40 AM »

Good luck with the new antenna, Rich.  I know designing and building antennas is a passion of yours and I'm sure you we will see an improvement in your signal.  When you run enough tests I'd also be interested in what kind of difference you are seeing over the A3S.

I used an A3S for many years and worked many new ones with it. The problem was the flimsy traps could not handle full power from the Alpha 8410.

Jonathan, W6GX, spent a lot of time helping me select a new antenna and rotor and I basically copied his system less the 40 meter beam.  I'm now using a Bencher Skyhawk with an Orion 2800 rotor. There's an improvement over the A3S but tough to quantify w/o being able to do A/B tests. The best part is I can run the limit w/o burning out a trap.

I plan to spend the winter learning how to use EZNEC and seeing if I can create a 17 meter monobander from the A3S.

Good luck and very 73,

Chris/NU1O

Chris - if you want to keep the A3S traps - you can actually turn it into a 12/17M yagi:

http://home.mchsi.com/~hidexa/antenna.html

But if you don't want the traps - take the EZNec model for a 3 element yagi right out of the ARRL Antenna Book and tweak it to the aluminum in the A3S - and the few extra pieces of aluminum that you (might) have to purchase from some place like DX Engineering. You might get away with not having to purchase anything.

I actually have a really cool antenna idea in EZNec now - an idea that Tom, N6BT just gave me - stack two 2 element 20M yagi's or Moxon's at 45' and 70' and use something like the Array Solutions Stack Match II. This stack has the same effective gain as a 5 or 6 element mono band long boom yagi!

Because two Moxons would be featherweight (I would build them using Cabelas Crappie Fishing Poles and wire) - I could extend my AB-952 mast system to 70' - using an old 3" boom that I have. I already have 3 floating guy rings - and would rotate the whole shebang at the base.

HFTA says that such a stack will very seriously improve the weak signals on those long paths.

Too much antenna fun!
« Last Edit: October 24, 2012, 08:43:04 AM by KY6R » Logged
AJ4RW
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« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2012, 09:43:37 AM »

Rich, I think you'll be very pleased in the C3, great antenna.  I have a Force 12 Delta 4SXL (C3S +  2 ele on 40) and I love it but don't use it as much as I used to.  It runs a great SWR on 20, 15, and 10 meters and does tune for 17 but won't tune for 12 using my internal tuner in the quadra, I love 12.  Work a lot of dx on it though.
Randy
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W6GX
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« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2012, 09:47:20 AM »

It's illegal to stack two monobanders.  The ERP would exceed the minimum power required to make a contact.  Remember the DX code of conduct  Wink

I have been intrigued by stacking yagis ever since I read about it in Tom's book.  How to get it to work without a rotating tower is the problem.  I have seen some guys fix one yagi to Europe.  I have a retractable tower so that idea won't work.  Good luck.  Let us know how the C3 work.  You could also stack two C3's but you need something a lot stronger than a push up mast.

73,
Jonathan W6GX
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KY6R
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« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2012, 11:27:59 AM »

It's illegal to stack two monobanders.  The ERP would exceed the minimum power required to make a contact.  Remember the DX code of conduct  Wink

I have been intrigued by stacking yagis ever since I read about it in Tom's book.  How to get it to work without a rotating tower is the problem.  I have seen some guys fix one yagi to Europe.  I have a retractable tower so that idea won't work.  Good luck.  Let us know how the C3 work.  You could also stack two C3's but you need something a lot stronger than a push up mast.

73,
Jonathan W6GX

The AB-952 is far more robust than a push-up mast - its 4" in diameter (double or triple walled) with locking sections and a jack like "launcher" to crank up each locking section. Each 5' section is very robust and heavy for aluminum. But no - I wouldn't stack two C3's on it - that's for sure.

The biggest benefit - it rotates - and I have the floating guy rings.

Tom says that stacking just two 2 element yagi's at 70 and 45 feet will give me the same effective gain as a 5 or 6 element full sized yagi - 6+ dBd gain. A pair of stacked Moxons on 20M offer even better F/B - and here is the best part - using Cabella crappie poles on 2" booms gives me next to no wind load or weight.

I modeled it in EZNec - and the lobes that would appear with a single mono or multi-bander up anywhere above 35' are eliminated - its very impressive. A really nice surprise.

I should be able to re-use my little G450 rotator with a slip bearing at the base to turn such a lightweight stack on the AB-952.

I will have this up on the main tower - and the C3 on the second tower by the time ZL9HR hits the air!

(I needed something to do while "patiently" waiting . . .  Cheesy
« Last Edit: October 24, 2012, 11:44:30 AM by KY6R » Logged
NU1O
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« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2012, 01:03:36 PM »

I guess today is the day for stacked antenna stories.

I was on 10 meters this morning and I saw a huge signal on the Panadapter.  It turned out the ham was in Northern Ireland and his signal was 40 over S9 with the K3's preamp off.  That's just a huge signal because the meter on the K3 is very stingy and very few DX signals go that high on the meter.  I asked him what he was running and he said 7 over 7 over 7 over 7 on a 210 foot tower! He said K3LR designed the system and went to his QTH in Northern Ireland. He told me he had it built to his personal specs by M2. I told him I'd hate to have received the bill for that and he assured me it was indeed a big bill. His bill for all the 7/8th inch hardline was more than most guys spend on their antenna systems. It was an incredible amount. He also had stacks for 15 and 20.  I mentioned Ian, VK3MO, who has that big stack on 20 meters and he told me Ian supplied the prop pitch motor.

I got the feeling the guys with massive antenna farms have a small fraternity and most know one another. He rattled off a bunch of calls with big antenna farms and I had heard of most.

He then told me about being at Dayton with some multimillionaire one year and the guy dropped one million in one day on equipment at Dayton. He actually had a staff who did the paperwork so he could spend his time going from booth to booth.

We had about a half hour QSO and I was told that was very unusual since most of his contacts were simply reports.  A very modest man. He said he usually does not talk about his station.

Needless to say it was one of my most unusual and interesting QSOs.  Thank God for the P3 panadapter!

73,

Chris/NU1O

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NU1O
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« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2012, 01:51:53 PM »


Chris - if you want to keep the A3S traps - you can actually turn it into a 12/17M yagi:

http://home.mchsi.com/~hidexa/antenna.html

But if you don't want the traps - take the EZNec model for a 3 element yagi right out of the ARRL Antenna Book and tweak it to the aluminum in the A3S - and the few extra pieces of aluminum that you (might) have to purchase from some place like DX Engineering. You might get away with not having to purchase anything.

I am significantly challenged when it comes to mechanical things. Let's just say I'm much better with a pencil and calculator than a hammer ans saw!  Cheesy  But even I could convert my A3S into the dual band Yagi with those plans.

Thanks for the link, Rich.

73,

Chris/NU1O
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K0YHV
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« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2012, 07:47:32 PM »

Chris,

heard you on 10m this morning.  Gave you a call but you were working Europeans.  Always nice to QSO with someone you see posting on eham all of the time.  Hope we can do it soon. After those antenna stories I sure feel like a little pistol.  Icom 706 original at 100 watts to a homebrew G5RV.  Did work country 181 for the 2012 marathon today though-AH0/N0AT on 15 CW. Took 2 calls or so.

John AF5CC
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NU1O
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« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2012, 09:25:16 PM »

Chris,

heard you on 10m this morning.  Gave you a call but you were working Europeans.  Always nice to QSO with someone you see posting on eham all of the time.  Hope we can do it soon. After those antenna stories I sure feel like a little pistol.  Icom 706 original at 100 watts to a homebrew G5RV.  Did work country 181 for the 2012 marathon today though-AH0/N0AT on 15 CW. Took 2 calls or so.

John AF5CC

Hi John,

Sorry about your Tigers getting blanked tonight. Sandoval is in elite company with those 3 homers in one game. I still think your Tigers will prevail but in a short series anything can happen as you know. Enjoy the World Series.

It was a VERY bad season for us Red Sox fans, but it may turn out to be healthy.  Every once in awhile every team needs a good cleansing. Bobby V was never given a fair shot but he obviously was not the right guy to handle the huge cast of primma donnas on the roster. I now have soccer to talk about with the guys from the UK since the Red Sox owner, John Henry, has purchased the Liverpool club. I actually get guys in the UK who read my bio, see I'm a Red Sox fan, and we have something in common to talk about.

I'm wondering if you have been continuously active since 1980? I'm guessing you have because you have very impressive results (just read your bio).

Sorry I did not hear you and I'd really like to work somebody from the forum. I did work Jonathan, W66GX, but we setup a sked on the phone.

I moved up to around 28.550 to get away from the QRM and I had some very enjoyable QSOs with the guys (and one lady) in Europe.  I worked many mobiles and the band was open well into their darkness.  10 meters really has been a lot of fun this week.

I did not work the AH0 station and I also need the guy in The Gambia. I don't even know if the C5 is still operating. I'm at 177 for the Diamond Award. I'd like to reach 200 but that is looking like it will be unreachable. I have not been serious about this until recently and only filled out the application to see where I stand last week. I do like the idea and it's a nice geography lesson. Quite a few of the entity names are new to me.

Please call me again if you hear me.  I will be spending most of time on 10 meters so long as it is open.

73 and let's hope for better luck next time,

Chris/NU1O
« Last Edit: October 24, 2012, 09:39:43 PM by NU1O » Logged
KY6R
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« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2012, 06:58:02 AM »

Go Giants!
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KY6R
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« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2012, 06:41:40 PM »

OK - tomorrow I'm going to build a 17/12M stack of Nested Moxons - and put them up on the tower at 28 and 55' (a half wave and full wave on 17M). It will be the equivalent of a 6 element long boom yagi on both bands (7 - 8 dBd with about 15 dB F/B). This was a suggestion by both N6BT and N6BV - who are "neighbors". I'll drop the TOA to the lower teens and finally - finally be a force on the high bands. (I know - should have done this years ago).

I will rotate the tower from the bottom.

My brother in law picked up my $150 Force-12 C3 in Spokane today - and will get that soon - and that will go on the 40' tower.

I am soooooo covered for ZL9HR - and even VK0/H early 2014.

And anything that is a "surprise activation" in 2013 - for any other new ATNO's that I can snag.



Rich
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 06:43:55 PM by KY6R » Logged
W6GX
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« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2012, 09:50:15 PM »

What's going to happen with your 17m monobander?  Are you keeping it for comparison purpose?  I want to hear about how the new antenna works.

73,
Jonathan W6GX
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KY6R
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« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2012, 08:38:31 AM »

What's going to happen with your 17m monobander?  Are you keeping it for comparison purpose?  I want to hear about how the new antenna works.

73,
Jonathan W6GX

I have it up for sale - as I do the A3S on the 3 sites that sponsor such classifieds.

I will be keeping it up for an A - B test before I sell it.
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