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Author Topic: Beverage Antenna for 40 meter SSB.  (Read 4353 times)
K4RVN
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« on: October 25, 2012, 08:40:45 PM »

I have read a lot about receiving antennas and decided I want to have a beverage antenna for 40 meters to increase my hearing abilities on SSB. While many people hear me running a hex with some power, I often have noise to bother me on receive. I have plenty of room 6.5 acres here with lots of trees to attach a long wire antenna. I have read W8JI and others who have written on the subject. I would like to have the antenna perform well on 160, 80, and 40. I think I will spend 30 bucks for a transformer and terminating resistor in a waterproof box with SS hardware. I plan to use so239 type connectors as I can handle that. I don't want to buy a tool for F connectors or use that coax. I would have 100 ft of coax to the transformer and then around 360 ft or more of electric fence wire. I could have a 900 ft if needed but from what I have read that would not be optimum for 40 meters. My 6 plus Ten Tec has a receive  antenna connection.
If anyone has info to assist me in making the correct choices, I would appreciate your post. I plan to make a single wire beverage and point it east or slightly NE. Thanks for any comments.

Frank
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W0BTU
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« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2012, 09:10:29 PM »

My 580' Beverage antennas consistently hear signals on 160 through 20 that my transmitting antennas do not. If you do it right, you will certainly love how they work on 40. Instructions are at http://www.w0btu.com/Beverage_antennas.html .

I built them for 160. Later, I read a post that said "If you think they work good on 160, you should try them on 40!". This lit a fire under me to try them on 40 meters. He was certainly right!

An hour or so ago, I was copying CW stations in Africa, Europe, and several stations off the coast of South America on 160 on my 2-wire bi-directional Beverages. They are very easy to make.

As for where to point your Beverage, see http://www.w0btu.com/Beverage_antennas.html#Misc_Beverage_antenna_notes .
« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 09:14:20 PM by W0BTU » Logged

KB4QAA
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« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2012, 09:14:21 AM »

Beside Mike's excellent website, ON4UN's book Low Band Dx'ing has great details on beverages, and lots of other practical antennas.  It is a very readable book, and probably the most up to-date reference available.

bill
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W8GP
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« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2012, 09:47:47 AM »

Four of my beverages are approx. 600-700 feet long and they work very well on 40. My NW beverage is shorter, about 350' and it works well on 80 and 40 but not as well on 160, although it is still usefull on that band. If 160 is of interest, I would make the beverages longer but if you're mainly interested in 40 like you mentioned, then 350' will work very well. I use the W8JI transformers and  RG-6 coax and after using the beverages for 5 years or so, I don't know how I worked much DX without them.I think you will be very pleased with the result.
                                         73 and see you on 40
                                                               Greg
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IW5EDI
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« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2012, 03:26:45 PM »

Frank
I was investigating too some years ago on this topic.

Here I found something about beverages http://www.dxzone.com/catalog/Antennas/Beverage/


and even this

http://www.aytechnologies.com/TechData/40Mbev.htm

hope this will give you some hints.

73
Simon
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K4RVN
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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2012, 07:22:11 PM »

Thanks to the replies from Mike, Bill, Gregg and Simon, I have a better understanding of what a Beverage antenna should look like.
I have a couple of questions after checking into the materials I need. I cannot find the type post insulators used by w8JI. Tom described some of the failures of some designs. Also I have found a Farm supply in my state that has 17 gage and 12 gage aluminum wire. The 12 costs more for the same length of course, but I don't mind if it is better.
Other than mechanical strength is there an advantage to using the heavier gage wire? Where can I buy the  yellow round plastic
insulators that you can drive a nail through? I will be using trees to support the wire. I am planning to buy the transformer and terminator resistor already made up in weather proof boxes to save time. I sure appreciate the input from all and looking forward to getting on this project before cold weather hits us here. Also one other question, If I have to offset to one side to get a tree support in lieu of a straight direction for a few feet will that affect the performance. I plan this antenna for Europe and it is planned to head N.E.
Thanks for any further info to answer my questions.

Frank
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WB6BYU
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« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2012, 08:55:43 PM »

Get the insulators from the same store that sells electric fence wire - there are many
different types sold for electric fences at very inexpensive prices compared to other
sources.
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W8JI
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« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2012, 09:04:16 PM »

The 12 costs more for the same length of course, but I don't mind if it is better.
Other than mechanical strength is there an advantage to using the heavier gage wire?


The only advantages or disadvantages of different wires are in strength and life. 

Quote
Where can I buy the  yellow round plastic
insulators that you can drive a nail through?


Any post insulator is strong. The long tall "poor insulators" I pictured have a strong tendency to break if something pulls on the wire. I had constant failures with them whenever small branches would fall on the antennas.

Tractor Supply and other places have black or yellow stubby plastic post insulators. Others will work, but the nail-through-center, smaller length, post knob insulators are much more reliable over time. 

Quote
I will be using trees to support the wire. I am planning to buy the transformer and terminator resistor already made up in weather proof boxes to save time. I sure appreciate the input from all and looking forward to getting on this project before cold weather hits us here. Also one other question, If I have to offset to one side to get a tree support in lieu of a straight direction for a few feet will that affect the performance.

A slight bend or meander has no effect.
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W0BTU
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« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2012, 09:47:51 PM »

This is what I use to support one of my Beverages. They are very strong. You just drill a small pilot hole in the tree trunks 10' high and screw them most of the way in.

http://www.agri-supply.co.uk/100-x-electric-fence-screw-in-ring-insulators/
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/RING-INSULATORS-x-100-Electric-Fencing-Fence-Screw-/170677771668

I didn't get them from either of these suppliers, but I'm pretty sure they came from eBay.
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K4RVN
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« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2012, 10:59:53 PM »

Thanks for the help to all. I have found all the materials I need on the net listings.
I decided to buy a 450 ft roll of 12.5 gage Aluminum wire from a farm supply store near Tom's place at Barnesville, Ga for 20 bucks. Also the insulators if they will combine shipping for me, if not tractor supply has them here. I found a 150 ft length of RG 11
flooded coax with F connectors on each end installed. Is there any reason not to use that?
My Ten Tec has a phono plug for the receiving aux antenna so radio shack has the F to phono adaptor in stock locally. So what I have planned is 150 ft RG 11 to an end fed single wire Beverage transformer in a waterproof box. There will be two ground rods there where the coax and ground wire connections are made. Then I will proceed NE with the 450 ft fence wire up about 7 ft high using available trees. I plan to use screw in insulators and predrill a suitable hole with my 18 volt Dewalt drill motor. I will be using a 6 ft aluminum step ladder. I probably will stretch a nylon cord first to keep the direction as straight as possible and let me know where I need to trim the tree limbs if required. There will be a
resistor in a waterproof box to terminate the wire end and a ground rod there also. The transformer and resistor are coming as a set for beverage antennas by a ham in Canada.
They have wing nuts, waterproof boxes and all stainless steel hardware for 29.95
These are my preliminary plans and subject to revision if I am not doing something right.
Any comments to keep me straight will be appreciated.
Thanks again, I will post how it turns out when I get it completed.

Frank
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 11:04:19 PM by K4RVN » Logged
W8GP
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« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2012, 01:18:17 PM »

The main problem with aluminum wire is that it is difficult to repair when it breaks (and it WILL break!). I use galvanized steel fence wire from Tractor Supply Co. which can be easily soldered. Just something to consider.
                                                             Greg
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K4RVN
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« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2012, 01:48:33 PM »

Greg,
Thanks for the info. Do you think Flooded RG11 will be OK to use. It comes with the F connectors installed.  I will be headed west for 150 ft with it then the antenna will head NE from there. I am going to order all the stuff by Monday morning.

Frank
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W0BTU
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« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2012, 01:57:34 PM »

Flooded RG-11 is fine! It's actually overkill. :-)  

I use flooded RG-6 (F-6). For 75 ohm coax and a Beverage at that height, a ~6.25:1 matching transformer would be required.

Who is the guy in Canada selling them so cheaply? Sounds like someone doing it for a hobby, perhaps with some surplus parts. I would lose money if I sold the ones that we make for that price.

I second the opinion about aluminum. I also use plated steel electric fence wire.
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K4RVN
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« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2012, 04:49:58 PM »

This is where I saw the transformer and resistor.
It is also available with the F6 in lieu of the SO 239.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/BEVERAGE-ANTENNA-KIT-50-ohm-SO-239-Connector-/320776850621?pt=US_Radio_Comm_Antennas&hash=item4aafca4cbd#shId
I'll take a look for some steel wire and thanks.

Frank
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W0BTU
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« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2012, 06:19:19 PM »

Thanks, Frank. I didn't see any spec on his matching transformer. But for that price, I guess it's worth the chance. :-)

Let us know how it works for you.
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