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Author Topic: 43 foot verticals  (Read 12319 times)
W2ANZ
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« on: November 23, 2012, 04:49:38 PM »

I'm getting back on the air after a 10 year hiatus.  My operating interests are 80-10 CW, both DX and local.  In my past operating I always used horizontal wire antennas.  I've compromised with my wife and agreed to a vertical this time, thus eliminating the ugly supports and feedline drop and the feedline slapping against the house siding in the wind.

It looks like the non-resonant 43 foot design is a reasonable place to start.  I don't mind using a matching network at the base, and I have seveal that should work in my collection already.  I would not be using a transformer/balun at the base.  I intend to put in a good radial system, at least 32 x 32'.   

It seems that lots of manufacturers make 43 foot verticals.  I'm looking at DX Engineering, MFJ, Zero Five and others.  I do require that the vertical be self supporting (no guys).   The manufacturers all seem to have great user ratings.  I would buy it without the balun/transformer.  The costs seem to be about the same - around $200. 

I'd appreciate any comments or feedback regarding which manufacturer has the best mechanical product.  If this is a beat-to-death topic already please forgive me.  I searched but did not find  much information.
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WS3N
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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2012, 04:57:39 PM »

I searched but did not find  much information.

I'm not trying to be a wise guy, but I put "43 vertical" into eHam search and got 13 pages.
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W2ANZ
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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2012, 05:08:39 PM »

I found that too.  And I found even more information with a Google search.  My question is simply, "which manufacturer produces the best hardware".  If that has already been addressed then I missed it.

Thanks
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K3VAT
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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2012, 05:28:15 PM »

I found that too.  And I found even more information with a Google search.  My question is simply, "which manufacturer produces the best hardware".  If that has already been addressed then I missed it.
Thanks

One can consult the "Products Review Section" of this site and get a rank-order on 43' verticals. 
WS3N is correct, this topic has dozens if not hundreds of threads.

GL, 73, Rich, K3VAT
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QRP4U2
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« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2012, 05:34:30 PM »

I use the Salas matcher

http://www.ad5x.com/images/Articles/Match43footer.pdf

with an S9 (now LDG) and am very happy with the results.

I used two T400-2 toroids in lieu of the open air coils.

Phil -  AC0OB
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AC0OB - A Place Where Thermionic Emitters Rule!
W2ANZ
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« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2012, 06:31:40 PM »

Thanks everyone.  I'll read the threads and product reviews a second time.  I skimmed them prior to my original post, and didn't find what I was looking for, but maybe I missed something. 

Rephrasing my original question, I'm about to pull the trigger on the DX Engineering 43' vertical. Before I do I'd be interested in knowing how it compares in mechanical quality to others such as the  Zero Five.  If anyone has experience with both the DX and another brand then I would very much appreciate hearing their opinion.   

I did not express my original question very well.  Sorry for the confusion.

Jon
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A9KW
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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2012, 07:35:14 PM »

Jon
All I can recommend is that you read the products reviews real good.
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2012, 08:43:14 PM »

Get yourself a remote tuner such as the ones sold by MFJ.  Makes life with a vertical a whole lot more pleasant.
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KC4MOP
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2012, 03:13:14 AM »

For mechanical attributes I would go with Zero 5. DX Engineering is pretty close for that matter.
The reason you may be sensing a lack of response for the 43 footer is that the mystery about it has been revealed and it is not a wonderful magic antenna. 20M it is a perfect 5/8 wave antenna. On other bands it will perform somewhat and then others it will be complete waste of time. QST also had a nice article on the 43 foot antenna, where it shines and where it doesn't.
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K0OD
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« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2012, 06:56:34 AM »

Quote
20M it is a perfect 5/8 wave antenna.

Which is no big deal over a standard 1/4 wavelength. I've used the DXE version for several years. 43 footers are worthless only on 160 unless you add baseloading... mediocre on 80... good on 60, 40, 30 and 20. And I've found mine to be surprisingly decent on 15 and up, including even 6 meters in a pinch.  

DXE makes a thicker slow taper 43 footer which is structurally stronger. And a thinner fast taper version, which I use. So far it's been quite adequate without guying, surviving some near-bouts with tornadoes.

There's nothing special about so-called "43 footers" (none are really that size), but they are decent performing and very flexible appliance antennas for us antenna restricted older appliance ops.  High dipoles are better (and much better close-in), but 43 footers are SOOO Much more convenient and durable.  
« Last Edit: November 24, 2012, 07:03:22 AM by K0OD » Logged
K0OD
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« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2012, 07:29:50 AM »

Since CQWW CW is this weekend, it's appropriate to link to my detailed report on my 2008 full bore low power effort in that contest using only the DXE 43' vertical. Working 100 different countries from Missouri in a weekend proves that these verticals can absolutely work DX including some rare stuff.

Do they quickly bust huge pileups as the ZF reviews often claim?  Heck no!. But you can work plenty of nice DX with them, especially on CW, if you're persistent.
http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/topic,61353.0.html

Later my experiments determined that base matching improves performance by about 3 dB on 80 meters and a whopping 11 db on 160.
 
« Last Edit: November 24, 2012, 07:34:22 AM by K0OD » Logged
W5DXP
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« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2012, 07:42:58 AM »

It seems that lots of manufacturers make 43 foot verticals.

Texas Towers has telescoping lengths of aluminum tubing on sale. You could probably construct a 43' vertical for around $60 or so.Smiley

You say you want to operate 80m-10m. 10m is good and getting better right now but a 43' vertical is not a good 10m antenna as it has a take-off-angle of 56 degrees. It's low elevation angle gain is about -6dBi, a good S-unit down from a 1/4WL ground mounted vertical.

Someone on another thread described a fan-monopole consisting of three vertical elements of 66', 44', and 22' with the ability to switch between the elements for optimum operation on any HF band 80m-10m.
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73, Cecil, www.w5dxp.com
The purpose of an antenna tuner is to increase the current through the radiation resistance at the antenna to the maximum available magnitude resulting in a radiated power of I2(RRAD) from the antenna.
W2ANZ
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« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2012, 11:48:07 AM »

Thanks Cecil and everyone.

My intent is to use the 43' antenna with a low-loss homebrew matching network at the base.   The coax line to the shack will be operated in a matched condition and will not have the extra losses caused by high VSWR.  I will not have the 4:1 torroid transformer at the base, another source of loss.  I will not use the "tuned" 150' feed line that some of the manufacturers recommend.  All these seem like band aids for someone who is unwilling to tune at the base.

I see 43 feet as about the upper limit for a freestanding vertical and also about my upper limit for the visual impact to my property.    Yes, the radiation resistance will be low on 80 and yes there will be high ground losses, but given my desire to be inconspicuous, it is what I can do. 

For operation on the high HF bands I can telescope the vertical down to a lower height to preserve the low takeoff angle.  I'm not too keen on the verticals with multiple elements (ugly) or on traps (lossy).

The idea of buying just the tubing is a good one.  I need to add up the cost of the tubing, base insulator and fold over mechanism and see how they compare to a packaged vertical.

I'm still reading through the old reviews and postings. 

Thanks & 73,
Jon
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K0ZN
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« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2012, 06:38:58 PM »

Just some food for thought: you can significantly add to the mechanical reliability and/or wind survival by adding ONE set of guys at 15 to 20 ft. Level and this can be done with "stealth" guys using something like 3 strands of 25 or 30 lb. test, clear monofilament fishing line. woven into one rope. This is nearly invisible and would seriously strengthen the antenna with virtually no XYL complaints. Due to UV, you might want to replace it every couple of years, but it would be cheap mechanical insurance.

If you only have ONE antenna, mechanical reliability is pretty important.... And it may help you sleep better on some windy, stormy night!

73,  K0ZN
« Last Edit: November 24, 2012, 06:42:18 PM by K0ZN » Logged
WD4ELG
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« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2012, 08:18:35 PM »

Speaking from personal experience, your results may vary:

1. Zero five verticals are 6063 alum tubing, fast taper.  No need for guy wires with this baby, it is self supporting.

2. I run remote tuners at the base of the vertical.  Puts as much into the antenna as possible.  No need to worry about coax losses.

3. Get radials laid down.  As many as you can do.  I have 40 at 32 foot length and 8 at 64 foot length.  Try to get them at least 32 foot long.  I use Home Depot 14 gauge stranded covered wire.  $50 for 500 foot roll.  Put down all 500 feet.  And get a radial plate like from S9/LDG or DX Engineering.

4. Remember that 43 foot antenna is not magic.  See this eham article.  Your perf on the higer bands above 17 will not be all that great.  I can attest to this, which is why I have a multiband wire antenna at 64 feet.  http://www.eham.net/articles/21272

Hope this helps.
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