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Author Topic: 160m Vertical options  (Read 2107 times)
AD9DX
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Posts: 1480




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« on: January 08, 2013, 06:29:50 PM »

Hello all, I am interested in putting a vertical up for 160m and the CW portion of 80m. I was casually looking at the 43' option and building a matching network in order to make it work the best possible.  My big issue is that I live in a HOA and thus have a few limitations to work around.  On the bright side, I do have some wooded area behind my house, where my OCF dipole currently resides.  I have about 60' high trees in there and want to make the thing as stealthy as possible. 

Please give me your honest opinion on what will work best.  I am currently saving $$$ to buy a new house (5 year plan) where I can build my dream low band dx antenna farm. 
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EX, KC9TRM, KB9IRZ
W8JX
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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2013, 06:41:26 PM »

An inverted L is a solid performer on 160. Cut a 1/4 wave wire for 160 and run it as far vertical that is practical and run the rest of it out at a approx right angle from top. It will easily out perform any 43 foot vertical.
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AD9DX
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2013, 06:46:22 PM »

Can you explain what kind of counterpoise I will need to use for an inverted L? 
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EX, KC9TRM, KB9IRZ
W8JX
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2013, 06:57:17 PM »

Any radials you want. They do not need to be resonant when in contact with ground. It acts like a top loaded vertical of sorts.
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AD9DX
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2013, 07:00:57 PM »

Cool.  I guess I figured I needed some sort of above ground counterpoise that would give up the location. 
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EX, KC9TRM, KB9IRZ
W8JX
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2013, 07:02:56 PM »

 You can hid them in grass or in ground. 
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WB6BYU
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2013, 07:56:13 PM »

Basically slope a thin wire up and over the tallest branch you can reach, then run
the wire out horizontally to another branch.  A rope from the end of the end of
the wire back down to ground level lets you add a counterweight to reduce the
chance of damage when the trees sway in the wind.

Radial requirements are LESS stringent the longer you make the antenna (up
to a point, at least.)  A full quarter wave on 160m is a half wave on 80m,
and you can match both with a simple fixed homebrew tuner using two
capacitors and a coil.
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WD4ELG
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2013, 09:37:20 PM »

I have a 43 footer, it's not too helpful on 160.  Try 130 feet of insulated wire, cheap from home depot and stealthy.  65 foot vertical and 65 foot horiz for 1/4 wave on 160.  Works great, practically invisible.  You will need the the radials and some matching at the base.  I followed what WB6BYU described at my QTH, and it rocks on 160 and 80.
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AD9DX
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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2013, 03:54:43 AM »

I have a 43 footer, it's not too helpful on 160.  Try 130 feet of insulated wire, cheap from home depot and stealthy.  65 foot vertical and 65 foot horiz for 1/4 wave on 160.  Works great, practically invisible.  You will need the the radials and some matching at the base.  I followed what WB6BYU described at my QTH, and it rocks on 160 and 80.

Sounds good! I have a 160m windom right now up about 40' that I use on 160. I have gotten about 30 countries on it with a RX antenna even running QRO I hear a lot of stations I can't work. I really need to decrease my takeoff angle.
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EX, KC9TRM, KB9IRZ
WD4ELG
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« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2013, 06:13:43 AM »

According to ON4UN in his book, low band dipoles ARE good to have at sunrise, as the angles are sometimes higher and not as favorable to a vertical.  Of course, the horiz element of the inverted L at 64 feet is able to cover those angles.  32 feet sounds almost like NVIS.  Were these Central America and Caribbean DX?  Or EU?
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W8GP
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« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2013, 07:42:32 AM »

I will also recommend the inverted "L", I have used them over the years with excellent results. You could easily trap the antenna to make it usable on 80 with no matching/switching network and a minimal loss of effiency, and the bandwith will be MUCH greater as well. As with all verticals, the better the ground system, the better the results. I would recommend 30-35 1/4 wave on-ground radials , but more will be better. I have no experience with above- ground radials, so I won't comment. I currently use a 125' top loaded vertical with 35 radials. A few years ago, I installed an inverted "L" over my 80m ground system(100 70' radials) and got comparison reports during the CQWW 160 contest. Out to 1000 miles, the "L" was often better, sometimes by an "S" unit or more.At 2000 miles, the 1/4 wave was sometimes better but mostly they were equal. On contacts into Alaska and Hawaii, the 1/4 wave was always better, but only by 1/2 "S" unit or so. So the "L" is an excellent antenna and will  definetly out-perform a 43 foot vertical.
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AD9DX
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Posts: 1480




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« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2013, 09:23:54 AM »

According to ON4UN in his book, low band dipoles ARE good to have at sunrise, as the angles are sometimes higher and not as favorable to a vertical.  Of course, the horiz element of the inverted L at 64 feet is able to cover those angles.  32 feet sounds almost like NVIS.  Were these Central America and Caribbean DX?  Or EU?

I have 2 EU's. England and France. But they were lucky.
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EX, KC9TRM, KB9IRZ
AD4U
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« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2013, 11:42:39 AM »

Regarding how many radials are necessary to make a 160M inverted L a good performer...........

Do not expect a 160 meter inverted L to perform well with just a ground rod or with just one radial.  Nobody can tell you exactly how many radials you "need", but generally the more the better - up to a point.  Nobody can tell you precisely how many radials to install so you get the most bang for the buck either (diminishing returns for the additional $$$ and sweat).

Assuming you have 500 feet of wire to be used as radials for your 160M inverted L:

More short radials will almost always perform better than a few long radials.  For example 10 radials 50 feet long will almost always perform better than 4 radials 125 feet long.

Dick  AD4U
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N3QE
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« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2013, 11:44:48 AM »

There's no real need for it to be a 43 foot pole. If you can put up a 60 foot high wire "inverted L" or a "T" fed against ground in the woods, that will be a great start. Matching network at the ground level will be a "L network". Then add as many radials as you can/when you can.

Pretty soon you will find that you want a 160M receive antenna. A K9AY loop or a few pennants can be put up in the woods too.
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N4NYY
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« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2013, 03:08:03 PM »

An inverted L is a solid performer on 160. Cut a 1/4 wave wire for 160 and run it as far vertical that is practical and run the rest of it out at a approx right angle from top. It will easily out perform any 43 foot vertical.

Amen. With an SG tuner, this is the way to go. I personally wish I had this setup.
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