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Author Topic: Wire Antenna  (Read 6839 times)

Posts: 220


« on: December 14, 2014, 01:55:04 PM »

I have the SteppIR DB42, so DX is covered. I have the 10-80 Mystery Antenna up, and just found out that it doesn't like 10M all that much. The beam isn't liking stuff close in at the moment while working the 10M contest. So......what wire is good say 10-80? I'm hanging off a 80 ft tower, no trees btw. I posted the other day for 160M advice, and would really like something 10-160 that performs well on all bands.....if this exists....hihi.


Happy Holidays!


Posts: 624

« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2014, 02:11:41 PM »


What is the 10-80 mtr mystery antenna"

And what is the SteppIR db42.

And yes all antennas do have influences on each other.

For 10-80 mtrs on a 80 ft tower, I would hang a sloper for 80 for DX.
For 40 mtr also so a dual band sloper would be good. ( 2 dipoles at 1 feedig poit hanging from the top of the tower to lets say 20 feet high.

And for the difference of a 10-80 or 160 mtr antenna on 10 to 20 mtrs against a rotary monoband dipole or even a beam at 80 feet, that is no compare, the dipole or beam will win hands down and very easy and big time.

The difference between my 10, 15, 20, 40 and 80 meter inverted-V wire antenna over my house from 5 -11 - 5 mtr (16 to 35 to 16 feet high), on 10, 15 and 20 mtrs band, is so big in compare with a 2 x 23 feet rotary V-dipole on 36 feet high to 45 feet at the end-tips that it makes the inverted-V wire a bad antenna.

73 Jos

73 Jos

Posts: 17479

« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2014, 09:48:08 AM »

Quote from: NZ4Z

... The beam isn't liking stuff close in at the moment while working the 10M contest...

Changing the antenna won't help that.  The problem is that propagation doesn't support
shorter contacts on 10m, because the higher angle signals required to work those paths don't
reflect off of the ionosphere.

Working the closer states is usually the hardest part of a 10m WAS award.  Living in a
very large state helps, but other than KH6 and KL7 you still may need to pick up a few contacts
via non-typical modes such as backscatter, sporadic-E, tropo scatter, etc.  Those may require
high power.

There are many different wire antennas that will work 10m - 160m, for some value of "work" that
might not match your expected definition of the word.  They will probably, at least, be better than
using a 2m rubber duck on 40m.  The OCFD, for example, will cover most bands, and can be pressed
into service with a tuner on the rest even if it isn't very efficient.  A horizontal loop or a doublet fed
with ladder line will work over the whole range with a good balanced tuner, as long as you are willing
to accept the lobes and nulls in the radiation pattern.  One of ways to get around the quirky patterns
of longer wire antennas on the higher bands is to use a trap dipole:  while that provides some shortening,
the biggest benefit is that you get a relatively consistent pattern on each band.  If low SWR is more
important than signal strength, one of the resistive-loaded folded dipoles will work, too.

Posts: 7718

« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2014, 10:01:19 AM »

For good all band coverage in most directions a half wavelength dipole is the antenna to have. To this end fan dipoles or a trap dipole will work. Any single wire will have many deep azimuth nulls on the higher bands.

Posts: 165

« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2014, 01:15:56 PM »

Back in 1987, I was working the Bermuda Contest on 20. With 5 ele monobander at 62 feet, it was gangbusters into W6. The East Coast were giving me QRM - they couldn't hear me. Switching to a G5RV at 30 feet allowed me to keep the East Coast away and so I would switch between antennas and got a good run of QSOs. from both coasts. Didn't win though......too weak on 80m in those days...

You CAN have too high an antenna, especially on 10m: I find the beam at 62 feet is good when the band is opening or closing, but from here, it's reasonably often too high for a Caribbean pile up.

Can be even worse on VHF/UHF/microwaves if your antenna ends up above the temperature inversion. I remember KF6C telling me that he went up Mount Palomar for one microwave contest: the guys below the temperature inversion were doing fine but he wasn't!

Posts: 511

« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2014, 05:48:08 PM »


The most flexible multi-band antenna, i.e. 10m - 80m or 10m - 160m, is the center fed zepp utilizing the link antenna coupler.


Posts: 3541

« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2014, 09:48:16 PM »

Quote from: NZ4Z
Working the closer states is usually the hardest part of a 10m WAS award. .

I remember back in 1959-60 when I was a novice.  Didn't have enough room at that time for a 40 meter antenna so I mainly worked 15 meters.  I had 47 states confirmed from Las Vegas NV.  Still needed Maine, Vermont ... and California!


Posts: 2668

« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2014, 06:31:20 AM »

I worked WAS on 10M over the contest weekend.  My last three states were IL, PA, and MT.  Grin

I put up a low Moxon rectangle at 19 ft to work short scatter paths that might be missed by my dipole at 40 ft.  

OTOH, the day after the contest I worked K0AY in Mongomery County, PA, on 10M SSB with that dipole!  

Perhaps the most important advice is to listen for the weak stations--while you might get lucky with a loud meteor scatter contact, more than likely you will need to dig someone out of the noise--not easy when the DX stations are really, really loud at the same time.  

Zack W1VT
« Last Edit: December 17, 2014, 06:34:46 AM by W1VT » Logged

Posts: 939

« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2014, 02:16:10 PM »

In addition to Dale, WB6BYU's excellent info, I'll add to the suggestions here. (what I posted over in your other discussion on this topic..)

BTW, if I had seen this thread earlier, I'd have posted here first....Duh..

Oh, and I had to look up what the "mystery antenna" is....

I have the SteppIR DB42, so DX is covered. I have the 10-80 Mystery Antenna up, and just found out that it doesn't like 10M all that much. The beam isn't liking stuff close in at the moment while working the 10M contest. So......what wire is good say 10-80? I'm hanging off a 80 ft tower, no trees btw. I posted the other day for 160M advice, and would really like something 10-160 that performs well on all bands.....if this exists....hihi
Notwithstanding AA5WG's suggestion....for your application, the multiple lobes and NULLS on the higher bands of a 10m-80m (or 10m-160m) doublet, would be problematic and frustrating to you....
Not to mention the inability to get the antenna low enough to allow some advantage for the working the higher bands with distances of <1000 miles, but still not have the antenna too low to allow it to make decent gain on the lower bands....
For your application this is not a good solution....

But in my opinion, here are some good solutions...
(be advised that I just now read that you have no trees, and are therefore interested in using your tower as your primary antenna some of my earlier advise should be read with emphasis placed on the "inverted-V" configurations....)

The short answer here is to use pieces of galv. steel angle, bolted across the face of the tower / secured along 2 of the tower legs....sticking out a few feet away from the tower....with your heavy-duty tower, this will have no ill effects....

And, I recommend using a heavy-duty, hi-quality block/pulley (Garhauer Marine or Harken) and Dacron/polyester rope holding the balun/center insulator....

The LONG answers....
1) From your location in central KY, you have "average" (to below average) soil conductivity, and have decent "regional paths" to many parts of the US on 160m - 40m, but understand that  "..10-80 is to talk close in when the beam is too much.." that "close in" on 10m, 12m, 15m, is very difficult (and somewhat difficult on 17m, 20m, and slightly so on 30m) as the ionosphere's critical angle is quite low at the higher freqs, and as such you have large skip zones for F2 propagation...(unlike F2 NVIS propagation on 40m - 160m, where the critical angles can be quite high)

So, while using a lower horizontal antenna (such as a simple dipole, inverted-v, or loop) WILL have a higher radiation angle than your yagi at 80', and this will allow shorter range F2, as well as better sporadic-E, backscatter, and some troposcatter, on the higher HF bands, please be aware that once you are trying to use these higher HF bands beyond groundwave distances of a dozen or two miles, that you will still be hindered by the skip zones created by the ionosphere (which your antenna itself cannot solve)...
Again, not saying a lower horizontal antenna isn't a good idea for you, but just want you to be aware that, unlike on 40m thru 160m, on the higher HF bands, you will still have problems "close-in"....

2)  So, my general advice would be to concentrate most of your antenna efforts for "close in", on 160m, 80/75m, and 40m....
(details below)

And maybe just string up a dipole at 20' for the higher bands that you desire to use....and FYI, with the sunspot cycle now on the downslope (with even the peak having been "not so hot"), you'll find 10m and 12m open less during the coming few, maybe a "tri-band, fan-dipole", covering 20m, 17m, and 15m, strung up at about 20' will be good for you....

3)  Specifics....understand that there are many options for you and many variables that I have no knowledge of....such as what other supports you have for wire antennas, whether you desire / require coax-fed resonant antennas, or desire open-wire-line fed, multiband antennas, whether you have an external antenna tuner or tube PA, what exact communications paths you are desiring, etc. etc. etc...the list goes on and on....
So, the best anyone can do here is give you generic advice and some personal when I write "specifics", sorry if they're not too specific.... Smiley

You've made no mention of using anything other than your tower as support for these wire antennas, but be advised that if you can use other supports as well (trees ??) to string a dipole flat (or have other supports for a horizontal loop), you can improve your gain over an inverted-V slightly....and as long as you run the 160m and 80m dipole wires in a N/S orientation, you will still have a pattern that will cover all of the "close in" stuff you desire, as well as  most of the US....
If all you have for support of these wire antennas is your tower, getting the inverted-V as flat as you can (120* angle or better), is always recommended....
I have a 80 foot  HHD-80  AN Wireless self supporting tapered tower. It's  75 sq ft wind load @ 100mph. Very sturdy tower....  11 ft sq x 5 ft deep concrete.  I have the SteppIR DB-42 on top.....  20 to 24 sq ft wind load there, so plenty left.

I want the 10 to 12 ft stand off so i'll have a spot on each side. One side will hold a wire for 160M, the other side for a 10-80 wire.  The 10-80 is to talk close in when the beam is too much.  Will also take recommendations on antennas if you have one.

a)  For 160m, higher the better here for you....using your tower, there is NO reason at all to consider anything but stringing a 160m dipole or inverted-V from the top of your tower....
{as example, on 160m, going from a dipole height of 80' down to a height of 40', you lose 2.5db of antenna gain.....and even more as you move lower!!}
Take note that at an apex height of 80', a 160m inverted-V will be down about the same -2.5db from that of a flat dipole at 80', so the general advice that using a flat dipole is better than an inverted-V is even more important on 160m, where you're unlikely to have the antenna high enough anyway...

No question here that stringing a 160m dipole or inverted-V from the TOP of your tower is the best approach here....
And, as for a "stand-off", I'd use a short piece of galv. steel angle, bolted across the tower face, sticking out just a couple feet (no need to make it stick out too far), and have a hi-quality block /pulley (Garhauer Marine or Harken) securely bolted to the end, and use hi-quality Dacron / Polyester rope to run the center of the dipole up / down.....or simply forgo the block/pulley.....
But mounting the 160m antenna as high as you can (and only a few feet away from the tower), and orienting the wire North/South if possible (not that important for inverted-V), is going to be best for your 160m communications, whether "close in" or across the country...

{and, if you feed this antenna with twin-lead down to a good tuner, it will be a very nice 80m DX antenna as well....but...
But, if you wanted that, you could add the 80m dipole kit to your Steppir DB-42....}

b)  75m/80m, is a bit different than for you do NOT want a horizontal antenna to be "too high" for the "close in" stuff, where Near Vertical Incident Skywave (NVIS) propagation is what you're looking to utilize...and here you will want to keep the antenna below 3/8-wavelength (0.375-wave) high, and preferably close to 0.2-wavelength in height, for dipoles, and 0.25-wave to 0.275-wave apex height for inverted-V....

On 75m/80m, this means a dipole at 45' (40' - 50')...or an inverted-V apex at 65' - 70'.....

If a dipole, orienting the wires North/South will be good for your location, but as above, if inverted-V this is not as critical.....
And also like above, you can use a simple piece of galv. steel angle, bolted across the tower face as a stand-off.....extending out a few feet at most from the tower....

Here's an image (from showing dipole patterns at different heights...

c)  You CAN place the 160m dipole / inverted-V 30' - 35' above the 80m dipole / inverted-V, without much (or any) interaction......although not a necessity, if wish to be precise, you may stagger azimuths of the antennas a bit....placing the end-points of the antennas in slightly different directions....

Also, as you can see above, if you're looking at "inverted-V's", and want only one antenna to cover 160m and 75m/80m, you could use either a 80m/160m trap inverted-V, with the apex at 70', or a 80m/160m "fan-dipole"...or feed your 160m inverted-V with open-wire line / twin-lead (and external tuner) for use on 80m....and your 160m performance would only suffer a 1db loss vs. being mounted 10' higher....but still much better than what many hams have for 160m...

With the additional info, this recommendation (along with the 40m inverted-V and maybe a 20m/17m/15 fan-dipole) might just be what will work best for you with the minimum hassle???
You could accept a VERY slight (<1db loss) on very close-in contacts (<75 miles) on 75m, and simply mount a 160m/80m "fan-dipole" inverted-V, on a stand-off from the top of your 80' tower!       
If you only desired one antenna for 160m/80m, and had only your tower for support, then this would be my first recommendation...especially if you can keep the inverted-V as flat as possible.....running the end support ropes out as far as you can.....or even better, elevate the end of the end-support ropes, by tying them off to some tress, or steel pipes, or 10' long 2x4's bolted to fence posts, etc. (even getting the ends up 15' - 20' higher than they would be if ending on the ground at the limits of your property, WILL help...)

d)  For "close-in" work on 40m, you definitely want a lower antenna....
Again, I'd prefer a flat dipole (or full-wave loop), but if you only have the tower for support, then a 40m inverted-V, with the apex at about 30' - 35'....(the "flatter" you make, keep the height to 28' - 30', if a 120*inverted-V, 35' apex is good...this especially a concern here, as you already have a 40m low-angle antenna, the DB42 at 80', and there is no need to install another 40m with lobes too low...)
And here again, this antenna should have no effect on the other antennas mentioned, and can be easily supported by a simple piece of galv. angle stand-off, a couple feet off the tower....

e)  For the higher I wrote above, maybe a "tri-band, fan-dipole", covering 20m, 17m, and 15m, strung up at about 20' will be good for you...whether you desire to use your tower as a support for this antenna or other supports (trees, house, etc.) is up to you...

4)  Take note that if you look at multiband use of a large doublets (open-wire-fed dipoles), you'll see many lobes and deep nulls on the higher bands, so this is probably NOT a useful antenna for you / your application....
(due to these nulls, trying to use a 80m dipole on 15m, 12m, and 10m can be frustrating..)

But, if you do not like my primary recommendation above (see #3 above), and wish to have just one wire antenna for 160m (or 160m and 80m), and one for the other bands....
I would go for a 160m / 80m inverted-V mounted at the tower top, and a 40m/20m/17m/15m antenna, mounted 20' - 35' high....whether multi-wire "fan dipoles" or trap dipoles, is something for further discussion....

But, my primary recommendation is above in #3...

5)  If you are interested in some details on these antennas, patterns, etc., as well as further ideas such as inline multiple dipoles and inverted-V's, as well as crossed dipoles or inverted-V's, etc., I suggest you look at Cebik's site (no, it is no longer free....but worth it for antenna education...)

I could go on and on, but until I know more details from you I might be wasting everyone's time... Smiley
I hope this helped....

John,  KA4WJA


Posts: 939

« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2014, 08:40:22 PM »


You may find the recent thread titled "Opinions on best performing wire antenna", to be helpful as well...,100478.0.html

John,  KA4WJA
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