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Author Topic: Can't believe that something so simple can work so well!  (Read 1667 times)
KF7ATL
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Posts: 51




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« on: April 02, 2014, 07:25:56 PM »

I have a 40m dipole. It works very well on 40 and 15. It will tune up on 30, 20, 17, 12, and 10 but is not is not very efficient on those bands. Ten meters has been really hot lately, and I have tried to work DX on 10 without much success.  Usually I can hear the DX station but he can't hear me. In desperation I made a simple wire vertical patterned after a portable antenna that I saw on line. It is tuned for the CW portion of 10m. Wow! In the last couple of weeks I have worked several new DX stations with good signal reports, including Hong Kong and the Marshall Islands. I had no ideal that such a simple antenna (only 4 ground radials) could work so well. I am very happy with this antenna. The only downside is that it only works on 10m.


Garth, KF7ATL
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ONAIR
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Posts: 1741




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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2014, 09:24:13 PM »

I am using a few simple 10 Meter dipoles positioned in different directions, with excellent results!
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N6SBN
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Posts: 152


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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2014, 01:21:52 AM »

   The Solarcom Imax 2000 is a 24' vertical that doesn't need radials.   I have almost no swr on 10 and a claimed 6 db gain.  The people in Indonesia said I was the strongest signal over there.   This antenna can be found for less than $100.
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K5RT
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Posts: 144




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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2014, 04:22:58 AM »

Why not just add 20 and 10 meter dipoles to the feed point of your 40 meter dipole?

Vy73
Paul
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K1CJS
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2014, 06:24:55 AM »

Guess they're not a 'fan' of that type antenna!   Cheesy
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W5DXP
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2014, 07:34:16 AM »

Ten meters has been really hot lately, and I have tried to work DX on 10 without much success.

Here's an A/B experiment for you: Replace the coax on that 66' dipole with 8.1'+N(15.6') feet of ladder-line fed through a 1:1 choke and compare the 10m performance with your vertical. (N is an integer and 15.6' of ladder-line is 1/2WL on 28.4 MHz.)
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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.
KF7VXA
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Posts: 458




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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2014, 11:59:02 AM »

It's good to hear that you are having some good contacts with your dipoles, but may I suggest one antenna that will do it all to 40 meters and do it so darn good, you'll wonder why you waited to get one.

The Gap Challenger is a multi band vertical. It requires three 25' counterpoise wires that act as a part of the antenna.
It works 2 meters about like a 1/4 wave 2m/70 CM antenna, has some gain, but not a lot.

On 6 meters it also works pretty darn good, but there are better dedicated antennas for 6 meters. I've made plenty of contacts on 6, but it's not a killer.
Now go to 10 to 40 meters and people will think your running a yagi in many cases (not all).

It's fantastic on 10 and 15 meters. The entire antenna is used on 15 meters and the contacts I've made have surprised many. Last Sunday over about 3 hours, I made good contacts with Russia (3), Greenland, a couple countries in South America, one in Africa, England, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Germany, Italy (2) , Ireland, Sweden, Azores, Morocco, Croatia and Spain ( all had confirmed exchanges of call signs, names and signals).
This antenna is best on 40 meters and 20 meters is not much behind 40.
It also gets a portion of 80 meters, but don't expect it to be great on 80. It works better on 80 meters than any other multi band vertical with 80 meters, but when 80 is the top band on a multi band vertical, it really is to just let you work a little bit of the band. The Challenger does have a wider bandwidth on 80 than the others (130 mHz). One guy has worked over 200 countries on 80 meters with the Gap, just not me.
There are more than a few reasons why the Gap Challenger works so well. It is a vertical dipole with the feed point at the middle of the antenna. With the feed point where it is, there is little interaction with the ground and it's far quieter than any other vertical.
It has not traps or coils to go bad, arc or lose power, this is very important as these things lose quite a bit of power sometimes and some antennas have a coil for every band.
It operates under 2 to 1 SWR on every band, so no antenna tuner is needed, just turn the dial to another frequency and talk when it's your turn without adjusting anything (including the antenna, ever). You also have no signal loss from an antenna tuner, so the majority of your signal is being radiated. It's easy to assemble and can be put up by two people in about 15 minutes. You should have one set of guy rope.
This antenna also works so well due to a very low take off angle, so there are less hops needed to get to another country, giving more power when it hits the foreign station. This is why it's many times better than a yagi at a great height. Height is not always your friend when it comes to DX.
This antenna puts a smile on my face every time I use it. With one hundred watts, you can usually break a pile up in less than 5 calls with good timing. Add 500 watts and you get called on right away. right along with the big guns with the towers, yagi's and 1500 watts.
Now no vertical is as good as the big gun station I just mentioned, but at times it is as good or better. Much depends on conditions and location. I live in Idaho sourounded by 3 tall mountains, not on the coast overlooking the ocean, a much less than ideal location to work.
Go to the review section and look up Gap Challenger, there are about 5 pages of very happy people who have them. So when someone who has never used one calls it a dummy load, refer him to the reviews, you really have to use one to know just how good it is. There are excellent magazine write up copies on the Gap web site just to show I'm not blowing hot air. All of this for about $350.00.

I have dipoles and other home made antennas, mostly for working closer in. There are times a home made antenna may work better than this vertical on one band, but in the vast majority of the cases, unless the dipole is at full height, the Challenger will out do it.
The Challenger is better for DX, the dipoles are better for contacts about 800 miles and in.
So keep working on your home made antennas, they are great and lots of fun. I just wanted to mention the Gap Challenger because it's so darn easy in every way and makes fantastic DX contacts for very little money.
I started out with just home made antennas and had a great time, but until I got the Gap, I never made all that many DX contacts and made them so easily.
My money is tight, that's why I love the Gap. I didn't have an amp till last week and the Gap worked great barefoot. It's just faster and a little easier for a weak DX station to hear you with the amp. You will still make the contact 95% of the time barefoot with this antenna.

Anyway, enjoy the hobby, it's the best. If you don't care for anything store bought, then the Gap may not be for you, but if your like me and mix antennas, take a hard look at the Challenger, it's worth far more than they charge.

73's John KF7VXA
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W9GB
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Posts: 2623




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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2014, 03:27:34 PM »

Quote from: KF7ATL
In desperation I made a simple wire vertical patterned after a portable antenna that I saw on line. It is tuned for the CW portion of 10m. Wow! In the last couple of weeks I have worked several new DX stations with good signal reports, including Hong Kong and the Marshall Islands. I had no ideal that such a simple antenna (only 4 ground radials) could work so well. I am very happy with this antenna. The only downside is that it only works on 10m.
For the Beginner, Novice, or Newbie --- The simple advice has not changed over the past 75 years.

KEEP IT SIMPLE --
Hertz (1/2-wave horizontal dipole; 1893) and Marconi (1/4-wave ground mounted vertical with radials; 1896).

IF you don't DIY Build and understand the characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages
of these TWO Basic Antennas -- used from BC, MF, HF, VHF, UHF, SHF to Microwaves;
THEN you'll never grasp all of the highly marketed derivatives sold for HF.

Outside of Fractal Antenna Designs,
there has NOT been a "new" US Patent for HF Antennas since early 1980s (WARC-79 designs).


BTW, Don Newcomb, W0DN (SK, 2006) co-founder of Butternut Electronics Company
with Pat Tice, WA0TDA, San Marcos / Lockhart, TX was one of those last patents for the
HF series of vertical antennas. (Bencher purchased the company in 1994).
http://www.google.com/patents/US4630060

BTW, the selection of the Butternut Company name, as recalled by Pat Tice, WA0TDA in 2006.
"In the 1970s, We started the company in the basement of an old country schoolhouse Don was using as a home.  
It happened to be in Butternut Township, Blue Earth County, Minnesota -- hence the 'Butternut' name for the company."
« Last Edit: April 03, 2014, 03:54:53 PM by W9GB » Logged
N2ADV
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Posts: 59




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« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2014, 07:05:16 AM »

I made a simple vertical out of an old camera tripod, an even older 102" steel CB whip, some wooden stakes, and some stiff wire from the local big box home improvement store and set it up in my back yard.  I made hundreds of CW contacts on 10 (and phone/digital), 12 (and phone), 15 (and phone/digital), 17 (and phone/digital), and even 20 meters.  I later made a simple loading coil out of some spare PVC pipe and made CW contacts on 80 meters on the other side of the country ("You're using what??").  Sometimes simple is just plain awesome and my favorite contacts are the ones made on antennas that "aren't supposed to work"  Smiley

Enjoy!

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ONAIR
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Posts: 1741




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« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2014, 02:46:10 PM »

I made a simple vertical out of an old camera tripod, an even older 102" steel CB whip, some wooden stakes, and some stiff wire from the local big box home improvement store and set it up in my back yard.  I made hundreds of CW contacts on 10 (and phone/digital), 12 (and phone), 15 (and phone/digital), 17 (and phone/digital), and even 20 meters.  I later made a simple loading coil out of some spare PVC pipe and made CW contacts on 80 meters on the other side of the country ("You're using what??").  Sometimes simple is just plain awesome and my favorite contacts are the ones made on antennas that "aren't supposed to work"  Smiley

Enjoy!


   Nice back yard!  Smiley
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