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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Verticals; Wire; Loop | Van Gorden G5RV Help

Reviews Summary for Van Gorden G5RV
Van Gorden G5RV Reviews: 40 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $28.95
Description: 102 Foot Dipole, Covers 3.5-30 MHZ
Product is in production.
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WA6DIL Rating: 5/5 Feb 17, 2017 15:47 Send this review to a friend
Great Compromise Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had taken this antenna down years ago in favor of a full size 80/40 inverted vee at my Sunriver, OR QTH. Something happened to the coax buried under 5 feet of snow, so I decided to resurrect the G5RV.
Being in an HOA neighborhood, I cut off the bare stranded #14 wire and replaced it with black teflon insulated #18. It's pretty much invisible and the snow doesn't stick to it as set up in inverted vee fashion.
To make a long story short, nobody has said I was weaker than usual on 75M, it has a much smaller footprint, and it works GREAT on 20M. It may be a compromise antenna, but it is working just fine for me. It is also quieter by a couple of S units on 75M than the full sized inverted vees were. It handles a KW on CW just fine. It does need an antenna tuner, but that's no big deal - very easy to tune.
It appears Van Gordon is out of business now, which leaves a void for inexpensive, yet quality antenna products. Sorry to see them gone. 73, Dave WA6DIL
KA1VF Rating: 4/5 Mar 15, 2012 18:33 Send this review to a friend
workhorse antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had my Van Gorden G5RV (full size) installed
at this QTH since July of 1997. It's an unusual
configuration because it's apexed at only 25 feet
so 6 feet of 31 foot twinlead is on the ground.
It seems to work fine on 80 meters to 10 meters
including some weird MARS freq's. Why? Because
each end of the inverted V is tied to a 5 foot
high chain link fence. I'm assuming that fence
acts as a groundwave counterpoise, and it gives
my high angle RF pattern a low angle effect.
KG4GPJ Rating: 4/5 Nov 13, 2009 15:17 Send this review to a friend
It Works  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I was given a Van Gorden "standard" G5RV (102-feet long, with 31.5 feet of 300 ohm twin feedline - not window or ladder line). It also had 70 feet of RG-8x attached to the twin lead through a "transition device" which looks like a balun. I chopped-off 25 feet of the coax, and it didn't seem to affect the SWR readings at all. Putting an MFJ-259B antenna analyzer on it shows that the antenna, as installed at my QTH, is naturally resonant only just below 14 MHz and around 50.150 MHz. Elsewhere, the SWRs are all over the place.

I had read so many conflicting reports about the effectiveness of the G5RV on any band but 20 meters that I really didn't expect a lot, especially with the SWR readings, but I decided to just "throw it up," and see what happened, as I needed a second another HF antenna in addition to a long-wire.

I put it up as an inverted "V" with the apex at about 40-45 feet and the ends down around 15 feet. The "legs" are spread-out greater than 120 degrees.

Darned if it didn't work better than expected, especially on 80 meters where it's too short, but my Ten-Tec 238A tuner brings the SWR down flat on all bands 80m-10m. 160m is problematic, even with extra capacitance added to the Ten-Tec. 40 and 20 are the "sweet spot" for this version of the G5RV for my QTH, and in addition to many state-side contacts, I've worked Belgium and Hawaii on 20, and SA on 40.

For a good, all-round, easy to install HF antenna, the G5RV is a good value for the money (especially when the cost is "0!").
N4HNH Rating: 5/5 Jun 5, 2009 12:54 Send this review to a friend
Surprised after many years!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased a Van Gorden G5RV from HRO Atlanta in 1991. It worked well with my Yaesu FT-890/AT. In 1994 I replaced the G5RV with a Fritzel off-center-fed dipole. The Fritzel was clearly better almost 100% of the time and required no tuner. So the G5RV was retired to the junk heap of miscellaneous antenna parts.

In 1998 I moved to a different QTH and put the Fritzel up again at 55 feet . It continues to serve me very well. I wish I could buy another as a backup. But back to the G5RV. I have trouble with powerline noise at this QTH. I purchased the MFJ-1026 noise canceling signal enhancer a couple of years ago. It works best with an external receiving antenna though. I thought of the G5RV out in my antenna graveyard tool shed. By the way, the MFJ-1026 really works. It will knock the noise level down to almost non-existent. I posted a review about it on eHam. So I installed the G5RV as an inverted-V with the apex at 35 feet.

The way the MFJ-1026 works is by adjusting the receive level knob for the noise antenna and the main antenna to the point where they both receive the noise at approximately the same signal level. You then turn a phase knob to null out the noise. While making these adjustments I often noticed that the G5RV did not receive much noise at all and on 40m and 80m it often had a superior signal from received stations. In fact the G5RV receives almost no noise when the others bring in 5-7 S-units of noise. It is a very quiet antenna. This is the Van Gorden model that is fed with twin-lead and comes with a matching unit and 75 feet of RG8/X coax.

I was so stunned by the performance of the G5RV at this new location that I lowered it down and replaced the bare wire that comes with it from Van Gorden with 12AWG stranded and black insulated wire from Home Depot. It has become my main antenna for 40m and one of my main antennas for 80m. It will sometimes beat the OCF dipole by 10dB in signal strength and with almost zero noise. I sometimes use it as a receiving antenna for 20m DX because I can hear Russian stations clearly with the G5RV. In fact sometimes it is the only way I can hear them at all. It doesn't usually out perform the OCF dipole on 20m transmit but hears better because of the low-noise characteristic.

In addition to the OCF dipole I have a Cushraft R-5 vertical, a 160m homebrew dipole fed with ladder line, and a 40m homebrew loop fed with ladder line. The Van Gorden G5RV beats all of the other antennas I have, as far as signal-to-noise ratio is concerned, and sometimes wins on signal strength as well. I see why so many G5RV antennas have been sold. I know there are many variations of the G5RV dipole, and some may deserve the negative press they receive, but the Van Gorden has proven itself to me.
KJ4ECM Rating: 5/5 Aug 22, 2008 08:51 Send this review to a friend
Nice solution!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I Have the version with window ladder 450 ohms. Its up about 50'. They work good. Just keep in mind that the antenna is designed to work on alot of bands 80-6m for me. So this means it is not very efficent on any one single band. I plan on putting up a 20 and 40 meter dipole of a better solution. If you just want to get on the air, this is it, period. Cheap enough and works very very well. I talk all over the bands with this even 6 meter. So summing it up, I would recommend this antenna to anyone.
AD7TO Rating: 3/5 May 15, 2008 01:39 Send this review to a friend
Will get you on the air.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I ran one of these G5RVs back in 1995 and 1996. And I also got a new one this year. I had it up for about 3 months. The apex was up about 35ft.
For the money these are not to bad. But there are other antennas someone can make for about the same price or less that will work better. The G5RV really seems to do best on 20 meters. That is where mine always seem to do its well. Mine had a lot of loss and high SWR except on 20 meters. You will need a tuner with this antenna. I don't own a amp so all my HF contacts are with 100 watts.

I was not overly impressed with the preformance of this antenna. So after owning two of them I decided it was time to try something else.

All in all not the worst antenna. And if you need a cheap antenna that will work and you dont want to build or have time to build this antenna is not bad.
M1SPY Rating: 3/5 Oct 14, 2007 02:28 Send this review to a friend
Fair  Time owned: more than 12 months
Ive had one up for aboy 5 yrs off and on and always believed rhe bottom connector contained some kind of device for a twin feed/coax match.
The aerial came down this week after high wind so I carefully opened the device up and found the so259 wired directly to the posts where the tin feed attaches.- No sign of any matching device- whilst the G5RV worked I suspect this may contribute to raised SWR issues right accross the spectrum, 50 ohm to 300 or even 450 is not good!
K2MK Rating: 5/5 May 16, 2007 14:38 Send this review to a friend
Good value  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
There are a few versions of the G5RV from Van Gorden. I have the G5RV-E which they call the economy version. A full 102 feet long with 31 feet of ladder line finishing up in a coupling device with a S0239 connector. No RG cable supplied. The total purchase price on-line including shipping was $39.26.

It is very reasonably priced and arrives as a kit. The wires are cut, you just have to put them into the insulators and solder. Very simple and quick.

This is only a temporary antenna for me as I have a SteppIR BigIR on order. I installed the G5RV as an inverted VEE from a tree limb about 20 to 25 feet high. I am using the auto tuner inside my FT-1000D and it works well. I only tried the lower band edges as I only work CW. No problems auto tuning on 80 through 12 meters including all WARC bands. I experienced a slightly higher SWR on 10 meters below 28100 MHz. I suspect that a fuller range tuner would improve the SWR between 28000 and 28100. My installation involves the use of about 160 feet of RG8 cable which could have had some impact on the SWR.

I've made contacts on several of the bands with no difficulty in the one day I've had the G5RV in service. If I could hear them I could work them. All in all I'm very satisfied. I wasn't sure how well the auto tuner would work with the antenna. I was very pleasantly surprised.
K3MD Rating: 5/5 Feb 19, 2007 04:57 Send this review to a friend
Excellent portable antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Had this ant down on St. Johns for the ARRL CW DX contest.... 2300 contacts with 100 watts. Easily tuned. Tuned on 160, but did not get out on that band. Antenna worked better slightly lower than up on an MFJ 30 foot telescoping mast, due to interference from the metal roof structure.
K5ENA Rating: 5/5 Jun 27, 2006 11:31 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had my G5RV at 42 feet for about 5 years with excellent results on 80-10 meters. Though skeptical at first of the center insulator, the antenna has endured very well through all kinds of severe weather here in Oklahoma.
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