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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | Gotham Vertical V-40, V-80, V-160 Help

Reviews Summary for Gotham Vertical V-40, V-80, V-160
Gotham Vertical V-40, V-80, V-160 Reviews: 31 Average rating: 2.3/5 MSRP: $14.95 to 18.95 plus shipping.
Description: Antenna heavily advertised in QST in the 1950s and 1960s, with fantastic ads. "Work the World with your Gotham Vertical". No longer available new.
Product is in production.
More info: http://none
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K1XV Rating: 0/5 Mar 18, 2004 23:06 Send this review to a friend
Destroyer of novice careers  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Anyone who broke into amateur radio in the late 1950s and 1960s and read QST Magazine could not have missed the ads for the Gotham Vertical series, sold by Gotham of Miami Beach Florida. Their ads were typically one or two full pages, and hyped the antenna as a DX machine that required absolutely no radials.

Essentially, this antenna comprised some sections of aluminum tubing, some wooden dowels over which you slipped the tubing to join the sections, and hose clamps to electrically connect the sections together. When assembled, it was around 23 feet long.

At the base was a piece of B&W air coil. As represented by Gotham, all you had to do was feed a coax out to the antenna base, connect the center of the coax, with an alligator clip, to the B&W coil at an appropriate point for the band being worked, and attach the coax braid to a short ground rod.

You attached this contraption to a wooden post or other support with a few metal straps.

Not long after getting my Novice license in 1962, I purchased one of these from another ex-Novice whose license had expired and whose amateur radio career was essentially over. That should have told me something. I assembled it following the instructions closely. I could not be heard by other stations only a mile away. In the hands of someone who knew what they were doing, it was possible to get this contraption to work, but the marketing was largely directed at Novices.

After trying to get this thing to work for about a month, I gave up, put up a dipole which worked marvelously, and soon moved on to General.

I am surprised that the ARRL allowed Gotham to publish those outrageous ads for so many years. I guess in those days, the mighty dollar came before integrity, even though I seem to recall that the League claimed that everything advertised in QST was thoroughly tested. I guess it didn't have to pass.

I seem to recall that I had paid about $12 for it used. That was a lot of money for a kid in those days. With some shame, I admit that I sold it to someone else for about the same price.

I recently picked up an unassembled Gotham V-160 that I intend to put together this Spring and try to get to work by its manufacturers instructions, now that 42 years have passed, and I have some modern antenna analyzers to see what is going on with it. I suspect it will not work much better.
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