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Author Topic: Poll - New General Dipoles  (Read 2565 times)

Posts: 43

« on: October 12, 2009, 08:38:31 PM »

I've upgraded to General and only have enough money to build and feed three 1/2 wave dipoles.  While I'm trying to decide what bands to cut them for, I'd thought I'd ask this as a poll question.  If you were in my situation, what three bands would you construct your dipole for?

I currently have a 10m dipole for the Novice/Tech SSB sub-band.

Length is not a problem, I have enough land for 1/2 wave dipoles from the 80m through 10m bands.  However, orientation will be approximately 040 degrees / 220 degrees or more simply Northeast to Southwest.  Geographically, I'm in the Phoenix, Arizona area.

I'm primarily going to operate SSB voice.

Posts: 805

« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2009, 07:51:05 AM »

Don't worry too much about orientation. Unless you are able to mount an HF dipole very high, you won't see all that much directionality. 20 meters is pretty much a given, being the most active band, probably offering the greatest variety of activities to survey. From there, it depends on your interests. But note that a 40 meter dipole will also work on 15 meters, so you get a twofer out of that one.

A multiband fan dipole is another option. More wire but one feedline, although they can be tricky to get all the bands matching well.

There's a variation on that theme at:

The classic advice is the dipole cut for the lowest frequency and fed with ladder line and a tuner. I'm assuming you figure the tuner costs puts it out of play for now, but it's a consideration, and you might run the numbers on what you save in coax feedlines and misc hardware and see if it's more workable than you think. Used tuners can be had for around $50. You get every band from the cut frequency up. 100 feet of ladder line is under $20. You can scrounge wire from most metal recyclers where the commercial electricians have dumped left over rolls with as much wire as you're going to need. It will probably be the one antenna you always keep in service, no matter what else you put up some day.

Posts: 711

« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2009, 11:18:37 AM »

Personally, I would choose dipoles for:

40 meters
20 meters
17 meters

40 is open 24/7 to somewhere. Great ragchewing band and now an excellent DX band too on SSB.

20 is the best all-around band when we have lots of sunspots. During those times, it's open 24/7 somewhere in the world. But, of course, sunspots are in short supply these days but getting better although slowly. The band is useful much of the day and part of the night at present. A great DX band, even with a dipole.

17 is a nice band during daylight hours. Great for ragchewing all around North America and open to various DX locations too. But not open every day at present because of low sunspots. But still open way more than 15, 12 or 10 meters at present.

That's plan A. Plan B would substitute 80 for 17 meters. 80 is open every night but not too useful during the day. And some hams like 80 meter ragchewing with fellows not too far away and some don't care for that style operation or the sometimes "strange" conversations one hears. YMMV.

But 40 and 20 are the two must haves out of that group.

73, Dave, N4KZ

Posts: 81

« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2009, 12:13:21 PM »

another option is OCF..Off Center Feedwire...muliple bands on single wire..i use 139 ft wire feed 45 ft from one end..and use a 4:1 balun at the feedpoint i operate 80 thru 10mtr with no problem and use a tuner to make it work on 160m and to give wider b/w on 80m...dimensions are not critical

best easy to read article is by VK2DQ..just google ocf and VK2DQ...

then there is the Fan Dipole..single feedline with wire for each band hung below the other..takes a bit of tuning of each wire...up/down can get to be tedious and frustrating..

then there is doublet..137ft wire centerfeed wire with open feedline and tuner

lotsa choice for wire antennaes,,have fun and just try something..

paul K3SF

Posts: 115

« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2009, 10:59:58 PM »

An 80 mtr dipole as high as you can get it is a thing of beauty. Feed it with twin lead to an LC tuner and a balun and it will work from 160mtrs to 10mtrs and maybe even 6 mtrs.

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