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View Full Version : POLL: What single antenna do you use for 160-80-40m, 160-80, or for 80-40?



AE7F
04-04-2013, 08:06 PM
It's not an official poll because I'm sure I could not pre-list all of the antennas that people use. This is a write-in poll. Please answer it somewhat like this:

Bands - Make/model - how well it works/worked for you - ground

So, something like: 160-80-40 - Cushcraft MA160V - works gangbusters on 160 and 40, extensive buried radials...

or....

80-40 - Butternut HF2V - works killer on 80-40, useless on 160, chain link fence ground...

etc...

Mostly interested in verticals because I have no tall trees or methods to hide dipole supports and the current 133ft dipole I use is too low for DX, and DX is the primary goal. Mag loops are also a consideration for several reasons.

K9STH
04-04-2013, 09:53 PM
The Rolls Royce of verticals: HyGain HyTower

Glen, K9STH

KB1NXE
04-04-2013, 10:14 PM
Alpha-Delta DX-A Sloper. 160-80-40 Attached to my tower to provide capacitance hat in the form of the 5 Band Quad et al at the top. Works OK on 80 and 40. Never tried 160.

WA8UEG
04-04-2013, 10:29 PM
Would never use one antenna for more than one band. Well, I do use a 2 element quad for 20/15/10 but a quad is really 3 single band antennas, I do use an antenna tuner to cover 17 & 12 with the quad and works great. 160 & 80 are double extended zepps and 6 is a 4 element quad. Going to do a 2 element beam for 40 this summer.

2E0OZI
04-04-2013, 10:39 PM
W3EDP made from cheap wire by myself. A 86 foot radiator and a 17 foot counterpoise.

K8JD
04-04-2013, 11:08 PM
160M, dipole cut for 1820
80M, dipole cut for 3550, Butternut HF6V vertical
60M, halfwave dipole fed with 450 ohm line w/ MFJ balanced tuner.
40M, fullwave loop, B. vert, 60M dipole
30M, Fan dipole 30/20M, B. vert, 60M dipole
20M, Fan dipole 30/20M, B. vert, 60M dipole
10M, Hygain, 3 el monobnd Yagi
6M, Hygain 4 el monoband Yagi
The 60M dipole system here is a good performer on several bands. The Butternut is also a good multiband vertical, both get used a lot, here.
I have been building and buying antennas for the last 51 years and weeded out many poor designs or impractital ideas.

WA7PRC
04-04-2013, 11:37 PM
The Rolls Royce of verticals: HyGain HyTower
In the OP's case, this might be the bestest choice. Unlike many tall verticals, no guys are needed with the AV-18HT (http://www.hy-gain.com/Product.php?productid=AV-18HT).
It rates 4.9/5.0: http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/2238

K9ASE
04-04-2013, 11:47 PM
The Rolls Royce of verticals: HyGain HyTower

Glen, K9STH Dare to dream, for now a 6BTV will have to work

K9STH
04-05-2013, 01:19 AM
ASE:

I acquired my HyTower over 40-years ago and it was used. Although they definitely are expensive these days, they are still the best commercially made amateur radio vertical on the market.

Glen, K9STH

W8NSI
04-05-2013, 02:30 AM
I use the Tennadyne TD-160 but also have 160m and 40m full wave loops (both fed with 450 ohm twin line to separate tuners in the shack) and a 20m 1/4 ground plane vertical.

KC8VWM
04-05-2013, 02:46 AM
I forget where I seen this exactly, but someone studied and published that a very large majority of hams use a wire dipole for 80 and 160m

W9JEF
04-05-2013, 04:09 AM
Main skywire is an 80 meter inverted vee turnstile, 48 feet high at the apex, fed with open line. Aside from it being an 80 meter NVIS CPOL, any two legs can be fed on all HF bands. For DX on 160, 80, and 40, the four wires are tied together and fed as a flat top cag vertical, against the house powerline neutral, and radial system. For 30 meters, a 27 foot vertical wire hangs from the northwest end insulator. Also, for 30 meters, a 50 foot TV tower, fed with a quarter-wave skirt against 6 elevated counterpoise radials. The wire works better for stateside, but the tower excells for DX. For further details look up my callsign bio.

KO6WB
04-05-2013, 04:39 AM
Magnetic loop 40 foot circumference in a square configuration. 10 feet off the ground, no radials worked 80, 60 and 40 meters
in very fine manner. New place, 2.5 foot per side magnetic loop 4 feet off the ground, no radials. Works 40, 30, 20, 17, 15 and 12 meters.
Works fine on all bands.
Note: the HyGain Hy-Tower antenna is priced almost exactly the same as it was back in the day, accounting for the inflation index.
Have fun
73
Gary

PA5COR
04-05-2013, 08:06 AM
160 and up, lengthened OCF ( Fritzel FD-4) and 77 feet high inverted L with autotuner at the base for 160-20.
Some other antenna's for 20-10 5 element beam for 6.

N0AZZ
04-05-2013, 10:14 AM
10/12/15/17/20/30/40m Mosley Pro-67 C3, 10-160m Hy Gain Hy Tower AV-18HT 10-80m with top mounted 160m kit 64 radials my very best 80m antenna and very good on 40m. A 270' OCFD @60' inverted V 6-160m Buckmaster 3kw. Dipole 270' @ 60' hung N/S for 160m. Use a vertical rotatable receiving loop for 80/160m.

N0GMT
04-05-2013, 04:01 PM
I put up a 160m inverted-L, fed with coax and used a tuner in the shack. It worked well on 160, but was a PITA to tune.
Finally bought an MFJ-994BRT auto tuner and mounted it ouside, at the base of the inverted-L. Now, not only is this a good 160m antenna,
it's a good EVERYTHING antenna! In the WPX contest last weekend, I was using it on 15 and 20, so I wouldn't have to be turning the
beam back and forth all the time.

AE7F
04-05-2013, 05:29 PM
The Rolls Royce of verticals: HyGain HyTower

Glen, K9STH

I agree with you based on what I have heard and read. Do you have and use one, Glen?

AE7F
04-05-2013, 05:31 PM
Alpha-Delta DX-A Sloper. 160-80-40 Attached to my tower to provide capacitance hat in the form of the 5 Band Quad et al at the top. Works OK on 80 and 40. Never tried 160.

Thanks for the info. Would like to know how/if it works on 160. When you say OK on 80, 40, are you working DX on those bands? Finally, how high is the high end of the sloper above ground? Thanks.

AE7F
04-05-2013, 05:32 PM
Would never use one antenna for more than one band. Well, I do use a 2 element quad for 20/15/10 but a quad is really 3 single band antennas, I do use an antenna tuner to cover 17 & 12 with the quad and works great. 160 & 80 are double extended zepps and 6 is a 4 element quad. Going to do a 2 element beam for 40 this summer.

I agree that monobanders are best but I don't have a good way to support high monoband dipoles right now. How well do those zepps work and how high are they?

AE7F
04-05-2013, 05:55 PM
160M, dipole cut for 1820
80M, dipole cut for 3550, Butternut HF6V vertical


How high are your dipoles?

Also, since you have the 80m dipole AND the HF6V for 80, how do they compare for DX? I assume the dipole, if high enough at your location, works very well and probably hears better than the vertical but that the vertical TXs well for DX?



40M, fullwave loop, B. vert, 60M dipole
The 60M dipole system here is a good performer on several bands. The Butternut is also a good multiband vertical, both get used a lot, here.
I have been building and buying antennas for the last 51 years and weeded out many poor designs or impractital ideas.

So it also looks like you can also compare for me the 40m loop vs the HF6V on 40 as well.

If you have opinions on what to avoid for 160-80-40, I'd love to hear them. Thanks.

AE7F
04-05-2013, 06:02 PM
In the OP's case, this might be the bestest choice. Unlike many tall verticals, no guys are needed with the AV-18HT (http://www.hy-gain.com/Product.php?productid=AV-18HT).
It rates 4.9/5.0: http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/2238

Yeah, that is one nice antenna that I'd love to try.

Another tall vertical that requires guys (I'm in a high-wind area) is ok as long as performance (especially 80-40) justifies the installation trouble. My 133ft dipole at 20ft hardly works well enough to even keep in the air. I guess last night it redeemed itself some, as I got Hawaii 599 on 30m and Alaska 449 on 160m.

Height is an obvious problem. It worked better as a 102ft G5RV inverted V at about 35ft than it does as an 80/40/30 dipole at 20ft. That's why I'm leaning towards a vertical...

AE7F
04-05-2013, 06:04 PM
I forget where I seen this exactly, but someone studied and published that a very large majority of hams use a wire dipole for 80 and 160m

That's indeed what it looks like, even from the small sample size here. How is your mast working on the low bands, Charles?

AE7F
04-05-2013, 06:05 PM
Magnetic loop 40 foot circumference in a square configuration. 10 feet off the ground, no radials worked 80, 60 and 40 meters
in very fine manner. New place, 2.5 foot per side magnetic loop 4 feet off the ground, no radials. Works 40, 30, 20, 17, 15 and 12 meters.
Works fine on all bands.
Note: the HyGain Hy-Tower antenna is priced almost exactly the same as it was back in the day, accounting for the inflation index.
Have fun
73
Gary

Gary, are those homebrew mag loops or commercial offerings? Maybe you can post more details on your mag loops?

AE7F
04-05-2013, 06:07 PM
160 and up, lengthened OCF ( Fritzel FD-4) and 77 feet high inverted L with autotuner at the base for 160-20.
Some other antenna's for 20-10 5 element beam for 6.

Sounds really nice. My mast is only 35ft, so I hesitate to even try the inverted L, which I think would otherwise be a fine antenna for the low bands.

K9STH
04-05-2013, 06:08 PM
7F:

My HyTower has been in use for over 40-years. For 160-meters I have a quarter-wave wire fed in parallel with the vertical that works MUCH better than the original base loading coil. HyGain now has a 160-meter kit that runs a wire from the tower portion instead of the virtually useless coil. However, I have had the quarter-wave of wire for almost 3-decades. My radials are elevated, running along my wooden stockade fence, along the retaining wall for my swimming pool, and around the slab of my house. There are 4-radials cut for 80-meters, 4-radials cut for 40-meters, and 4-random length radials. The performance is considerably better than when I had 60-buried radials that got "torn up" when my swimming pool was installed.

I can also phase the HyTower with a full sized 40-meter vertical located 35-feet away for 90-degree phasing which gives a cardioid pattern with about 4.5 dB gain in the desired direction, about 3 dB gain at 90-degrees on either side, and about -20 dB off the back. That pattern can be reversed by "throwing a switch".

The HyTower is located about 1/2-block from the highest point in the City of Richardson. It is less than 10-feet to the top of the hill and then downhill from that. Basically, downhill for over 300-degrees and uphill and then downhill for less than 60-degrees. According to the ground conductivity maps published by the FCC, the ground conductivity in this area is the best in all 50-states. That definitely helps.

Glen, K9STH

WB5YIW
04-05-2013, 06:17 PM
I used at GAP Titan DX for many years. It didn't work on 160 obviously, but it did a decent job on the rest of the bands. Any multiband antenna is a compromise at best. You'll hear folks tell you that they can't possibly work, that they are just lossy dummy loads, all sorts of stuff. I figure if all the measuring equipment says it's ok, my finals are happy. If I talk to people on it, it's doing its job. Whether it is a true antenna or not makes no difference to me.

WA8UEG
04-05-2013, 06:55 PM
I agree that monobanders are best but I don't have a good way to support high monoband dipoles right now. How well do those zepps work and how high are they?

There flat (about 75' in the middle and both ends on both 160 & 80) but it takes a lot of real estate. About 700' for 160 & 350' for 80. As far as performance it is great, much better than the full size 1/2 wave dipoles I replaced. I'm blessed with a lot of property and a lot of very tall trees.

KF5RYJ
04-05-2013, 08:41 PM
I use a BSquare folded dipole for 80-10 meters. I haven't tried 30 or 60 with it, though. The AT on my MK V MP keeps everything under 1.5 or so except on 10M, where it can get up to about 2:1.

N5YPJ
04-06-2013, 01:18 AM
7F:

My HyTower has been in use for over 40-years. For 160-meters I have a quarter-wave wire fed in parallel with the vertical that works MUCH better than the original base loading coil. HyGain now has a 160-meter kit that runs a wire from the tower portion instead of the virtually useless coil. However, I have had the quarter-wave of wire for almost 3-decades. My radials are elevated, running along my wooden stockade fence, along the retaining wall for my swimming pool, and around the slab of my house. There are 4-radials cut for 80-meters, 4-radials cut for 40-meters, and 4-random length radials. The performance is considerably better than when I had 60-buried radials that got "torn up" when my swimming pool was installed.

I can also phase the HyTower with a full sized 40-meter vertical located 35-feet away for 90-degree phasing which gives a cardioid pattern with about 4.5 dB gain in the desired direction, about 3 dB gain at 90-degrees on either side, and about -20 dB off the back. That pattern can be reversed by "throwing a switch".

The HyTower is located about 1/2-block from the highest point in the City of Richardson. It is less than 10-feet to the top of the hill and then downhill from that. Basically, downhill for over 300-degrees and uphill and then downhill for less than 60-degrees. According to the ground conductivity maps published by the FCC, the ground conductivity in this area is the best in all 50-states. That definitely helps.

Glen, K9STH

STH: What size is your yard?

KC8VWM
04-06-2013, 01:47 AM
That's indeed what it looks like, even from the small sample size here. How is your mast working on the low bands, Charles?

:) Works pretty good Ben, except I need to find a way to do remote switching at the inductor coil. I found some interesting solid state 10 amp relays at a recent hamfest I can use for this. I admit, sometimes I break down and use the antenna tuner in the shack instead.

Incidently, the Cobweb itself which covers 20m-10m bands makes a great top hat for a 160m-40m vertical, so it serves a dual purpose on the "mast / vertical antenna" arrangement I am using.

K9STH
04-06-2013, 02:20 AM
YPJ:

Total lot size is 72-feet wide by 130-feet deep. However, my house is located almost in the middle of the lot and the driveway and garage is in the rear. Therefore, the backyard is about 40-feet by 50-feet. Then, there is a swimming pool that is 33-feet long and 13-feet wide on one side of the backyard that is about 5-feet from the edge of the yard on the side away from the driveway. The HyTower is mounted next to the house and is about 10-feet away from my main tower which is house-bracketed. There is a retaining wall in the backyard about 6-feet from the house and then the level drops about 42-inches to the pool level. There is another retaining wall about 3-feet high at the rear of the backyard which then drops down to the alley. Also, on the side of the backyard, along the pool, there is another retaining wall about 3-feet which then drops to my next door neighbor. There is no retaining wall in the front yard but there is a fairly steep drop offl to the neighbor.

As I said before, the highest point in the city is 1/2-block west of my house. From the highest point it runs east, downhill, for 2-blocks to a park with a creek running through the park. There is about a 200-foot drop between the high point and the creek. My house sits on a rock ledge that is about 12-feet below the surface and which ends about 6-feet east of my house. That is why the sudden drop to my neighbor's house on the east side. There is a tree in my front yard that has grown less than 10-feet taller since I bought the house 41-years ago. Basically, the roots cannot go any deeper, they just have spread out.

Because of the layout, I can only get the vertical that I phase with the HyTower 35-feet away. That makes for quarter-wave spacing and 90-degree phasing.

Glen, K9STH

KO6WB
04-06-2013, 05:02 AM
Gary, are those homebrew mag loops or commercial offerings? Maybe you can post more details on your mag loops?
Homebrewed magnetic loops. Here's the details on the one I used for 80-40 meters and it will work well on 160.
128460
The smaller loop is just a scaled down version of this one. It has worked very well for such a small antenna.
More details on 160-40 meter operations on a loop just about same circumference as the one shown above.
He used 3/4" copper pipe and a octagon shape. interesting read. Look here; http://brisdance.com/vk4amz/LOOP.html.
More information here at; http://www.nonstopsystems.com/radio/frank_radio_antenna_magloop.htm.
BTW the new smaller loop has the vacuum variable inline with the tubing and driven with a belt cog combination.
The drive motor is a 9 buck cordless screwdriver. Tuning is very quick and I am developing an auto-tuner that
will hit very close to the proper tuning point by flipping a switch. Stay tuned.
Have fun and hope this helps
73
Gary

KA0GKT
04-06-2013, 05:59 AM
The Rolls Royce of verticals: HyGain HyTower

Glen, K9STH

Add my vote for the 18HT

N0AZZ
04-06-2013, 11:10 AM
I've had my AV-18HT up for 5 yrs many times it equals my 3 element 40m beam and is a rear killer on 80m my best antenna of several wire dipoles. Free standing non trapped and still no better design after all these years a vertical element for each the bands 10-80m easy to tune.

KM1H
04-06-2013, 03:31 PM
A vertical on a roof with radials is hard to beat 10-40M and any reasonable efficiency ground mounted requires an extensive radial system in most parts of the US, and that includes that pricey Hy Gain AV-18HT which doesnt work on 160 worth a hoot and many dont like it on 80 either.

While most serious 160/80M DXers and contesters use verticals, an inverted vee can do the job at times if it is high enough to minimize ground losses. Something on the order of a good used TV/CB tower, removed telephone pole (free around here) with an extension, guyed push up mast, or whatever else you can get to 60-70' can support an effective inverted vee. It can also support full size inverted L's for 80/160, with elevated radials if possible, which are probably the most popular 80/160 vertical for DXers, etc.

I use a single coax to feed 160/80/75M inverted vee wires.

A seperate sort of lazy 75M sloper with a 40M inverted vee hanging from its feed fills in for one of the vintage AM stations and also does well on 15. When it warms up that will become a pair of inverted vees.

I dont even own an antenna tuner and either the modern rigs ATU or the vintage TX pi network load them fine. Amps are slightly modified if needed; after all a pi network IS an impedance matching device and values are not cast in stone.

Carl

K9STH
04-06-2013, 06:58 PM
1H:

With the base loading coil the HyTower is basically a dummy load on 160-meters. However, the method that HyGain now uses for 160-meters on the HyTower does improve the performance considerably. The quarter-wave wire that I use in parallel with the HyTower works even better than what HyGain is now using. Although I did not know it at the time, the configuration of this quarter-wave wire comes very close to an antenna developed by Electrospace Industries (a "spin off" from the old Collins Radio Antenna Group) for the United States military. That antenna performs very well.

Most amateur radio operators do not have the land area necessary for optimum performance on 160-meters and many don't have enough land available for even 80-meters. The same thing goes for height restrictions. As such, those operators have to develop the best compromise that they can.

Glen, K9STH

KM1H
04-06-2013, 09:22 PM
A 1/4 wave inverted L fed from the same point will also do very well at high efficiency dependent upon the radial system. Fence mesh extending as spokes 50' from the base makes a huge difference on 80/160 with any vertical as the current is maximum at the base and drops with distance.

Carl

AD5ND
04-06-2013, 11:42 PM
For the 80-40-20 meter bands I used a 260' horizontal loop at 25-30' fed with 50something feet of surplus RG-6.
My TS-820 or the Drake twins would load the loop from 80 to 10mtrs. On 75 it was the best antenna I've built for rag chewing.
On 40mtrs it would load but the SWR never got below 2:1 An inverted V worked just as good on back-back comparisons.
On 20mtrs the load was about the same but my home-brew vertical would usually out perform it.

For 20-15-10 I used a 16' vertical mounted on top of the 30x30' metal building that houses my radio shack.
I had a home-brew L-network at the base. Two coils, two caps and a wafer switch. A long plastic rod hung down the wafer switch.
This allowed me to by pass the L-network on 20 or select the proper combination for 15 or 10 without climbing onto the roof.

Notice I have been using terms in the past tense, I am not currently active.

WA7PRC
04-06-2013, 11:51 PM
Mostly interested in verticals because I have no tall trees or methods to hide dipole supports and the current 133ft dipole I use is too low for DX, and DX is the primary goal. Mag loops are also a consideration for several reasons.
Several posters have gotten off-track. AE7F is looking to use a vertical or magnetic loop. VK4AMZ (http://vk4amz.com/) designed a magnetic loop that works on 160, 80, and 40m.

KC4YRR
04-07-2013, 01:46 PM
I use a home brew 130 ft. long dipole configured as an inverted V fed with 450 ohm ladder line to my MFJ 969 tuner,with an Icom 706MkII rig.I use it on 75m-10m with good results.You can also run the feed line to a 4:1 current balen,then a short coax jumper to the tuner. I have this antenna up about 40ft. It works well for me,and easy to build. You can buy this antenna at various ham radio outlets however you can build it yourself for less then half the price that is charged. You need to know how to solder. That's all.
:D

WA7PRC
04-07-2013, 05:29 PM
Mostly interested in verticals because I have no tall trees or methods to hide dipole supports and the current 133ft dipole I use is too low for DX, and DX is the primary goal. Mag loops are also a consideration for several reasons.

I use a home brew 130 ft. long dipole configured ... [snip]
I also use an inverted vee because I have a tall support. However, again (because he has no tall supports), the OP is interested in ONLY verticals and magnetic loops.

The magnetic loop I suggested previously utilizes stepper motors to do the tuning and aiming remotely. To optimize efficiency, a low loss tuning capacitor is need. Even at moderate power levels, the tuning capacitor needs to withstand significant voltage. Vacuum capacitors are typically used.

An alternate to the Hy-Gain 18HT HyTower (also discussed previously) are the various tall aluminum tubing verticals. DX Engineering (http://www.dxengineering.com/) has them available up to 68' tall, or you can homebrew something and tilt it up.

KM1H
04-07-2013, 07:58 PM
I also use an inverted vee because I have a tall support. However, again (because he has no tall supports), the OP is interested in ONLY verticals and magnetic loops.


Reading comprehension problems as usual Bryan. And what do you consider a tall support?

What he really said is:


Mostly interested in verticals because I have no tall trees or methods to hide dipole supports and the current 133ft dipole I use is too low for DX, and DX is the primary goal. Mag loops are also a consideration for several reasons.

This does not leave out a single mast nor has he discounted a single low profile tower or pole.

A magnetic loop is a desperation antenna and if you have the space for even a shorty 160/80 vertical/inverted L it will be a lot better at its main lobe angles which is where the DX waits. A receive only loop would help with nulling out local noise and can be made a lot simpler than that referenced article.

Carl

KO6WB
04-08-2013, 07:27 AM
Magnetic loops perform well when constructed properly. I have worked loads of DX on 80 meters with a 10 foot by 10 foot square configuration
loop. The tuning does indeed require close attention to losses and vacuum variable capacitors are the best selection. On the surplus market
they are reasonable and so far dependable.
The loop works but if you can put up a dipole at the proper height then you'd probably find that a good way to go as well as a lot lower in cost.
There's something about working the world with a 2.5 foot by 2.5 foot square loop. Mine tunes from 40 through and above 12 meters. Just misses
10 meters by a few pfd.
Still managed to work into JA land, Brazil, Argentina, Chile on 40 meter SSB. Higher up I have worked the world via PSK at 35-40 watts. All from an
antenna that'll fit inside the trunk of my car and is only 4.5 feet above the ground. No radials, no ground system or counterpoise, just a 10 foot
stick of copper pipe, 1" diameter and four 90 degree elbows. Oh yeah, the vacuum variable capacitor, a SO-239 and a 18 inch piece of #12 solid
strand copper wire.
Small space, no radials, works well. It works better then a comparable antenna placed at the same height at the same total vertical height.
For that it is very good. As for the possible shorty vertical/inverted L beating it, that would depend on how much of a shorty vertical/inverted L you
are going to compare it with. Along with the radial system you employ.
So, let's play a bit and use the infamous 43 foot vertical and compare it to a 40 foot circumference magnetic loop. Should be a fair comparison since
the vertical is longer than the loop it should be a breeze to top it.
At 3.5MHz using a 1.125 diameter (that's a 1" standard copper pipe) and keeping the same diameter for the 43 foot vertical.
The magnetic loop produces 43.4% efficiency while the 43 foot vertical with a 28 ohm ground loss would come in at 25.81%. Well, let's just lower
the ground losses until we reach parity. That happens at 12.4 ohms ground loss. Shouldn't be a big deal after all radials are a verticals best friend.
It would take 20 radials that are over 32 feet long each to equal the same efficiency as a magnetic loop with no radials. That's 640 feet of wire laid
down in a equal distance away from the vertical at all distances. That's a 64 feet wide circle that needs to be clear with the radials laying or buried
on the ground.
Okay, what about the same application on 1.8MHz. Let's see what happens. Now the magnetic loop is down to 6.9% efficiency and the 43 foot
vertical needs a ground loss of 30.6 to equal the magnetic loop. That's about three ground radials for the vertical and they aren't very long either.
So, on the 160 meter band the magnetic loop is out matched by the 43 foot vertical while on the 80 meter band the magnetic loop reins supreme.
It's a toss up. Making the loop larger would make for a better antenna but the same thing applies to the vertical on any band.
No matter what, more radials will improve the vertical where more radials on the magnetic loop may not do much. The radials eat up a lot of space
and wire. By the time you get the vertical to perform it's best at 2 ohms ground loss the radials will take up a circle 126.5 feet around the vertical
and will use about 4744 feet of wire using 75 radials. The efficiency is at 79.36% which isn't bad but for a shortened vertical it took a lot of radials
and a lot of wire, time, effort and energy to put those down. The magnetic loop is down just about 46% from the loads of radials, vertical. That's
just a tad under 3 db difference. At the use of 90 radials each .25 wave lengths long the antenna jumps up to 86.24% efficiency which is .35 db
increase in efficiency using 1581 feet of additional wire in the radial system for a total of 6325.7 feet of wire in 90 radials.
So, if you want to work really hard then the vertical is good choice for 80/75 operations and 160 meters as an added incentive.
Magnetic loops take up less space over all and fewer parts. I made the vertical the same material as the loop so the added cost to the loop is the
low loss capacitor it needs for tuning and some way to remotely tune it.
For remote tuning a modified battery operated screwdriver works great and cost about 9 bucks.
It's up to the OP to decide which way to go.
Have fun
73
Gary

N0AZZ
04-08-2013, 05:35 PM
I forgot to add to my post regarding the AV-18HT on mine I do have the 160m top mounted kit on it also and not a great DX antenna I have done OK in the 160m Contest and have worked WAS SSB 160m all LoTW. It really is the #1 rated vertical in the world and for good reason it works just install as per the directions and then work DX. I do use a Pixel Loop/preamp for a receive antenna only on 40-160m works best on 80/160m the vertical has no trouble being heard the receive loop removes the noise and brings up the signal. I do use the vertical as a diversity receive antenna with the sub-receiver in my K3 along with other antennas. usually horizontal ones to even out the tough DX contacts.

KC8VWM
04-08-2013, 11:50 PM
The magnetic loop I suggested previously utilizes stepper motors to do the tuningand aiming remotely. To optimize efficiency, a low loss tuning capacitor is need. Even at moderate power levels, the tuning capacitor needs to withstand significant voltage. Vacuum capacitors are typically used.



Translation: $$$$$$$$$ ;)

WA7PRC
04-09-2013, 04:12 AM
Translation: $$$$$$$$$ ;)
Vacuum capacitors can be found for good prices if you're patient.
SteppIrs are expensive. Steppers... not as much. ;)

K1DNR
04-09-2013, 08:49 AM
if you have the space for even a shorty 160/80 vertical/inverted L it will be a lot better at its main lobe angles which is where the DX waits. A receive only loop would help with nulling out local noise and can be made a lot simpler than that referenced article.

Carl

I started on 160m in February 2012 with a 32' vertical (combination of top loading and bottom L network). That summer I got the vertical up to 50' with remotely switched tuning for 80m and 160m. The tubing and hardware was bought from DXE. I made the radial plate and everything else except the coax and relay.

I've got 42 countries confirmed on 160m so far. I don't think that's so bad for a 1/2 acre lot - part time operator!

For RX I'm using a second wire vertical that runs up the trunk of a cedar tree. I combine that and the TX vertical with an MFJ noise canceller.

It is what it is, but I have a lot of fun with it.

I built an RX loop out of two hula-hoops and some coax, shield split at the top. Its tuned with a homebrew transformer and a small trimmer. Its great for killing local noise, but its a pretty crappy antenna. The MFJ setup works better for me.

Radials - I started with fewer and kept adding. I've lost count of the total but its at least 60 or 70 now. There is only about 15 feet of space on the south side, so I packed in as many short ones as I could, and then added some discarded fencing material as well. In the other directions they go out as far as I could practically get them. Anywhere from 20 to 100 feet. The back yard is also surrounded by a 4 to 6' perimeter of steel fence. All of this is bonded to the radials as well as the house, plumbing, etc, etc...

N3HEE
04-09-2013, 06:40 PM
I use my 160M inverted L on 80 and 40 with a tuner. It is resonant on 160 so no tuner needed. Works very well!

AE7F
04-09-2013, 06:55 PM
I use my 160M inverted L on 80 and 40 with a tuner. It is resonant on 160 so no tuner needed. Works very well!

How high is your inverted L and describe your radial field?

N8WWM
04-09-2013, 08:30 PM
Homebrew inverted L. Completely random in construction right down to the counterpoise wires. Radio seems to like it. It is fed with 450 ohm ladderline down to the 4:1 balun inside an MFJ 989C tuner. Works great on 30 meters as well.

AE7F
04-09-2013, 08:38 PM
Several posters have gotten off-track. AE7F is looking to use a vertical or magnetic loop.

I appreciate everyone's replies.

One reason I need to consider verticals or loops is because I am trying to eliminate any coupling between my spiderbeam and other antennas and/or guy wires.

I have a mast that supports the spiderbeam. It is guyed with metal guy wires and also I have a dipole strung off the same mast below the spiderbeam. I want to remove the dipole and break up the guy wiring/and or replace with nonconductive material for the purpose of improving the spiderbeam pattern. I also have a chain link fence nearby. There is just too much metal in the vicinity of the spiderbeam as is and it's time to fix that problem.

I can string up an inverted L, slopers, or other wire off of the mast and it will work well on 160/80/40 but this doesn't solve the interaction problem. I can install a loop or other vertical on the opposite side of the lot if needed with probably far less interaction. That's one reason I was interested in verticals or loops.

I will make an attempt to load my mast as a 1/4 wave on 40m. If that works, 80 and 160 will still remain a challenge...

AE7F
06-05-2013, 11:17 PM
Homebrewed magnetic loops. Here's the details on the one I used for 80-40 meters and it will work well on 160.
128460
The smaller loop is just a scaled down version of this one. It has worked very well for such a small antenna.
More details on 160-40 meter operations on a loop just about same circumference as the one shown above.
He used 3/4" copper pipe and a octagon shape. interesting read. Look here; http://brisdance.com/vk4amz/LOOP.html.
More information here at; http://www.nonstopsystems.com/radio/frank_radio_antenna_magloop.htm.
BTW the new smaller loop has the vacuum variable inline with the tubing and driven with a belt cog combination.
The drive motor is a 9 buck cordless screwdriver. Tuning is very quick and I am developing an auto-tuner that
will hit very close to the proper tuning point by flipping a switch. Stay tuned.
Have fun and hope this helps
73
Gary


Revisiting the 160/80/40 antenna idea....

I was playing around with the KI6GD loop calculator with the idea of considering a magnetic loop to cover all 3 of said bands. If I built a square loop out of 3/4 inch copper pipe using four 10-foot sticks, I could cover 160m providing I had a 750pf capacitor. Efficiency would vary between 4.7% and 6.7%. Efficiency would jump to 33.8 to 44.9% on 80m and over 85% on 40m.

If my interest is DX and I don't want to clutter up the yard with large dipoles or verticals, etc., a 40 foot loop might foot the bill.

I don't have a similar calculator for vertical antennas so my question is, how would a 40 foot loop compare to loading up my 25 or 35 foot antenna mast over a meager radial field? And also to a 133' dipole V at only 25ft at the apex?

I think the loop might compare very favorably but have no previous loop experience and the cost of building one is high. If a 40 foot loop would beat my dipole in said configuration, I will probably try it.

Comments?

K8JD
06-06-2013, 04:29 PM
I can't give one specific antenna I use because I use several choices for some bands.
80M I can use a Butternut 6 band vert or a homebrew, halfwave dipole. I have a strong signal across Eastern N.America with the dipole and have worked a few Europeans with the Vert.
on 40 I can use the Butternut vert for DX or a FULLWAVE HORIZ LOOP for regional coverge and a 3/4 WAVE DIPOLE for stronger signals NE/SW.
For 30M I can choose the Butternut vert or a 20/30M fan dipole that favors N/S or a double Zepp that favors NE/SW/ it is also an effective Extended double Zepp on 20M.
for 10M DX I have a 3 element HyGain Yagi that works very well whenever the band opens..I never bothered to tune the 10M portion of the Butternut.
for 160 I only have a halfwave dipole. It covers all of North America with my 100W.
If some ham, for one reson on another, has ONLY ONE antenna I feel sorry for him or her.

K8JD
06-06-2013, 04:45 PM
I don't know what you want to calculate for a vertical, other than L=234/F ! I am sure a quarterwave vertical would beat a small loop for long haul on the lower freq bands.
Your 25 ft mast would be ideal to make into a 30M vertical and your 35 footer for 40M.
Using a short mast On lower freqs, where loading coils and capacity hats come into play , throws the comparison to a mag loop question out the window.

[/QUOTE]I don't have a similar calculator for vertical antennas so my question is, how would a 40 foot loop compare to loading up my 25 or 35 foot antenna mast over a meager radial field? And also to a 133' dipole V at only 25ft at the apex?
Comments?[/QUOTE]

KO6WB
06-07-2013, 04:02 AM
Consider a 30.4 foot (10 meter) base loaded vertical with radials to give a 20 ohm ground loss.
The efficiency is 6.71% which is about the same as the magnetic loop on 160 meters.
Vertical needs radials, magnetic loop can use a few but will do fine with none. The radials for the ML
are about half the diameter and six is the number used. Again, none works.
Same vertical on 80 meters is 23.08% efficiency and on 40 meters it's 64%. More radials helps but in db
scaling (dbm) the difference is less than a few decibels.
BTW angle of radiation is not shown here. Could be really bad or good. The ML is good for NVIS and
low angled DX. The Q is something strange but helps with 20KHz spaced signals and even 2KHz signals.
Depends on the band.
Just giving you some more things to consider.
Have fun
73
Gary

W5DXP
06-07-2013, 03:05 PM
http://www.w5dxp.com/HEDZ.htm

K4HYJ
06-07-2013, 04:36 PM
I use the 7-band Buckmaster OCF dipole at 35ish feet - flatop. I can do DX SSB on 80, 40, 20, 17, 12, 10, and 6 with no tuner @ 1500 watts. It took some time to orient the antenna to get the best coverage (and compromising for where my tree "towers" are). I'm almost to 160 DXCC confirmed SSB contacts with 100 watts including ZD, ZV, VK, CE9, E5, E6, and FK as examples on all listed bands in less than 18 months. I'm not an OCF bigot as are some folks - this antenna has just worked. I need a 160 meter antenna and a good 15 meter antenna. I've been looking at a 60-30-15 OCF from another manufacturer.

So far my bang for the number of antennas has been really high - being an antenna design noobie - maybe I don't know what I'm missing: "I don't know if it's art, but I know what I like!" - The Joker

NA0AA
06-07-2013, 11:24 PM
For 160/80/40, I use a one wavelength 160 meter loop, fed with open wire and with a balanced tuner to make the radio/amplifier happy. It's too low to be much for DX on 160, sometimes on 80, often on 40 the DX is quite good. It's tolerably quiet, easy to static ground. It's an awsome net antenna for 80 and 40 due to the omni directional pattern and NVIS on the lower bands. IMHO, a loop like this is great on three bands UP from it's design frequency but above that, performance is hit and miss as the radiation lobes become more ah...interesting is probably a good word. However, if you knew what you were doing, you could easily put a 20 meter full wave loop inside the big loop, or even nest three sets of loops and with one set of four supports get all bands.

for 20 and up, I have a hexbeam.

WB4MDX
08-18-2013, 08:05 PM
I use a homebrew 160-80-40-30m "SQUARE ROOT" antenna. It is a 1/4 wave 160m inverted L with one half of an 80/40 trap dipole (1/4 wave 80m/40m) vertically attached to same feed point with about 14 radials. Tunes easily and works well in an antenna challenged neighborhood. It will work on most bands as well. More info on my QRZ page.

N7WR
08-18-2013, 10:30 PM
I have 2 antennas that cover 160/80/40 (+) Both are homebrew. One is an OCFD 180' on one leg and 90' on the other fed with 50 ohm coax through a 6:1 current balun. The other is a horizontal 160 meter loop with equal length sides fed through a 4:1 current balun. Both are NVIS on 160, K on 80 and great on 40

WB5WPA
08-19-2013, 03:40 AM
1) Bicycle (with Training wheels): Dipole. Easy to cut and tune. However, on the low bands at low heights they will _not_ be efficient!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

2) Moped: A vertical with any sort of ground plane. These work well on the low bands for DX or to/from mobiles when the skip is not in. Tuning can be fun (different networks etc.) or a nightmare

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

3) Motorcycle/650cc: A QW (QuarterWave) Edginton loop (Google: G0CWT for his website) mounted vertically.

This antenna will work two bands easily (160/80 64' circumference at 16'/side, 80/40 32' circumference or 8' per side) or 3 bands with compromised performance on the lowest band. A single band QW 160 Edginton Loop is about 120' circumference and I have one 16' x 40' held up by 6 (ea end) fiberglass mil tent poles totaling 22' high and guyed. Pulleys at the top make for easy up-and-down of the 'wire' using another length of 3/16" Dacron rope.

This loop requires only *modest* Q caps for tuning (I use short Heliax stubs) ... for a QW loop on 160m the Heliax stub is only about 38" long and I think the same is true for a QW loop on 80m. Modest requirements for wire too: use cheap 17 ga. fence wire for a quick test and upgrade to copper 12 or 10 ga. time/cost permitting. Matching for 100 Watt level requires a medium size binocular ferrite core or two Type 43 ferrite beads (like found on PC monitor power cables) about 1" each long each.

I used air-variable tuning caps and had arcing with the narrow-spaced receive-type caps at the 100W level on the loop operated in 1/8 wave mode. No arcing if operated in 1/4 wave mode at 100W.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

4) Crotch rocket: The VK4AMZ loop as someone posted earlier, and I would *love* to build one of these! But, the requirements are more demanding of the caps used ...

http://www.brisdance.com/vk4amz/LOOP.html


-unsigned

WB5WPA
08-19-2013, 01:30 PM
A quick example of what a QW (1/4 wave) Edginton loop and do on 160 meters - snagged Australia via the WSPR network just this morning!

145401


Instead of spending for a variable cap or even a Vacuum Variable cap, about 4 feet of Heliax can be used for a cap, and a secondary 'gimmick' cap used for fine tuning ... a length of RG-8 coax center conductor inserted into the center of the Heliax:

145402


Jim

W9JEF
08-19-2013, 04:43 PM
Main antenna here is crossed inverted vee dipoles, 69 feet per leg, fed with 4-wire open line, and link-coupled tuner. Supported by a 36-foot steel tower braced to the side of the house, and 13 feet of 2-inch PVC, for an apex height of 48 feet. Legs slope to about 25 feet at the ends. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I can select any two of the legs, or combinations to form "bow ties" (a total of 8 possible dipole configurations). Works well on 80 40, and 20. On 30 meters, 3/2 wave sloping vee beams in 4 directions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . On 80, the crossed dipoles can be fed in quadrature as an NVIS turnstile. (More details on my callsign page.) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . On 160, 80, and 40 (mainly for DX), the 4 feeders are tied together and fed as a top-loaded cage vertical, against the powerline neutral and about 30 on-ground radials. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Also a vertical wire hanging off the NW end insulator for 30 meters (sometimes 40), coax-fed with matching network at the base. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Also for 30, a 50-foot grounded tower, braced to a tool shed, with a big ChannelMaster® TV antenna on top. For 30 meter DX, fed with a quarter-wave skirt as a half-wave vertical, against 6 elevated resonant radials. Fed with 90 feet of balanced open line, link coupled at both ends.

W5DXP
08-19-2013, 05:11 PM
I presently use a 92 ft ZS6BKW for 80m, 40m, 20m, 17m, 12m, and 10m. Here are plots of SWR measurements:

http://www.w5dxp.com/ZS6BKsWr.jpg

80m operation includes a 500pf door knob series capacitor on the unbalanced side of the 1:1 choke.

W2WDX
08-20-2013, 03:26 AM
A simple non-resonant 210' extended double Zepp using ladderline and a true balanced tuner. No lossy baluns or coax. Also the antenna, configured as an inverted-V, is at 275' above the ground. The length was determined by the conditions at the installation to get as much wire in the sky as possible with no concern for resonance at any given band. I can tune 6m-160m.

The key here is using a true balanced tuner that does not use a toroid balun on the balanced output and ladder line. The other trick is proper tuning in the relationship between the two legs of the feedline and making sure the phase and amplitude is in perfect balance and opposition. I measured this at the tuner output using a dual trace oscilloscope and adjusted each side of the Zepp to achieve this. I also use a tweaked Johnson Kilowatt Matchbox for this purpose as well, but a link-coupled tuner will work equally well. Monster performer.

N0NCO
10-10-2013, 01:39 AM
I currently run a remotely-tuned, base-fed inverted L on 160-10. It's 50' tall x 50' feet across, with 60 65' ground-mounted radials . It's supported by a 3-point independent-suspension system which uses sailboat pulleys in two trees that are ~175' apart, 12' bungee cords attached to earth-anchors at each end, and a small bungee that ties the bottom end of vertical radiator to the top of a PVC stub that's attached to the ATU mounting pipe at the center of the radial field. The entire antenna 'floats' between the trees, even when they're swaying out-of-phase. I used NEC to optimize the radiator dimensions for near-omni lower-angle work on 160-20, with just enough high-angle radiation on 160 & 75 for passable NVIS. I used the formula in ON4UN's Low-Band DXing book to calculate the length & number of radials that would result in the lowest-impedance ground-mounted radial system for the available space. The antenna also works surprisingly well on 17, and it has enough useful low-angle lobes on 15-10 to cover a fair number of DX directions. Of course, it also has quite a few deep nulls up there. I oriented the horizontal leg of the antenna so that the highest gain low-angle lobes on the upper bands tend to favor NW, NE, SW, and SE paths. It does it's best DX on 60-17.

I can get into Europe with it on 60m, running 50W ERP on SSB. I've worked much of the world with it on 40-10, running 100W on SSB. I've also worked many points of the globe on 40-15 during solar minimum - also running 100W on SSB. My longest-range voice contacts with the antenna so far have been Aruba on 20, Australia on 40 & 20, South Africa on 15, New Zealand on 20 & 12, Mariana Island on 15, France on 10, Israel on 17, and Japan on 20, 17, 15, and 10 - all at 100W. I've managed a few 2000-mile-plus DX contacts with it on 160 & 75 - again, running 100W on SSB. Locally, it covers most of the US & Canada on 160-17. It also does a passable job of NVIS on 160 & 75 - although it's much better at lower angles.

All antennas are compromises. Some, more so than others. As such, this one seems to do fairly well at my location. You can see the antenna base in my avatar. See my QRZ call sign page for a few more pics.

N0NCO
10-10-2013, 03:20 AM
I made an error in my last post. Aruba should not be on the list of my longest-distance contacts.

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