80 Meter Dipole Fed With Ladder Line

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by N4LCV, Sep 4, 2011.

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  1. N4LCV

    N4LCV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Is there anyone here who runs, or has run at some time in the past, an 80 meter dipole fed with 450 ohm ladder line? If so, how did you like it? How did it get out? I assume it was better for local contacts than for DX. Is that correct? Did you use it on other bands besides 80 meters? Any additional info you would give to someone thinking about putting one up?


  2. W0BTU

    W0BTU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have. And at more than one QTH. They were --by far-- the best multiband (80-10) antenna that I have ever used. And MANY other hams who have used them say the same thing. I've never heard anyone who was unhappy with one.

    The first one was an inverted-vee with the apex at ~65' high. I often "drag-raced" with other hams, and seldom lost the "race". :)

    The last one was also an inverted-vee, but with the apex ~30' high. It was not a disappointment.

    Both usually beat any vertical I used, regardless of how good the vertical's ground system

    They were fed with a balanced link-coupled tuner that used B&W plug-in coils.

    If I had a place to easily put one up here, I would put up another one in a heartbeat. But I'm playing with other types of antennas, and I don't operate very much, so it's not high on the agenda here.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011
  3. W0BTU

    W0BTU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Now that I think about it, the first dipole was more like 70'.

    I easily worked both stateside and DX on 80-10 meters. If it was lower, I would not likely have worked as much 80 meter DX, but stateside would still have been OK. (Long story I don't have time to explain right now.)

    On the higher bands, the pattern is going to have a lot of nulls, but there will be higher gain lobes.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011
  4. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I second what Mike says.
    I run one under less than ideal conditions and all things considered it works great.
  5. K4SAV

    K4SAV Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's a very good antenna for someone that wants a single wire that will operate all bands, 80 meters and up. That means it can easily be beaten by other antennas but you may need multiple antennas to do it. One way to be disappointed by this antenna is to orient it such that a null happens in a direction where there are a lot of hams. Example: Having a null on Europe on 20 meters.

    Jerry, K4SAV
  6. W5DXP

    W5DXP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here's one that has high efficiency on all HF bands, and doesn't require a conventional tuner, but please note the radiation patterns on the higher frequencies. One needs to aim the lobes in one's favored directions.


    Even if one chooses to use a fixed length of 100' of ladder-line with a tuner, there is lots of information on that web page.
  7. KJ3N

    KJ3N Ham Member QRZ Page


    I "like" any antenna that does what I need it to do.

    This phrase I am unfamiliar with, however the antenna works fine. I use it nearly every time I'm on the air.

    Whether an 80m dipole (no matter what it is fed with) is better for local or DX has a great deal to do with how high in the air it is (effective height as a function of frequency). 35 feet? Not so much DX. 60 feet (like mine) fair mix of local and DX. 75 to 100 feet or more? Probably going to be really nice for DX.

    Every band from 80m to 10m. I can even get it to load on 6m, but the pattern of lobes and nulls make it pretty useless on that band.

    Higher is better, from a DX standpoint.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011
  8. G0GQK

    G0GQK Ham Member QRZ Page

    As previously stated an 80 metre dipole about 135 ft long fed with 450 ohm feeder any length to a 4:1 balun and an ATU and SWR power meter is a simple very efficient wire antenna. I use one 90 ft long with only 60 ft horizontal and it gets me all over the place, even to Australia one day on 30 metres when the wind was blowing the right way !
    KD2IBQ likes this.
  9. EI4GMB

    EI4GMB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Personally, I would use a 1:1 Balun with a multi-band dipole! The 1:1 ratio has been proven to be more effective with this type of application.


    Fred EI4GMB
  10. W0BTU

    W0BTU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Does that mean I'll get better results if I listen downwind when I call CQ ? :D
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