Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by N5RWJ, Dec 19, 2011.
What is your best wire antenna?
Best wire antenna for doing what, specifically?
All of 'em.
What to be a bit more specific? Performance per foot of wire or something?
I have a loop, dipoles, end fed wires, each serves a purpose. What do you want to do?
There's an easy formula. It goes like this:
The simplest, highest altitude wire antenna that puts the most gain in the direction you want, on the bands you want and is either tunable with a tuner, or resonates below 2:1SWR where you want it.
There you go
The simplicity element may be the biggest key - how much time, money and effort are you comfortable putting into it?
A dipole. They are the next best thing to using a 2 element Yagi but with one less element.
Could also be a hexbeam. ...It's a wire antenna right?
Then again it could be a doublet or an OCF because they cover more bands than a monoband dipole.
Then again it could be a monoband dipole because it operates more efficiently than a multiband antenna.
It all depends on your perspective.
Define "best" exactly.
The best wire antenna that I ever had was a true "Zepp" cut for the 160-meter band. A true "Zepp" has a half-wave (at the lowest frequency) radiating element and a quarter-wave of balanced feed line. It had about 270 feet of wire and was fed with "transmitting twin lead" (300 ohm twin-lead that could easily handle 1000 watts used to be available). The antenna worked well on 160, 80/75, 40, 20, and 10-meters. A true "Zepp" doesn't load well on 15.
I was using first a WRL Globe Chief 90A and then a Heath DX-100, both of which can handle a very good range of antenna impedances (DX-100 up to over 600 ohms and the Globe Chief 90A up to over 1200 ohms).
I have 2 favorites one design I have used over 6 yrs it's a OCFD coax fed 270' mounted at 60' covers 160-6m it is a Buckmaster one of the most well made wire antennas I have ever seen. The other is a 160m loop coax fed @40' to low really but works great for all of NA, CA a little of S America very well one of the best I've ever had but not really a DX antenna such in my case anyway have worked a little EU and some Africa but that's it.
It's always BENS BEST BENT WIRE
Send that in code it sounds cool.
The one I made of course!
I have several wire antennas, but my Carolina Windom is the one I use the most. It's a 40/20/10/6 that also works well elsewhere. 32 feet in an inverted V. Nearly invisible to the HOA, too.
I use an extended double zepp (at least I think that's what it is called) for 160 and another one for 80 and is by far the best antenna I have used on those 2 bands. For 160 it's about 330 feet per leg and around 160 feet per leg for my 80 meter one. Claim is a gain of 3 db, I don't know if that is true or not but it sure does work well. I have only used them on the band they were intended for. The tuning stub is about 56 feet of 450 ohm ladder line to a 4:1 balun and then coax to the shack. The stub for 80 is around 25 feet. Both are up about 75 ft.
My two best wire antennas are ;
1. 40M Horiz Loop, a good compliment to my vertical, great for short hop QSOs, better than a dipole by a good margin. Matched and fed with coax sections.
2. New 90 ft dipole fed with twinlead and a new MFJ bal line tuner. It works well as a double Zepp on 30M and an Extended Double Zepp on 20M.
Provides a good signal east and west for me/.
It took me 50 years to finally put up an antenna with balanced line because I like coax fed antennas !
My modified W3EDP. 85 feet of radiator with a 17ft counterpoise. I started out with it fed right from the operating position tuner but had a few RF in the shack problems (as expected I suppose) so then fed it with coax into a 9:1 UnUn with earth at the unun. Its an eveolving installation 0 there is much earthing work to be done + better/higher mounting once I am up and about again.
I vote for the ZS6BKW. Its a bit shorter than a G5RV yet provides a better match for rig internal tuners.
73, JP, K8AG