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Hi Q Antennas

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by AD0AR, Aug 8, 2019.

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  1. AD0AR

    AD0AR Ham Member QRZ Page

    For starters, I live in a HOA zero lot which actually has pretty lax rules. I'm allowed antennas on my house as long as they do not exceed 50 feet in the air.
    At first I tried the MFJ magloops and they worked wonders for years getting me numerous awards (WAS multiple bands) and they are awesome for digital and JT modes.
    We all know what the band conditions are like as we head into a period of low activity.
    For the most part, only the low bands have activity so I was looking for a low band solution that could fit in a tripod on my garage roof.
    I found a old Hi Q antenna at a hamfest in 2017 for a good price- I believe it is a 4/80 although the seller thought it was a 4/160, I have never been able to get it lower than 2.5 mhz.
    Well simply put I was getting signal reports that were significantly larger than the mag loops, typically my 40M signals heard on the east coast with the mag loops were were 52-55 on 40M. The Hi Q actually busted a couple of pileups with reports of 59 to 59+10 all with 100W on 40M!
    I actually shied away from using voice ssb because my loops were hopelessly lost in pileups.
    Now since installing the Hi Q antenna I am working more and more SSB with amazing results!
    Also on the plus side, while the MFJ mag loops work fine for basic radios with a power handling of up to 150 watts, the Hi Q antennas are legal limit power handling!
    Charlie was easy to work with and was able to fulfill my custom order within a week of sending him my "wish list"
  2. AD0AR

    AD0AR Ham Member QRZ Page

    For clarification- I bought another Hi Q antenna, this time new, from Charlie. Once again, excellent results!
  3. W5LZ

    W5LZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I wonder what you were using for a 'ground'/radial system?
  4. W6TAB

    W6TAB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Can you describe how you have the antenna installed?
  5. AD0AR

    AD0AR Ham Member QRZ Page

    As I don't have image hosting, I can't post detailed pictures.
    I will update my QRZ page with images when I have time as a picture is worth 1000 words.
    It's been up there for 2 years.
    I have a steel roof. I use a insulator between the mounting tripod and the antenna to maintain isolation between the counterpoise and the roof. It's a 1.25" fiberglass rod between 2 steel pipe sections that act as the main antenna mount.
    The antenna is mounted using a pipe flange on the end of the pipe with a aluminum plate drilled to accommodate the appropriate antenna mounting.
    Below the flange on the pipe I have installed qty (8) 102 inch cb radio whip antennas horizontally (looks kinda like an umbrella with no fabric with all of them in there).
    On the 2 foot fiberglass section of the insulator mast I have made a very large common mode ferrite balun consisting of qty (8) 2" diameter mix 43 ferrite toroids wrapped with 15 turns of coax (RG8X/LMR200 equiv.)
    Control lines have another common mode balun too just like the one described.
    These baluns are a must to achieve the hi q of the counterpoise / antenna system.
    I figure with such a good track record for a 7 year old antenna to be up for 2 years without issue, I bought a bigger 6/160 as a spare and will likely swap out the smaller, older antenna at a later date and use the smaller one for portable ops.
    I know Charlie is a busy man. 90% of his sales is military so he only caters to the amateurs when time permits.
    If you do choose to use his antennas, work with him. I would expect him to fulfill your order in due time but don't be too demanding. Perfection takes time to achieve, especially since amateur radio sales is not his primary business, but his side business.
    You patience will be rewarded with an awesome antenna that lasts a lifetime when properly installed and cared for.
  6. AD0AR

    AD0AR Ham Member QRZ Page

    OK, my QRZ webpage has been updated and has the latest photos, including what the common mode baluns look like when constructed. Just scroll down and they are in the middle of the profile page.
  7. W6TAB

    W6TAB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks for the info. I have a Hi-Q 4/160 on my car and it works amazing well. My situation has changed and I work from home now so when I saw you had good results with it on your roof I was intrigued. It makes sense now that I see you have a metal roof. My roof is tile and I don't have enough space to put in effective radials.
  8. AD0AR

    AD0AR Ham Member QRZ Page

    W6TAB did yo read that the antenna is isolated from the roof? It is not electrically connected to it. The counterpoise is the umbrella looking thing under the antenna. The metal roof is not bonded so it does not work well as a counterpoise. My counterpoise is 8 steel cb antennas mounted horizontally. A tile roof even works better because no detuning/ reflections.
    The antenna was initially tested on a 20 foot tall pole in the front yard for proof of concept so you do not need a metal roof.
  9. W9WQA

    W9WQA Ham Member QRZ Page

    quoting ,
    "The metal roof is not bonded so it does not work well as a counterpoise."

    wonder how you know that?

    i have a vert on a 50 plus yr metal pole barn,nailed down not "bonded". ant mount tied to roof. works as well as i can expect and it surprises me. no radials.
    i dont know if it could be better,or worse.
  10. AD0AR

    AD0AR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I installed the roof. Thats why I know it is not bonded. I was a amateur before it was installed, experienced great performance of a asphalt tile roof with a elevated counterpoise. The metal roof was a real step backward. Massive rfi and very poor swr. Once I isolated the antenna from the roof with the insulator and common mode balun, I could once again talk to the world, just 40 &30 M bands experienced high swr caused by a reflection off the roof. This was resolved by adjusting the height of the elevated counterpoise in relation to the roof until I achieved 1.5:1 on 40M. Then all was good. 30 clocks in at 1.3:1. The antenna matched in the icom 7600 matches it to show no SWR reflection.

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