Need help deciding on an HF antenna

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by K3TOM, May 23, 2019.

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  1. NH7RO

    NH7RO Ham Member QRZ Page

    It would be helpful if you told us what heights are possible for your installation(s). Since you mention the verticals I'm guessing that it's going to be minimal as with many of us today. But if you have tall trees and a bow and arrow...

    My way of thinking is that it's best to have multiple antennas (even low-to-the-ground horizontals) so you can switch between them for best signals/readablilty. We work with what we can, and remember that everything "works." You can improve your wire or aluminum farm later on once you get your feet wet.

    I am also a firm believer in stringing up a few buck's worth of wire in lieu of paying ridiculous prices for commercially made antennas---at least until you know what bands and style of operating you want to concentrate on. There won't be much discernible difference between ready-made and DIY if you do your homework.

    If you like dxing then think a lot about 40 and 20 meters; they're the main (and almost only) bands good for consistent openings during the lean years we will continue experiencing for the next several years.

    Buy an antenna book or two and read up on the basics. Hertz and Marconi were pretty smart guys and all of us owe them our gratitude. DIYing antennas is the best tribute anyone could make in their honor.;)

    The money you save could be spent on a nice dinner with your wife who might otherwise object to your new hobby and wire stringing, too.:)


    2E0CIT, WB5YUZ, K6LPM and 1 other person like this.
  2. WN1MB

    WN1MB Ham Member QRZ Page

    For the OP's antenna choices cost range, $280 to $550 would buy a whole lot of wire...
    2E0CIT, KG7QJB, KJ3N and 3 others like this.
  3. N3PM

    N3PM Ham Member QRZ Page

    My very first antenna was an inverted v for 40/15. Followed with a bent dipole for 80.
    Here we are 55 years later, and using a Carolina-style windom at 60 feet, G5RV jr at 40 feet and an inverted ell for 160. These replaced monoband dipoles. All homebrew, all seem to work as well as commercially made antennae. And they are less expensive.
    The internal tuners in my radios work fine with the windom and RV for 80-10.
    Mike N3PM
    NH7RO and WN1MB like this.
  4. AF4RK

    AF4RK Ham Member QRZ Page

    ARRL has a bunch of books on Antennas. Buy one or two before you spend $100's on an antenna. Maybe build a few, see how they work.
    WA8FOZ, WN1MB, WG7X and 1 other person like this.
  5. KN4CQB

    KN4CQB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am going through somewhat of the same thing. I currently have a commercial Windom. I have a small lot and this one is made for that. I do just fine with this on 80,40,20 and sometimes even 160 though my 7300/tuner will not tune at 160. I have good coverage for most of the US (mixed band WAS), eastern Canada and northern Central America. Also quite a few DX into the EU.

    I want better world coverage. Due to the size of my lot and the PITA is was to string up a single dipole I am planning on a 5BTV or 6BTV. After doing a bunch of reading it seems best for my situation. Radials are not a problem for me. Once I get over my foot surgery it will be going in this summer.
    NH7RO likes this.
  6. NH7RO

    NH7RO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Elevate it a la WB2WIKS's installation on his rooftop and you'll be ahead of the game; fewer radials required that way, too.


    WA8FOZ likes this.
  7. KN4CQB

    KN4CQB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    No can do - HOA
  8. NH7RO

    NH7RO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I guess that means no rooftop installation for you but don't despair; a ground-mounted GAP or other vertical will still provide plenty of QSOs. Painting whatever you build or choose flat grey/camo will help in the stealth department a significant measure.
  9. K3TOM

    K3TOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wow guys. Lots of suggestions and good advice. Looks like I have some research to do. Been a ham since '85 but relatively new to HF. Sounds like I may start with some sort of dipole, even if I make it myself. Who knows! Still not decided yet, but that's half the fun isn't it? Thanks again.
    NH7RO and KG7QJB like this.
  10. WB5THT

    WB5THT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had a Gap vertical antenna that worked quite well (needs radials) but unless your weather is very benign I would not recommend it. It’s mechanically difficult to place guy wires on it. I would only call it self supporting with winds that are never over about 10 to 15 mph.
    NH7RO likes this.

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