There seems to be a new thread every other day asking "What is the best, easy to make, CHEAP, multiband HF antenna one can get?" and then there are 238 replies describing antennas that may be multi-band but NOT necessarily cheap (they ALL call for an antenna tuner, which is not necessarily cheap).
So here you go, a CHEAP antenna that does NOT require a tuner and will get you one TWO HF bands!!!
a 65 foot long, center-fed dipole fed with RG-8X coax!! This will work on 40 meters (for local daytime QSOs and long-distance nighttime QSOs) AND it will work on 15 meters (for long-distance daytime QSOs). You don't need balun, but one will not hurt anthing. You can buy a center support that IS a 1:1 balun from many companies.
You can't get something from nothing, an all-band wire antenna will need a tuner of some sort (the old tube rigs could do it themselves, the new ones can not).
Just put up a 40 meter dipole, play around, read about antennas, and THEN worry about your next antenna.
40 meters is the best HF band anyway, so you will have lots of fun if you just stay on 40 meters.
The cost of slinging a 20 Meter dipole under it is next to nothing. You can even use hookup wire and heavy twine since the 20 Meter element is only supporting it's own weight.
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You can also easily add 20M to that 40M dipole . I used to have a 40 & 20 fan dipole as my only antenna for a long time. It was naturally also resonant on 15. 3 resonant bands, one coax. Life was great.
Actually, mine is a fan dipole too, and I agree a fan dipole is RELATIVELY easy to make, but a regular dipole is even easier! If one is REALLY a beginner, there is not much to be had on 20 than you can't pick up on 40.
I think that the 40 meter dipole is probably the best first antenna for a new ham.
40 & 15 are great bands to pair together, simply because of the harmonic relationship. This is why I chose 40 & 15 meters as the two bands in my Elecraft K1 transceiver. 40 is a great band almost all the time, and will only get better as the broadcasters are moved, and other than the lowest point in the sunspot cycle, you can count on 15 during the day.
Currently I am using a full-wave loop on 20 meters. It is fed with a half-wavelength ladder-line for that band, which translates to a half-wave on 40 with a quarter wavelength feeder, and a 2 wavelength antenna on 10 meters with a full wavelength feeder on that frequency !
With judicious trimming, you can get a reasonable SWR on all those different bands! The ladder line acts like a transformer ( high to low, low to high or 1:1 depending on the frequency ) This was outlined in a recent QST and certainly works for me ! I'm lazy and use a tuner, but I venture to say that most modern rigs with auto-tuners built in can probably handle such a setup!
Give it a try ! 73, Jim
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Only one quibble, you might want to use RG-59 as the coax. The impeadance of a resonant dipole in free space is 72 ohms and RG-59 is a slightly better match than 50 ohm coax at the feed point. Of course, height above ground has some influence on the feedpoint impeadance. You can also use RG-6 if you can find the right PL-259 for the rig end. Using 50 ohm coax does not mean the rig is seeing 50 ohms at the antenna terminal.
My very first novice antenna was a 40 meter folded dipole that I made from TV twinlead. #It worked on 40 and 15 very well. #My transmitter had a Pi network output so for a modern radio you would need a 4:1 balun, still cheaper than a tuner and the folded dipole will have a little lower SWR on 15 than a straight coax fed dipole.
I believe that a multi element (Fan) dipole is the best way to go for multiband without a tuner. #A G5RV will work but you can suffer a lot of loss in the feedline under some conditions, I would go with the fan dipole.
Otherwise, if you have a tuner or want to get one, a plain old flat top antenna fed with ladder line and cut to whatever length you have room for will usually work as well as anything (sometimes better) for multi band use. #I have used this type of antenna for years and they simply work great. #The only other simple antenna that outperforms all of the above is a loop. #If you can put one up do it, they are usually quieter on receive and provide gain over a dipole with fewer nulls on the higher frequencies.
Just some stuff to think about.
i'm sorry you don't have the experience or understanding to realize that others possess a skill set that you seem to dismiss as fantastical.
Yup,im in agreement as well,it's the good'ol fan dipole i'd recommend.Feed mine with RG 8x coax into a 1:1 balun swr is wunderba to say the least.After 11 years the problem i have is trying to keep falling tree branches on windy days to stop making a mess of my wire.Oh well,still too much fun!
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