Here's a roof, what HF antenna would you set up? $500 budget.
Here's the roof.. dimensions are approximate, but close...
I'd like an HF antenna for the summer here at my beach QTH. The location is almost ideal. right across from the ocean, great elevation, 360 degree views from the roof, which has a large flat top. No place for wires though. Big chimney which should be strong enough to hold almost anything. (But I haven't investigated it too much yet..) There is a deck and upstairs loft the the operating position..
Id like to spend max $500, and I'd rather settle for a great monobander over a compromise multibander. Which band would you choose in these conditions? I was thinking 20m.
I was thinking of a vertical w/. a bunch of radials..??
My rig FT897 (100w) has the LDG tuner btw.
thanks for any thoughts here guys!!!!!
For a vertical with radials, you can't really do any better than the SteppIR "Big IR" model which covers 40-30-20-17-15-12-10-6m without any traps, stubs, loading, or any compromises at all. It's a monobander on each band, adjustable via remote control from the operating position.
It takes about 4 radials per band to maximize performance for an elevated mount. The 40m radials will work on 15m also, and 17m radials will work on 6m; so it would really take 24 radial wires to pull this off as an 8-band fully optimized system. Looks like you have plenty of room for them, as the longest radials (40/15m) only need to be 33' long each and all the rest are much shorter.
I wouldn't set up a 20m monoband vertical, it's silly as the band can easily close just after dark, when everyone goes to 40m and keeps on operating. Also, with propagation as it's been lately, during the morning and early afternoon 15 or 17m can easily be a better DX band than 20m is. And the Big IR actually is a monobander. It only works one band at a time, but to "change bands," you just push a button in the shack and wait a few seconds, then it's a monobander on the new band.
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A 40 Meter loaded dipole fed with ladder line is one option. It would give you 40 Meters and up. Support it with a short PVC mast on the chimney and secure the ends to the end of the flat portion of the roof, inverted Vee fashion. The Antenna Book (or the Internet) has info on how to make the loading coils. Since there's very little stress on the antenna, thin wire and small PVC pipe for the coils would be all but invisible.
If ladder line is out, a coax-fed trap dipole for 20 and 15, supported as above, should give you lots of DX. Unadilla/Reyco makes the traps. AES carries them.
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My XYL wants me to put one of the TransWorld Antennas TW2010 up in our attic so she can use one of our backup transceivers back in her hobby room.
It would fit your budget, and has some pretty good reviews at eham (http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/6869).
73 de Bob - AB8MA
I don't know if u cud find one or not but a used cushcraft R5 would work quite well. I use one here that I bought used for 150 bucks several years ago. It sits on a rat shack tripod , no radials and is a 1/2 wave on 10,15,12,17,20.
I got dxcc ssb and cw on this vertical (with 100 watts)so I know its a gud one.
I second what Steve WB2WIK suggested. Mount a BigIR on the flat section of roof just about at the center of the house. Then drape your ground radials out over the roof from there. They don't have to be big wires either. You can use enamel-coated magnet wire of 20-gauge or smaller. This wire can be easily tucked under the corners of shingles, clay tiles, or other roofing materials. Just tie them off at their ends and they won't move. One great advantage to magnet wire is it is almost invisible from the ground. Your eye really has to search it out to even see it -- otherwise it goes totally unnoticed.
You wont be disappointed with a full-size antenna like this for each band. Life is better without compromises!
Last edited by WA4BRL; 06-19-2012 at 04:13 PM.
41 years in Amateur Radio
One thing to consider about the IR before attaching it to your Chimney should be the Chimneys condition and the weight. I have a similar roof to yours and I have a 14 AVQ attached to the chimney. I've noticed that some of the 60year old mortar is getting worn and that it may be time to consider a different setup
"If it aint broke don't fix it. "If you can't fix it get a bigger hammer."
Guys thanks for all the great suggestions!! Ill be checking these options out asap..
I never though of an inverted v dipole up there, I don't know if there is the length, but it might be worth a measure. I guess I always thought the dipole has to be waay up as high away from anything as possible.
time to do some research!
SteppIR looks really nice... but man, We're looking at a grand even for the smaller one once it's all said and done. Out of my budget unfortunately.
Maybe something dedicated to 40m, so I can also get 15?
Ill look at the Cushcraft and Transworld next..
get a rooftop tower and then ask around for a 3 element tribander for cheap. you should be able to pickup an A3 for $50-75. you should be able to do this all for $250 or less, with rotator and coax.
sorry dude, must have bumped the VFO.