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“Best” Multi-band HF Antenna ?

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by K2POP, Jul 26, 2011.

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  1. N0SYA

    N0SYA Ham Member QRZ Page

    You can always put up a bal; Big Ass Loop. A couple hundred feet of loop fed with coax and a transmatch can do very well on most bands. They don't have to be far off the ground, but with most ham antennas, higher is better. Tack it under the eaves of your house and laugh at the next wind storm.
  2. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page


    I you have room for any vertical you basically have room for a HyTower. The bottom section is triangular with 15 inches on a side. With a proper base it will self-support.

    Now if you said that you really can't afford a HyTower, then that would make a whole lot more sense. With shipping costs the basic HyTower is going to cost well over $1,000. If you add any of the accessory items and/or have a sales tax, then you can add a couple of hundred more dollars to that. I got my HyTower back in 1972 in a trade deal. At the time they were selling new for $149.

    Glen, K9STH
  3. 2I0TWF

    2I0TWF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Is there any more input on hexbeams or cobweb antennas? They sound interesting. Has anyone ever used a ridged dipole, like the Comet H-422 or Force 12 Sigma GT5? How about a vertical like the Comet CHA-250B or a non-resonate vertical like the 43' S9 or DXE-MBVE-1? Back to wire antennas again, how about a: folded dipole, zepp, bazooka, ocf wisdom, Cobra UltraLite, etc.? Are there any portable HF antennas that are in the ballpark with a < 70' inverted V at 30' max height?

    Thanks again for your input,

    All I can tell you about the Cobweb antenna is it is ominidirectional, fairly straight forward to build and at 33ft works well. You have 5 full size dipoles 20m through to 10m, with no nulls in any direction and minimal loss.

    Size is 8 ft each side so small footprint.

    Definatly a keeper for me!
  4. K2POP

    K2POP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks again to everyone for all the feedback - and sorry for the confusion. A short mast mounted on my chimney would be about 30’ agl. That would be my one high point. The eves of the house, about 20’ agl, is the next highest point. Of course, there are at least two eves corners that I can use, but that is not far from the mast top. From there, it is all down hill. No tall trees, and the back fence is about 5’ high and about 20'- 25’ feet from the house.

    I don't have room for, or a way to support, a horizontal loop. Sorry for that omission. A vertical or semi-vertical, loop might work. It may end up being a delta loop, wide diamond, or irregular shaped loop to fit the space. Does that sound like a viable option?

    Is “Creative Systems” the same as Creative Design Corp, a Japanese company <>? They have the two antennas WB2WIK mentioned. Do they have any US dealers? A large field of ground radials would be a real challenge, but where there is a will there is a way. I would have to go with more shorter ones rather than fewer longer ones. Glen, aside from the cost, the difference between the DXE, S9, BTV, and HyTower verticals is that the first three can be disconnected, picked-up, and put away when not in use. The HyTower is cast in concrete. (Do they have a crank-up version?)

    WB2WIK mentioned the Comet CHA-250B. Diamond makes their similar BB7V. How do the two compare? Like a S9, etc., one of these two would be disconnected and put away when not in use. Is the 30’+ mounting height above ground level or in free space? (I could mount one about 5’ above my roof, 30'+ agl, – on a push-up mast.)

    How well does the Creative Systems/Creative Deign Corp rotary dipole work? Could I mount one of those on a tilt-up 10’- 12’ mast at the back fence without a ground radial field?

    Has anyone heard of the N6BT Bravo 5 or 7 antennas <>? They are said to be no-radial “tripole” antennas. The multi-band Bravo 7, however, requires manual tuning, like a Buddipole. (Is that also true of the rotary dipoles? I would prefer to use a tuner than to go visit the antenna to change bands.) Does anyone know anything about folded dipoles, zepps, bazookas, ocf wisdoms, or the Cobra UltraLite antennas? With limited vertical height, are any of these better than a regular dipole?

    Thanks for the input,
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  5. EI4GMB

    EI4GMB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi POP,

    Most of the wire antennas you mentioned should perform OK at 30'agl on 20m thru 10m if you configure them as an inverted V. All you need to do is support them between some poles. Save yourself all the grief . It will also work out cheaper for you in the long run. That's my 2 cents worth anyway. Best of luck.

    Kind Regards

    Fred EI4GMB
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  6. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    From the top of that mast to two points anchored to the back fence you can easily install a sloping delta loop or sloping inverted vee, both of which work fine.

    Yes, same company. I mixed their two names (they used to be Create Systems, now called Creative Design; not sure when that changed). They used to have U.S. dealers years ago but I don't think they do now. Of course you could contact them to ask. The last few items I purchased from them (roof towers, the CLP5130-1, the rotary vee dipole) I just ordered directly from them and had them shipped. It's all lightweight aluminum stuff, and shipping wasn't really any more expensive than shipping from NY or Boston.

    They use two different matching approaches. From product reviews including dissections of the matching units, it appears the Comet is better.

    The 30' is recommended "mast length." That's because the mast is an integral part of the antenna, not just a support for it. A 30' push up (galvanized steel) mast like the Channel Master or Rohn H30 would probably work fine but would need to be bracketed to the house or guyed, as it, plus the antenna, would be a 55' tall structure that in the wind is guaranteed to fall over or bend the mast unless it's well supported above ground. I cannot imagine how one would put that up to operate and then take it down when not in use, that's a lot of work. A ground-mounted vertical like the 6BTV with a field of wire radials and a tilt-up bracket at its base (DXE sells a nice one) might be viable but of course assumes radials and also assumes that when tilted down, you have the room to just let it lay flat on the ground while still attached to the tilt bracket.

    It's a dipole, it doesn't require any radials but it does require some "height," as well as the ability to rotate it. It would work a LOT better on a rotator over the roof. BTW it works very well.

    Tom just started up this new company and I've never used those antenna models, but everyone knows Tom. He's the founder of Force-12 originally (he sold it off).

    No, that is not true of the Creative rotary dipole. It uses traps and once installed never requires any physical contact at all. Using any sort of antenna that requires manual band changing is really tedious, but might work for portable/camping/temporary installations. For a home station, I'd think this is really undesirable.

    Nope, they're all just various types of dipoles. A Zepp is a 1/2-wave end fed and normally a single band antenna that's pretty tricky to set up. An OCF is just a dipole that's off-center fed to provide a better impedance match on more bands than a center-fed. The Cobra is a linear loaded, shortened dipole that doesn't work as well as a full-sized one.
  7. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    One last comment:

    It appears you may be headed for analysis paralysis, which doesn't work in business and isn't so great in a hobby.

    I could have installed 3-4 different wire antenna configurations, just to "try them" in the amount of time it took to post the questions. Once you have a good, strong center insulator/current balun combination, a spool of wire, some insulators, and some rope, you can re-use those same components dozens of times to try all kinds of stuff for about $50 worth of materials.:eek:

    When I lived in a tri-level town house with CC&Rs for about two years in 88-89, I think within two weeks of moving in I had installed six different HF antennas (one at a time) to experiment and see what worked best for the limited situation. That's more productive than studying the situation.
    NQ1B likes this.
  8. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yep, the best antenna is one you build yourself. Just build a wire antenna and experiment with different configurations. I really hate to see people buy antennas before they know anything about them.
    MW6ISV likes this.
  9. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I agree. And if one invests in a good center insulator/current balun combination (maybe $25), good insulators, good rope, and some wire, one can try out many different wire antenna combinations in just a matter of days and see what works best.
    KA4DPO and W4IOA like this.
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