Best Antenna For Wooden Urban Lot?

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by K0LWC, Aug 5, 2020.

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  1. K0LWC

    K0LWC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hey everyone! I’m deciding what antenna I’ll be putting up, and I’d love some suggestions. Sadly, no tower and contest beams here, just a good wire of some kind. I’d love to have it be multi-band. I understand this comes with some negatives, but I don’t have a ton of room for multiple antennas.

    I’m thinking a ZS6BKW modified G5RV, but open to anything you think would work well on my property.

    The red line is showing the configuration I would use for my modified G5RV. The green outline shows where trees exist on the lot. The trees are fairly dense and can get up around 75 ft tall. My lot is oriented N/S.

    Thanks for any suggestions for a good HF antenna that can get me a decent number of band options for operating.

  2. W6MK

    W6MK Ham Member QRZ Page

    A doublet is a more generalized multiband design than the ZS6BKW/G5RV. You might be able to fit
    200 ft. of horizontal wire at 60 ft. height running in the same general direction as your proposed smaller antennas. Ends can be bent horizontally or vertically so you can use 200 ft. of wire. No
    significant decrease in performance from bending ends.

    With a 200 ft. doublet at 60 ft. you would also have access to 160M. A doublet is fed with parallel
    feedline, window line or open wire line of any convenient length. Run the feedline to a current balun at the outside of your radio room and then a short length of coax to a wide range manual tuner.

    The major problem with expecting to cover too many bands is that with a longer antenna on the higher bands the pattern will break up into multiple lobes with deep nulls. So a 200 ft. doublet might do OK on 16oM and quite well on 80M, 60M and 40M before the pattern breaks up into small lobes and deep nulls.

    I use a 120 ft. doublet on 80M, 60M, 40M and 30M. I also have a 55 ft. doublet for 40M through 10M so I can have a desirable pattern on most bands.
  3. WA7F

    WA7F Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You might be able to hide a vertical or inverted-L in the taller trees.
    KF5KWO likes this.
  4. AK5B

    AK5B Ham Member QRZ Page

    Whatever horizontal wire you come up with, add a DX Commander (DIY or via M0MCX) into the mix so as to have a no-tune, instant bandswitching multiband vertical as well. All you need after that is an antenna switch (or remote antenna switch if you get hooked on building antennas)

    73 and enjoy those tall trees!

  5. K8DO

    K8DO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Listen to the voices of experience, above.
    Having both horizontal and vertical at your instant command is worth far more than what it will cost you.
    The problem I see with G5RV and/or ZS6BKW is that you have to give up some bands depending on which you select and they will not cover all of some bands without needing a tuner.
    To me that is not worth the convenience of coax feed.
    Now a 450 ohm feed line to a doublet - as long and as high as you can get it - requires a parallel line tuner. But it will give you any band. (160 will be iffy)
    Couple that with the DX Commander or a Hustler 6BTV and you are in fat city.

    K0LWC, KF5KWO, WB5YUZ and 1 other person like this.
  6. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you really want to maximize your station's DX performance, You will want more than one antenna.

    For bands on which the antenna can be gotten a half-wave high, horizontal antennas are preferred. For bands on which a half-wave of height is not practical, vertical antennas are usually employed.

    But those who really want to work the DX will have more than one antenna for each band. Those with triband beams, for example, will usually have vertical alternatives for 20, 15, and 10m. Most of the time the tribander is louder, but not always. And, some ops like to switch back and forth while receiving during a given QSO; you can often mitigate the effects of fading this way.

    If you like 40m, two dipoles at right angles, placed 60' or higher, will give you a very competitive signal on that band. They will have gain and directivity (which is why you need two) and so will function as fixed beam antennas! This will also be true of a G5RV or ZS6BKW at the same height.

    I would have to spend thousands to put up three 60' towers to do this: you can do it for a couple of hundred bucks!
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
    K0LWC, KD6RF, KF5KWO and 2 others like this.
  7. KL7SG

    KL7SG Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I had good luck with the Alpha Delta DX-CC when I lived up north in Alaska. We had a heavily wooded lot and the ends of the antenna were in the trees by about 4 to 10 feet. I was using it for 80 meters and it worked pretty darn well.
    I am guessing that it would have worked better if I could have kept it out of the trees.
    They are about 82 feet long if my memory is right.
    KD4ULD likes this.
  8. AK5B

    AK5B Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, true and not true depending on one's point of view. You have a reasonably large property with some very tall trees that many hams would practically die for.

    I know your priority #1 will be to get some wire up in those trees (hopefully in both polarizations as suggested already). Once you get going and see what you can accomplish you may want to delve further into small gain antenna such as a Moxon for one or more of the high bands.

    I'm currently in the two or three-month long process of moving into a house down the street we just bought and are doing some remodeling at the same time. Once we are a bit settled I will be working on my new antenna farm for both HF and VHF/UHF and satellites.

    My main endeavor (after I put up two or three elevated verticals) and before I work on a satellite array, will be to build a lightweight and stealthy Moxon for either 20m or 20/17 (or even 20/17/15m if I can succeed without much interaction between the bands).

    This will give me a decent gain (5.5dbi) antenna for my favorite dx band(s) that is only 70% the width of a dipole. I've already obtained four lightweight fiberglass spreaders 4 meters long from the folks at Spiderbeam that will create the support necessary for the 18-gauge wire elements I'll likely use (Davis RF Polystealth). The hub will be made out of a PE cheap white cutting board from Walmart and the spreaders will be attached via DXE Resin Support Blocks (Stauff clamps). Once built and tuned it will be painted with flat camo paint to blend in with the many oak trees on our property and the beam will be supported by a telescoping mast to get it a half wave-length+ above ground.

    I mention my proposed build to encourage you to think about a beam that you might have already ruled out while thinking it would be too large for your situation---maybe not, eh? If you enjoy chasing dx like I do, you will be well-served by a small beam such as a Moxon.

    Check out The Moxon Antenna Project for the MoxGen calculator download and lots of examples if you are interested.


    K0LWC and KF5KWO like this.
  9. W2AAT

    W2AAT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    W5GI Mystery Antenna.
  10. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The best antenna is one that is In the Air anf On the Air/ so just get something up and the more antennas the better

    WIre is cheap.
    Have some fun with antennas
    K0LWC likes this.

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