First HF anenna...please recomend

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by W0MAX, Nov 26, 2021 at 12:28 AM.

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  1. W0MAX

    W0MAX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would like to get on the HF band SSB. It looks like 40m is the most popular DX band but I might be wrong. I also noticed 80m and 20m being popular. There are many antenna styles. I even purchased the ARRL Antenna Book. I have a MFJ 941E Versa Tuner II antenna tuner at my disposal.

    Which antenna or type of antenna would you recommend?

    The tree marked with X is gone. The radio will be behind the back door on the ground level. There is about 65 feet from the corner of the property to the corner of the house.

    Thank you!
    Screen Shot 2021-11-25 at 5.10.49 PM.png Screen Shot 2021-11-25 at 6.23.27 PM.png
  2. KY4GD

    KY4GD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Wow, I so envy all that space. You didn't mention your budget, so heck, just erect a 250' lighted tower. :)

    How tall are those remaining trees, and would they support something like a fan dipole?

    Also, just because someone will make an issue out of it, SSB isn't a band, it is a mode, but you and everyone else reading this knows what you mean. Also, be careful what parts of those bands you use, you don't want to transmit outside your privileges. A General license opens up lots more of them.
    WG7X, PU2OZT and AK5B like this.
  3. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    A 20M Monoband Yagi on a 70 or 100 ft tower is a great antenna for DXing. We are close to a sunspot minima which means that high antennas work a lot better for working long propagation paths. In a couple years there will be times when low antennas work just as well as high antennas, but not everyone has that sort of patience.

    I have an array of dipoles in different directions for 20M, strung between maple trees. I find it a lot easier to work DX on 20 Phone than 40 or 80 meters.

    Zak W1VT
    W4HWD likes this.
  4. M0AGP

    M0AGP Ham Member QRZ Page

    If I had to choose one band for DX it would be 20m. There is a guy who only has a single mast with a 6 element 20m beam on it and he has got about 250 countries this year alone, all on 20m! But this time of year 20m can go a bit quiet at night. If your operating will be after work and evenings, 40m could be a better single choice - it also gets some action during the day.

    Or go for a multiband option like the fan dipole, which has been mentioned. I made one that works on 30, 20, 17, 15, 10 and 6 meters (5 parallel dipoles). I am happy with it overall.
    AK5B likes this.
  5. AK5B

    AK5B Ham Member QRZ Page

    I always recommend starting out simply. I'll suggest two for starters; a fan dipole for 20-40-80m (or 20-40m) and a multiband vertical* with lots (32-64) of radials (unless you could elevate it 7 feet or more above ground---then 2 radials per band would be fine). All horizontal antennas need as much height as you can muster as a general rule. Veritcals can be on or near the ground.

    It is good to have both types so to be able to switch back and forth depending on conditions, time of day, etc.

    20m is a good daytime dx band, 40m is better at night at this point in the solar cycle. It should get better as the upcoming months and years pass now that we're past the very bottom...

    *(Hustler BTV series is good)
    K7TRF, M0AGP and W0MAX like this.
  6. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The best DX band varies with time of day, season, and the sunspot cycle; however 20 meters has always been the "King DX" band for many reasons.

    During daylight hours, 17m or 15m can be as good or better. At night, 40m is usually better. But overall...20m has been called the King DX Band for several decades, for good reason.

    If I had to focus on just two bands for working DX, it would be 20m and 40m.

    A dual-band parallel dipole for 20/40m should work fine, and the higher, the better. A 40m dipole isn't "high" at all until it's up 65' above ground.
    M0AGP and W0MAX like this.
  7. WG8Z

    WG8Z Ham Member QRZ Page

    antenna trailer.jpg Park one of these in your driveway. Antennas will be the easy part.
    AK5B and W0MAX like this.
  8. W4HWD

    W4HWD Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I did all this on 15m this morning with an R6000 and 100w:


    Not bad...
    W0MAX likes this.
  9. K6GP

    K6GP Ham Member QRZ Page

    AK5B hit the nail on the head to start simple. No matter what you put up now, you’ll want to change or add to it later. That said (and people may make fun of me), I’d do a 40m EFHW mounted as high as you can get it on your house. Or if that balcony will support it, mount a modest telescoping pole to get it even higher. My EFHW works on 40, 20, 15 and 10 m without a tuner and 17 and 12 with a tuner. When you first start out you’ll want to bounce around the bands to see how they all work. I make most of my contacts on 40 because it’s consistently more active when I’m at the radio, but 20m does get me further contacts if I can get on it during the day.
    AK5B, W0XA and W0MAX like this.
  10. K7JOE

    K7JOE Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hard to beat the simplicity of a ZS6BKW antenna. Single wire element dipole/doublet that's 92 feet total length with a 39.5 foot matching section of 450 ohm line and then 50 ohm coax to your shack. Get it 40+feet into the air - ideally in a flat top config, but inverted V will also work. Very light weight so easy to put up and keep up. Multiple bands without a tuner (40-20-17-10) and even more bands with a tuner (80/75/12). Coaxial fed right to the radio. Cost to build maybe $50. Lots of plans all over the internet on how to build. Keeps it simple at first and allows you to explore multiple HF bands.
    AK5B and W0MAX like this.

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