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Hf vertical without radials

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KG5PNI, Jun 19, 2019.

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  1. KG5PNI

    KG5PNI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Howdy, I have an end fed wire antenna that isn’t working for me. I’m limited on space. I need to find a good hf vertical that doesn’t need radials. I can mount it on a 3-8 ft pipe in the ground. Any suggestions? You can email me at Thanks
  2. WF4W

    WF4W Ham Member QRZ Page

    you need some radials - any number of any length is better than NONE. Even if you have only 10 feet radius, put twenty 10ft radials on it... or put longer ones on and make them fit by bending, curving, etc. anything is better than zero
    K1OIK likes this.
  3. W6MK

    W6MK Ham Member QRZ Page

    You can use a ground rod at the base of a base-fed vertical. Depending on the characteristics of your soil, this setup will be more
    or less lossy or inefficient. Whether you call it "good" depends on your expectations. It is a relatively poor way to
    set up a vertical antenna under most soil conditions.

    A good setup for a vertical is to make it a half wave (or so) tall and feed it in the middle.
    You can get by with a 3/8 wavelength vertical if you feed it with ladder line and run it
    to a wide-range antenna tuner at your operating position. Such an antenna will work
    on several bands.

    A quick read of any antenna book on vertical antennas will clue you in.
  4. N4UP

    N4UP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    An HF vertical is only half an antenna. You need something to act as the other half. Radials, ground rod, counterpoise, something. There is no "good" HF vertical that doesn't have something to balance the vertical part of the antenna. Even the so-called no-radial verticals have a counterpoise or "something" ... and some have elevated radials built in to the design and they just pretend that they don't have radials.
    KN6CLP, K8AI, K8XG and 2 others like this.
  5. WF7A

    WF7A Subscriber QRZ Page

    How much space do you have? Even with a postage stamp-sized lot, you have options.

    ...and as the others have pointed out, you need a counterpoise of some kind.
    KC8VWM likes this.
  6. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    A horizontal dipole doesn't, but I assume you are talking about a "normal" 1/4 wave vertical. It will work just working against ground, but you will not like the results. Oh, you will make some contacts without radials, but you have really got to have 15 - 20 radials, and more, about 30 - 35, is highly desirable.

    I put down 16 radials for my new vertical before the heat got to me, but as soon as I get a cool day, I'm doing 16 more.

    Just put down what you can. Number is really more important than length, so don't worry too much if your space is limited in that regard.
    N4UP likes this.
  7. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    You'll probably find the vertical works WORSE than the endfed.
    K8BZ likes this.
  8. VA3VF

    VA3VF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Above ground, you need radials. At ground level, a Hustler 6BTV worked OK for me. After about a year, I installed 8 radials, 15 feet long each. Far from the 'spec'ed' length, it still seem to have improved its performance.

    Above ground, no radials at all, and if 10-17M only coverage is fine with you, try an Imax 2000. This is what I had before the Hustler 6BTV. Yes, it's a CB antenna, but I had a ball with it before the prop collapsed.
  9. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    You can install a vertical antenna with radials and enjoy it's good performance, or you can install a vertical antenna with no radials and accept the compromise.

    There's simply no secret free lunch, so you have to choose one or the other... it's your call.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
    N5YPJ, N8ZL, NL7W and 3 others like this.
  10. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    An end fed wire and an end fed vertical antenna are really same thing electrically, the exceptions being electrical length, and angular relation to earth. A quarter wave vertical can return a 1:1 SWR at some frequency and still be a very poor radiator. Same goes for an end fed wire. The only way to make an end fed wire work well is to have a lot of radials such that the current has a low impedance path to ground. That will permit more current to flow in the wire portion of the antenna, and it is current that creates the radiation field around the antenna. Same is true for vertical antennas also.
    N8ZL, AC8UN, KC8VWM and 1 other person like this.

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