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My situation: 66' end fed vs ZS6BKW

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by KG9LD, Apr 16, 2021.

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  1. K7JOE

    K7JOE Subscriber QRZ Page

    love the simplicty of the ZS6BKW and the performance bang for the buck. It is simple to build, very light weight so can stay up even in strong winds without expensive hardware, if exact measurements are followed, it works several bands very effectively (40-20-17-12) and other bands are possible with a decent ATU (low end of 80, and 10M).

    I use one and see very similar curves to that shown in the link above. It's at about 55 ft up and has about 200 ft of 50 ohm feedline to the shack.
  2. W2AAT

    W2AAT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    W5GI Mystery Antenna ;)
  3. K7JOE

    K7JOE Subscriber QRZ Page

    Nope. Common mode current hell... like an OCF. pass...
  4. K1LH

    K1LH XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Can't say the W5GI grabs me based on this analysis -

    Nothing wrong with OCFD, but they do need (very) good current chokes.
    K7JOE and WA7ARK like this.
  5. K6GBW

    K6GBW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was running a G5RV that worked well but was kind of "Peaky" and difficult to tune on some bands (80-40). I decided to convert it to a ZS6BKW by cutting down the legs and adding some window line. Because of my installation location I only used 12 feet of LMR400 from the window line transition to the tuner. I was worried that the short length of coax would create tuning issues, but ultimately it tunes up very easily on everything from 80-10 with a simple manual tuner. Performance seems on par with a dipole on 40 and 20. 80 meters is maybe an S unit down from a dipole but perfectly acceptable for "Local" communications. I haven't really used it on the upper bands yet because of the poor conditions, but I have no reason to think it work work decent. It certainly tunes up easy enough. An added benefit of the shorter ZS6BKW is it fits in my yard much better. Before, I had the G5RV in sort of a horizontal V to get it to fit. Now I can keep the antenna wires straight within the confines of my property lines. I can say that the center fed doublet type antennas definitely work better than either an end fed half wave or an end fed non-resonant wire antenna. I've tried both and was nothing but frustrated until I made the switch. If window line is too ugly or difficult to run for you, you might try an off center fed dipole for 40-10. The dimensions are pretty small and it uses coax so it might be easier to deal with. I had one and it worked okay, but don't run the coax directly next to a metal mast or it won't tune. Good luck!
  6. WA7ARK

    WA7ARK Ham Member QRZ Page

  7. K7JOE

    K7JOE Subscriber QRZ Page

    Great that you found the ZS6BKW to be a nice solution. I agree. They are simple to make, simple to install, nothing to burn out, etc. Unlike the G5RV that "uses" the loss in the long coax feedline to the shack, the ZS6BKW antenna is 50 ohms where the ladder line changes to coax on the bands it was designed for. In this manner, you don't have to rely on a long length of lossy coax to reduce the VSWR at the transmitter. You also can use any lengths of coax and you will not see wandering VSWR. You also don't have the issue of common mode current and needing to add lots of additional hardware (sometimes multiple feedline chokes) as you have on an OCF. These can be built -- unun and all...for around $40 bucks (not including coax to the shack).

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