Need help deciding on an HF antenna

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by K3TOM, May 23, 2019.

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  1. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    If this is your place, looks like you already have a short mast in the yard with some sort of wire antenna hanging from it:!8m2!3d38.6578491!4d-78.481601

    But that didn't take advantage of much taller trees behind it, which is where a wire antenna really should do. Looks like you have lots of options there.
  2. N7WR

    N7WR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have had excellent results with my GAP Voyager (80-6 meters). I also have a homebrew 80-10 meter off center fed dipole that including a 3KW 4:1 current balun cost me about $100 to build. Both work well but if you can get the feedpoint of an OCFD up over 35 feet it is a great multi band antenna for a lot less than you will spend for most verticals or (if you build it yourself which is easy) a lot less than commercially made multi band wire antennas
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Voyager? Maybe Challenger...the Voyager is a 160/80m antenna that also works on 40 and 20m, but not above that as far as I know. It's the top-loaded 45' tall thing.
  4. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have to endorse Jeff's/Steve's suggestions.

    If you can get a horizontal dipole for 20m up in those trees, at least 35 feet or so, that will make you a better antenna than a ground-mounted vertical. If you can somehow get an antenna 60 ft. up, a 40m dipole at that height is an antenna not to be sneezed at. I'd like to have a 40m dipole at that height, but the tallest trees around here are <30 ft. tall, so I can't even hang a 20m dipole in them.

    And, right now 40 and 20 are where it's at, man!

    Remember if you hide the wires well enough, it is unlikely anyone will ever spot them; and if they do spot them, they are not likely to think, "Aha! There's an antenna!" since most people think of an antenna as an aluminum cloud. Configure your tree mounted dipoles so they can be easily raised or lowered, and if someone ever does complain, lower them for a few days, and then raise them only when in use.

    Follow the above guidelines and you will have good antennas that your HOA will probably never officially notice.
    WA8FOZ and NH7RO like this.
  5. NH7RO

    NH7RO Ham Member QRZ Page

    So true; Flexweave and Davis RF Polystealth antenna wire can work wonders and both are practically invisible up where few people look (thanks to the Era of Cellphone Obsession!). Since it seems apparent that your HOA would be OK with a GAP or Cushcraft then there probably wouldn't be much of a problem with something simpler like a dipole/fan dipole either, eh?

    Btw, I, like you, was very happy with 50MHz and above as a Tech for about 14 years or so before I decided to upgrade and finally delve into HF.

    Both arenas are a heck of a lot of fun so congratulations on expanding your horizons well beyond the far-field.


  6. NH7RO

    NH7RO Ham Member QRZ Page

    While re-reading this thread after dinner it has also just occurred to me that $280-$550 could also buy a whole lot of wine as well as wire...(just use them at different times for best results):D
  7. K3TOM

    K3TOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    That’s me. What you saw was probably my flag pole without the flag in the front yard. Yes, I have lots of tall trees on my property and lots of space so many options for stringing wire. Think that’s what I’m going to go with, getting it up as high as I can.
    NH7RO likes this.
  8. G5TM

    G5TM Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    First HF antenna? Put up a simple 20 and/or 40m dipole. Youll have a ball. Just any wire and if you can build/buy a 1:1 current balun (not strictly ncessary but beneficial) to feed both legs. 20 and 40 are your bread and butter bands in the lean years. This antenna will cost you MUCH less than a commercial antenna to build and, you know what? Will perform, in all probability, even better. Building a simple antenna and makng it work is so satisfying. Enjoy!
    AH7I, W8LLW, NH7RO and 1 other person like this.
  9. WA8FOZ

    WA8FOZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Use those trees! I'd put up pulleys for easy up-and-down, tuned feeder dipole with a current balun at the entry point into your home, and a good antenna "tuner." Efficient, cheap, unobtrusive, and covers all bands. What's not to like? Have fun!
    W8LLW likes this.
  10. NH7RO

    NH7RO Ham Member QRZ Page

    While I think the OP has gotten the idea by now, I nominate ^this^ for the Best Overall Answer Award.:)
    WA8FOZ and G5TM like this.

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