Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by KG5NNA, Sep 14, 2016.
I understand. Sometimes more is better than better.
I was considering either the FT-991 or FT-DX1200 myself after getting relicensed this past winter. I was aware that establishing a good stealth antenna was my first priority. I went with the FT-450D while I worked on numerous stealth antennas...my reasoning was that if I were severely hampered by my antenna then the best transceiver in the world was not going to make a big difference. I have been thru three antenna iterations so far and the FT-450D quickly helped compare the results. Each antenna iteration was an improvement...and I am not done yet. So far a 20M inverted V has proven my best stealth antenna to date. And...my FT-450D has been performing well. I am not convinced that doubling or tripling my investment in a transceiver will give me much more fun than I'm having with the FT-450D!
My thoughts on a stealth antenna are to avoid a multi band performer but master of none. Find the single band antenna that performs the best given your limitations and go with it. I wasted lots of time on an end fed wire of different lengths and configuration. Yeah I could get it to work multi-band but performance was miserable compared to the first dipole I erected! And the FT-450D performed well in noting the differences between antennas.
There are excellent antennas with multi-band capability. A fan dipole is one, a folded dipole fed with balanced feedline to an antenna matcher is another. Trapped dipoles and trapped verticals are good performers with the sacrifice of some bandwidth.
The bane of radio hobbyists are unbalanced antennas. They seem to be simple and easily installed, but then come the common mode current problems with RF in the radio room, RFI at your house and neighborhood, microphones that burn your lips, and so on. Balanced antennas make for a happy life. Vertical monopoles with ground radials or elevated radials (which turn monopoles into balanced antenna systems) also make for a happy life. Even an inverted L can be a good performer if it has a ground plane to balance it.
Experiment, and enjoy.
Very true, however, the limitations of my property preclude radials of any length due to common HOA property infringements as well as limited height restrictions. As a result the 20M inverted V appears to be optimum for me at the moment. I could gain higher antenna heights using nearby trees but they are growing on common HOA property as well. Our HOA has been friendly to my antenna installations to date so I am hoping that running wires (either buried radials and/or over head tree supported wires) might be possible in the future.
My first installation was an undereave end fed wire. I was able to operate on 40M-6M and the antenna was super stealth. However, performance was dismal when compared to my 40M inverted V with a max height of 18'. The 20M inverted V was yet another improvement.
Given these limited antenna restrictions, the FT-450D performance has been fine.
I played a 590SG, 480SAT and 7300 side by side yesterday for about 30 minutes on 40 meters and it was very obvious. The 7300 clearly has a better receiver than 590 on SSB hands down. This would place it about 1200 too based on past of it with 590. I did not care for feel of tuning knob or touch screen on 7300 ( prefer buttons) but 7300 picked a weak signal out of noise for a clear copy when 590 struggled to do with same. I even found 480 to do a little better than 590 when chasing a weak signal into noise. BTW I am a Kenwood guy and know how to get best out of them and menu setting's too. I was surprised at how much cleaner 7300 audio was than 590. It was not barely discernable, it was obvious. They had a 991 and 1200 and 891 too but the three I tested were in a group and next to antenna switch controls and easy to compare without moving from seat. I have tested a 991 vs a 1200 before and found 991 to have a bit cleaner receiver than 1200 to my ear. I have ability to adapt to new rigs quickly and see what they can do. Being a Kenwood guy it pains me a bit to say this but other than ergonomic issues a mentioned above the 7300 is a good rig and aurgably best in it class.
OK well, I went to HRO tonight (btw really nice people there!) and got my Yaesu FT-991, a Samlex SEC-1223, an MFJ-4602 Window Feed Thru panel, and an Alpha-Delta DX-B quarter-wave antenna that should get me 160-80-40-30m. At the suggestion above, I'm going to Texas Towers on Thursday to get a ROHN H30 mast for my mast. I'll mount the mast by driving a piece of 10' galvanized steel conduit about 4-5' into the ground and cut it out maybe 3'-4' above the ground, then putting the mast inside it. This way I don't believe I'll need to guy it. If necessary I can put a fastener in the wooden portion of the side of the house toward the top and that should, hopefully, keep it steady. The VHF/UHF antenna should be fine atop that with some U-bolts I think. In fact, with the Alpha-Delta DX-B, the mast doesn't need to go to it's maximum 30' height.
The Alpha-Delta DX-B is a quarter-wave antenna that's about 60'. It ISNT, unfortunately end-fed, but comes with a long 450-ohm ladder line and a bracket with an SO-239 connector. I intend to just install it as a sloper with RG-213 cable. Both the UHF/VHF and the HF antennas should fit fine into the MFJ-4602. I'll run the coax from each on opposite sides of the mast (still need to look that part up and see if that's going to be ok.
Any pointers or suggestions are welcome. With some fingers crossed, I might can get on the air by this weekend.
I would do this anyway. You won't be sorry and if you need guy lines later, that might be one less set to add.
Yes, I was trying to look online at Home Depot as to what would be the best "support" mechanism. The mast would be probably a good foot or so from the actual side of the house to clear the eave at the top. So, securing it at the top would probably be done using a regular mounting bracket like this http://www.homedepot.com/p/Channel-Master-Universal-4-in-Wall-Mount-CM-3079/203763047 . More toward the bottom, the conduit "should" keep it in place as long as I perhaps wrap a few inches of electricians tape around the bottom of the mast when I put it inside the conduit in the ground. The conduit is 2" ID, and the mast is 1-3/4" OD so it will "wiggle" if I don't do something there. The antenna I got can be a sloper or an inverted V. The legs are 30' long, so it will take up some room. As an inverted V it would be positioned on the side of my house and I'm honestly not sure of the radiation pattern from an inverted V. But if the antenna "V" is parallel with the side of my house, the signal probably is going straight out away from the house. (Way different than a vertical which is essentially omnidirectional. But if I have that orientation, its more or less hitting my neighbor's fence, then his big tree. If I slope it and run 60' from the top of the mast to the fencepost that's actually a "freer' orientation and it won't hit anything. May just have to experiment with it.
How about this?
You pulled a bit of a switch on the antenna. I like Alpha Delta Dipoles, but the 1/4 wave antennas can be a problem. In order to work, the feedpoint of the antenna has to be grounded to the supporting mast, at the top of the mast. The mast becomes part of the antenna. I donated one of these to our local EOC a few years ago, and they never got it to work. I don't think it was grounded correctly, but I'm not sure.