Opinions on Vertical Antennas?

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by WC3T, Oct 2, 2015.

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  1. K9ASE

    K9ASE XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The 6BTV is an excellent antenna once you get it tuned correctly.
    It absolutely needs a radial field to work but works ok even with only a few tuned radials.
  2. K9ASE

    K9ASE XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    you type faster than me:p
    WC3T likes this.
  3. WC3T

    WC3T Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's what I was leaning for - a 6BTV and a nice quality session with my antenna analyzer, and a nice field of radials. That's my definition of "doing the thing right" with a vertical.
  4. W4KJG

    W4KJG Subscriber QRZ Page

    "Are you saying this is simply a vertical with a top hat>"

    No, not at all. It operates much like a typical flat-top doublet, except it will be vertically polarized instead of being horizontally polarized. The open wire feedline should not radiate if the radiating elements are the same length, and each side of the feedline are the same length. The openwire feedline must be fed with balanced currents via a 1:1 current balun/choke if being driven by an unbalanced (coax) source. The radiating elements dropping from at least 30+ feet from the feed point towards the ground (no higher than about 10 feet) will provide a nearly omni directional low angle radiation pattern.
  5. NK7Z

    NK7Z Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have also used a 6BTV, and liked it a lot, however you do need a decent radial field to make it work if ground mounted... If you raise it some, you can substantially reduce the radial count for the same performance, see http://www.antennasbyn6lf.com/.

    Just to clarify, all 1/4 wave monopole verticals need a radial field of some sort. Vertical dipoles do not need a radial field, because they are not looking for the reflected antenna in the radial field as the other half of being a dipole, a vertical dipole is just that-- a dipole, (with both halves, center fed), mounted vertically, hence no need for a radial field to create the missing piece of a 1/4 wave monopole. My experience has been that the GAP works better than 1/4 wave vertical, with a decent radial field, at least in my location.
    WC3T likes this.
  6. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Verticals can certainly work okay, but unless it's planted in the middle of a multiacre open field with nothing else around it, they are influenced by ground clutter -- sometimes quite a lot.

    The BTVs are certainly cheap enough, and if you install a good radial field you can always upgrade the antenna at the same location using the same radials. The SteppIR 'Big IR' vertical is excellent on 40m through 10m inclusive, and actually any frequency at all between 7 and 30 MHz because it's remotely tuned and can adjust to be resonant anywhere. It's also expensive.
  7. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Buid and Save
    A simple piece of aluminum tubing and some copper wire for radials. Homebrew your own monoband verticals and save hundreds of bucks and have DX !
    Back in the days I lived in the City, I had a 20M GP on the garage roof and a 40M GP on the housetop and BOY did they work DX !!! I worked a ZL the first night on 40M CW with my Johnson Viking Valiant, after I got the antenna up and Worked a nice rag chew with a VK on 20M SSB with a hundred watt NCX3 rig.
    The only thing I had to pay for was the new RG8/U coax and a couple of PL259 connectors !
    The tubing was gleaned from other ham's broken antennas and the wire was laying around in the garage.
    Take the family out to a fancy dinner, maybe a few times, with the money you save !
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2015
    G6YYN, AI3V and WC3T like this.
  8. WC3T

    WC3T Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yeah, well that might be a problem. If I did the vertical, I'm going to be mounting it next to a tree so that it's effectively stealth. :) Attached is a pic of the property.

    Can't use the area in the back; it's a sand mound (leach field for shale soil. My wife calls it "Mount S#!t".) Can't use the big tree in the middle of the property because the dashed line is where the utilities come in. The blue line goes from where my shack is to the front tree, and the vertical would be hiding behind it. We are at about 900' MSL and way up on the side of a hill, with a straight shot to the other side of the Lehigh Valley, so the view is unobstructed, but there's that pesky tree that I need...

    We built the house 10 years ago, before ham radio was a gleam in my eye. But where there's a will, there's a way.

    Attached Files:

  9. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    A tree might not make much difference. Depends on the tree and possibly other stuff like if the tree gets ice coated if you have sleet...but if so, the antenna will also be ice coated and very detuned by that anyway.

    Ground clutter that's harmful is generally conductive stuff like metal fences, houses made of cement or brick or stucco or having aluminum siding, and similar.

    I put up antennas close to power lines all the time and have done so for fifty years...if the power lines are residential drops that are 120-0-120V lines. Those are normally very, very well insulated and also low voltage. If an antenna fell directly across them, it would normally make no difference. However, I don't install antennas to fall down or fall over.

    Stay away from distribution lines, which are 4800V to 14400V and usually uninsulated.
  10. WC3T

    WC3T Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The closest distribution line is about 1500 yards from my house. Not to worry. This might work.

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