top of garage or down in the dirt???

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KG5JPG, Feb 13, 2018.

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  1. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    The 5BTV is designed to be tuned up on five bands, allowing operation without a tuner. But, in order to do that, your ground system must be properly designed to work with the antenna.

    I prefer elevated radials, butI'm too lazy to custom design a radial field to work with the 5BTV. Instead, I'd put up a symmetrical radial field--perhaps 4 long radials going to the corners, and four shorter radials going to each of the sides. Symmetry forces equal currents into the radials, so you don't have one half of the radial field doing all the work. 8 radials would be a good start.
    Next, I'd buy an autotuner to mount at the base. Cover it with a large plastic bucket or something that looks better. I have a tuner mounted in a fake birdhouse. Don't seal it up--provide drainage for the water to exit. Finally, I'd put up 20 feet of telescoping fiberlass and run a heavy gauge wire copper down the center of it--just like the S9 or LDG verticals. All my antenna conductors would be solid copper and silver brazed together with a Mapp torch. Oh yeah, nothing lasts a long time in a marine environment. Expect stuff to break or rust away and plan accordingly. Factor that in as the cost of maintaining a station. I find a 20 ft antenna is easy to work with, even in not so good weather.

    Zak W1VT
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  2. WZ7U

    WZ7U Subscriber QRZ Page

    Can I build an artificial shack on some of that artificial ground? ;) :p
    Artificially of course.
    N7ZAL likes this.
  3. WZ7U

    WZ7U Subscriber QRZ Page

    Perhaps a separate receive only antenna, a loop low to the ground would provide some relief in this situation?
    WA8FOZ likes this.
  4. KG5JPG

    KG5JPG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am interested in the separate receive antenna idea. where to read up for more info??Thanks for all the replies. There aren't many hams here where I live, and most of the folks nearby all just stay on FM.
  5. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    A tuned "box loop" is often used for receiving on MF and lower HF. A loop of several turns is resonated. A loop of one or two turns is coupled to the first loop. With a Hi-Q tuning capacitor and light coupling, narrow response is achieved. The loop has SHARP nulls off the ends. Those two features can be effective in combating QRM/QRN. The downside is, response is down. A preamp fixes that.

    The welded wire screen I suggested should help your vertical's ground plane A LOT. IIRC, Tractor Supply and similar dealers sell it.
  6. KG5JPG

    KG5JPG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks, back to the research!
  7. WF4W

    WF4W Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    my 6btv is ground mounted with 50ish radials. It is resonant on all bands in the CW portion of each band. I tired to get it more resonant in the digital subband as I operate remotely with an amp so do not want to worry about needing a tuner.
  8. KG5JPG

    KG5JPG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wish I had that much room. My lot is so tiny, best i can do is 90% short radials with a few at 20 feet. on the garage I have them laying over the roof line, but can't go in to the neighbors yard or down the front. the local hoodlums-school kids-think it is fun to pull them off....sigh...
  9. WF4W

    WF4W Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    it goes back to experimentation. Try it elevated and then try it on the ground with as many radials that you can install. More short radials it better than less long radials.
  10. WA9UAA

    WA9UAA Ham Member QRZ Page

    One thing about radials is that many short ones are good because the field density is higher near the antenna. I'd get as many on the garage roof as possible. One of the guys here monitored WWV at 10 Mhz and added radials until the signal didn't improve. Be sure to tape and / or put wire nuts on the ends of the wires because the voltage is high. hth

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